The release of Jazz Icons is like the unearthing of a musical time capsule - an audio-visual treasure trove of the music that changed the world. From Big Band and Bebop to Dixieland and Cool, it's all here and it all swings. These jazz legends, from Dizzy and Count to Louis and Ella, are the Bachs and Beethovens of our generation. From an educational standpoint this series is a gift to our culture. I'm honored to be a featured part of it, but I'm more thrilled just to sit down and watch it with my grandkids. (Quincy Jones)
With Jazz Icons, TDK presents a DVD series featuring full-length concerts and studio performances by the greatest legends of jazz, filmed in Europe between 1957 and 1978 during one of the most creative periods in jazz history. None of these concerts have ever been released for home viewing before and, in some cases, the material was never even broadcast.
These filmed concerts capture the most pivotal and influential jazz artists of the 20th century in their prime - accompanied by some of the most legendary side-musicians of the day. Some of these recordings were forgotten for nearly 50 years. American company "Reelin' In The Years Productions" have re-discovered and produced them and after being digitally re-mastered from high quality, original masters with excellent sound and film quality, they are now presented on DVD by TDK.
Each of the nine titles in the illustrious series features 60-90 minute performances by Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Buddy Rich or Chet Baker. They were all produced with the full support and cooperation of the artists or their estates, which in most cases contributed rare personal photographs, memorabilia, and forewords. The DVDs are available individually and each comes with a 16-page booklet including an essay written by an authoritative jazz historian.
Among the wealth of highlights in the Jazz Icon DVD series are two exceptional Ella Fitzgerald concerts, including the earliest known complete Ella show (filmed in Belgium in 1957) and an intimate in-studio appearance with the pianist Tommy Flanagan taped in Sweden in 1963.