Academic journal article Notes

The Story of Jazz

Academic journal article Notes

The Story of Jazz

Article excerpt

The Story of Jazz. DVD. Directed by Matthew Seig. Limited edition; newly digitally remastered. [UK]: Medici Arts, 2009. 2057158. $21.98.

The producers of a fine music series (Masters of American Music) have made it even finer with this digitally restored and remastered re-release. The audio, photographs and film footage are sharper and clearer than the series' first release (1993), and even though most of performances will be familiar to lovers of jazz, it is evident while watching and listening to a clean copy that despite the familiarity of the performances, some are still as timeless, unique and precious as any work of art.

Performances such as Louis Armstrong's 1933 stage performance of "Dinah" are still mesmerizing and iconic. Louis mugs, scats and delivers the music effortlessly in body language. During his sparse solo he quotes the song "Exactly Like You" and-as the band careens behind him-stretches the time slowly as if it were elastic.

Or Billie Holiday's performance of "Fine and Mellow" on the 1957 CBS TV special, "The Sound of Jazz." Backed by an all-star band, Holiday's caresses each note as she sings and her eyes go all dreamy and sweet as Lester Young sighs out one of the most sensual solos ever caught on video. …

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