Customer Review

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best possible visual explanation of jazz history and evolution, 16 Oct 2010
This review is from: Jazz - A Film By Ken Burns [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This is an outstanding piece of work. He uses extensive movie film, music and photographic archive footage, and commentary by leading jazz musicians, more than critics, to explain the changes that happened and always to place them in context. There is much emphasis on dating and context, so he is seriously taking a historical approach. I used to own an excellent book about jazz history which had nice colour photos and discographies but this goes much deeper. You can hear the specific styles, and observe how they foreshadowed later developments within and beyond jazz. I was very struck by how much of it foreshadowed similar stages in the subsequent evolution of R&B and rock music (not covered at all in this tightly thematic series). I wonder if I would have realised that otherwise? I am more of a blues and guitar fan than a swing band aficionado but found much to satisfy me. The focus is mainly on the USA but I could see how jazz-loving France was a haven from racism over and over again for visiting players. I loved the section on Django and the Hot Club and could have enjoyed hearing more jazz guitar, as sax and trumpet obviously took the limelight. Bebop was very well covered in several episodes, so Bird and Dizzy fans will be happy. Overall,I have never experienced a better explanation of 20th century jazz in any format.
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Initial post: 18 Dec 2010 12:56:39 GMT
john says:
The guardian are selling this for £ 29.99
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