Wednesday, October 20, 2004

PBS is da BOMB!

Recently I realised that my most satistfying tv viewing has been provided by PBS. Yes PBS!

Well last night I turned on my now favourite channel and was presented with a wonderful treat. Wynton Marsalis , a cutie :) and Ken Burns producer of historical films such as the American Civil War, Baseball and Jazz were on. They were talking about the film Jazz.

Well being able to drool all over Wynton would be good enough but like all PBS programs I have watched I learnt quite a lot. My appreciation for Jazz and Louis Armstrong grew ten fold last night. I never really paid much attention to Jazz, I guess it never really grabbed me. Then I absoultely had no respect for Louis Armstrong. I always thought he was waist-bent-watermelon-smiling-negro. Not even seeing his clip where he totally tore up some song about Dina in Carolina helped.

But Marsalis and Burns used words like genius and transforming and central to describe this man. They spoke of his God given gift and how he was basically the center piece of all Jazz. Yah through their conversation on the film, it was possible to see Charlie Parker beyond the heroin addicted jazz musician...it was possible to give Jazz and jazz muscians a second chance.

I will one day purchase Burn's 19-hour documentary film on Jazz. Until then I will pay more attention when I hear a jazz artist...maybe really listen to Billie and Ella. Thanx for the education and entertainment PBS.

5 comments:

Jdid said...

so any jazz musicans you had a good opinion of before this show?

ThandieLand said...

Thelonius Monk for sure....he was brilliant on the piano and didn't get into much of the negative life style of most jazz musicians but he was a obsessive compulsive personality.

Thelonius'famiy moved in the Bronx from the South when he was kid. His new neighborhood was predominantly West Indian where people placed a high premium on their kids being able to play an instrument. Monk's parents joined in and that is how he started palying. According to his sister his first teacher was West Indian.

Kinna liked Miles for his mysterious and serious manner and because he was the youngest of the greats but he was a dopefiend and wife beater. He put Cicely Tyson (of West Indian heritage,) through the paces boy!

Then Dizzy Gillespie and that bent trumpet was hard not to notice even for someone with just passing interest in jazz. Saw a documentary once with a bit about his love affair wid Cuba...I don't think he was into drugs either.

So all my "faves" have some sort of Caribbean connection,strange eh?

Abeni said...

Billie Holliday is great.I find her voice haunting,powerful and sad.The woman can really sing the blues,probably because her life was such a struggle.I just love her song "strange fruit" for her unique way of dealing with the lynching of black men in the US.

Jdid said...

sarah vaughn all the way for me.

I met Dizzy Gillespie once a few years before he died.

You have to separate the man from the nusic though. Lots of artists that I like their work but think they are not the best of people. Mind you that does cloud your thinking sometimes.

Abeni said...

Like my by R Kelly.Definitely not a poster boy for good behaviour but the music is great