Monday, February 8, 2010

MUSIC MONDAY: Jazz & The Birth of Television - Part 2 - Jimmy Rushing, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cannonball Adderley

To follow up on last week's article about early Jazz Television, I'd like to give you some more examples of some what jazz you could expect to see and hear on 1960s TV. The first clip is from the special "The Subject is Jazz". The show is most famous for the song performance of the song 'Fine and Mellow' by Billie Holiday and Lester Young, as described in Ken Burns' Jazz series. I would like to steer your attention to a song that happened earlier in the show performed by Jimmy Rushing and the Count Basie Band called 'I Left My Baby'. Rushing was a magnificent blues singer (and piano player) from Kansas City who made it is most known for being Basie's long time singer. He was a terrific blues man and I love his smooth yet powerful voice. The second clip is from a show called 'The Subject is Jazz'. Each week, the show focused on a particular aspect of jazz, be it a genre of jazz, like the blues or swing, or an aspect of jazz culture, like the international significance of jazz or jazz and other arts, and breaks it down into simple terms so that a non-jazz audience could understand and be interested in the music. The host, Gilbert Seldes, introduced and explained the topic in an academic (and usually pretty boring) manner and the great Dr Billy Taylor with backing band and special guest would play examples of Seldes' discussion points. This episode is on 'bop' and features special guest Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley who is was a terrific jazz educator and quite a good sax player to boot. This clip also features some reminiscences by Dr Taylor on the program. The last clip is from a special called 'Swing into Spring', which was more or less a showcase of Benny Goodman and some of the most popular artists of the day. This show was a bit corny, fortunately this clip misses the dance interludes aimed designed for 1950s college students, but catches songs featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Lionel Hampton, and, of course, Benny Goodman, including a solo by Goodman on a personal favorite of mine, 'Sweet Loraine'. Please Enjoy...

-- The Sound of Jazz

-- The Subject is Jazz

-- Swing Into Spring

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