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Ken Burns: JazzTV-PGClosed Captioning

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The story, sound, and soul of a nation come together in the most American of art forms: Jazz. Ken Burns celebrates the music's soaring achievements, from its origins in blues and ragtime through swing, bebop, and fusion. Six years in the making, this "soundbreaking" series blends 75 interviews with major artists, such as Wynton Marsalis and Dave Brubeck, and critics; more than 500 pieces of music; 2,400 still photographs; and 2,000 rare and archival film clips including performances by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and many more.

Customer Reviews

Not complete, but very good

Despite the oft-repeated criticisms of this work - namely that it shortchanges jazz made after 1961 - it is still a terrific piece that for many will succeed at renewing or creating interest in the genre. Like many people my age (48) my exposure to jazz was initially in the late 1960s and early 70s. The extended improvisations I heard made little sense to my young pop-trained ears, and I stayed with rock, folk and classical music. It wasn't until my 20's that I heard older jazz and the picture began to come together and make sense. I needed to understand how something like "Body and Soul" was first conceived in order to appreciate all the variations of subsequent artists. Ken Burn's work succeeds well by this measure. It demystifies a genre that for too many seems unfriendly, difficult and impenetrable - which is why many people will listen to Kenny G instead of Coltrane. If this film fails to cover those later jazz artists, at least it paves the way in the minds of those who watch and listen. And for that reason I give it a solid "thumbs up".

Art for Free?

I've watched and previously purchased this series from PBS. This is about being educated. True, it short changes (ignores) the post 1960's scene, but it was through this work that I got to appreciate Louis Armstrong as my grandfather might have appreciated Louis Amrstrong. The people Burns brings forth are the geniuses of the one American art form. This is their story, and how they created art. You should plunk down you money at iTunes, go buy the considerably more expensive PBS DVD packag, or shut up and live in the bliss of your ignorance. Art has a cost for both the Artist and the audience.

This is a GREAT series !!!

If you like Ken Burns documentaries you will like and even may love this series. It give a "historical" perspective on Jazz from it's birth to where it is today. This a Jazz 101 series, it is about breadth not depth. (I agree with another commentor - you will know the importance of LOUIS ARMSTRONG - he is a pillar) It's too bad the previews do not give a better favor of what the series is like (it seems the low rated comments are more about the preview, than the series). I rented it from my local library - watched entire series in one "long" sitting. I liked it so much I am going to buy it from iTunes. As for Jazz jocks in this threads - it would be helpful for them to include some better DVD on Jazz (especially from the 50s and 60s) - this Ken Burn's Jazz series got me wanting more.

Ken Burns: Jazz
View in iTunes $39.99
  • SD Version
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Released: Jan 08, 2001
  • CCin English

Customer Ratings