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Jazz Icons DVD Box SetMosaic Singles
“The Coltrane performance is only one of six DVDs—each filmed in France—in the climactic fifth volume of Jazz Icons, a consistently worthwhile series of vintage jazz concert footage released by Mosaic Records in conjunction with Reelin’ in the Years Productions." - Jeff Tamarkin, Jazz Times
Regularly $119.98 Playable In All Regions
6 DVDs - $99.98
In the 28 years since Mosaic’s first release, life has been interesting, to say the least, and had its share of surprises. But in 2011, we were presented with one that I never saw coming. David Peck and Ton Gulotta from Reelin’ In The Years, who introduced their amazing Jazz Icons DVD line in 2003, called us up and asked us to collaborate with them on their fifth release in the series.
When Tom told me that they were thinking about the 1965 Antibes concerts by the John Coltrane Quartet that included the only public performances of "Ascension" and "A Love Supreme" and a little known 1969 color program of Thelonious Monk alone and free-associating in a Paris TV studio, I said sign us up!
Two major masterworks were a nice start and Tom and I began a trial-and-error process of filling out four more titles that would fill out the 6-DVD set for Jazz Icons Series 5. I suppose it’s not accidental that we landed on artists whom I knew and loved as musicians and friends but jazz has always been a personal experience for me. Art Blakey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Johnny Griffin and Freddie Hubbard flesh out this extraordinary release.
Over the course of 50 years of hearing plenty of live music, nothing I’ve experienced has surpassed the many occasions on which I was lucky enough to hear the John Coltrane Quartet at Birdland or The Half Note. Often Coltrane would start off playing the brief melody of one of the triple-meter pieces he favored and leave the stage as McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones built the intensity gradually with chorus after chorus until Elvin’s thunderous quarter note triplets on the bass drum would announce Coltrane’s soaring return. For the next hour or more, these men would take us to a place that was as deep in spirituality as it was charged with sexual energy. For me, nothing has come close to what they achieved nightly. The Antibes performances are no exception.
The Thelonious Monk performance is astounding. Just Monk, a grand piano and two cameras – no audience, no sidemen, no emcee, no clock-watching stage manager, no set list, no distractions. The result was an astonishingly intimate and revealing portrait of a man and his music. Monk sits at the piano and plays whatever occurs to him.
Art Blakey was a wonder to behold live. He shaped and colored each tune from the drum stool and when he hit fifth gear in the final chorus of each solo, it was as organically exciting as music can be. I saw dozens of incarnations of the Messengers over the decades. And Art’s power, dynamics and thunderous swing were as exciting in 1989 as they were in 1963.
When I was about 14 years old, I wrote Roland Kirk a fan latter. After a return letter from Roland’s wife, I began going down to see him at the Five Spot on St. Marks Place and spend afternoons in his Central Park West apartment. As much as I treasured those afternoon tutorials with his impressive record collection, it was the nights at The Five Spot that are burned into my mind. Every set he played was an adventure for him as well as the audience.
And then there are masters Freddie Hubbard and Johnny Griffin at the top of their game…..I could go on. - Michael CuscunaJohn Coltrane- Live In France 1965
Only Public Performance of Love Supreme
Features the Classic John Coltrane Quartet at the peak of their powers. Includes the only public performance of Ascension and of A Love Supreme which they'd recorded eight months earlier and had become an instant and influential hit in the jazz world. Every night this band played was a major event and spiritual experience for those who witnessed it.
Thelonious Monk- Live In France 1969
Monk Alone:A Private Recital
Just Monk, a grand piano and two cameras - no audience, no sidemen, no emcee, no clock-watching stage manager, no set list, no distractions. The result was an astonishingly intimate and revealing portrait of a man and his music. The viewer can virtually see this usually impenetrable artist thinking in real time. An extraordinary document of one of the most original composers of the 20th century.
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers - Live In France 1959
Wayne Shorter's Baptism By Fire
In the fall of 1959, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers introduced newcomer Wayne Shorter whose sound and conception would forever change the sonic landscape of the Jazz Messengers. He, Lee Morgan and Walter Davis, Jr. are on fire throughout. This is inspired jazz with a volcanic swing.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Live In France 1972
A Jazz Supernova: Prepare Thyself For A Miracle
Seeing Rahsaan Roland Kirk live was a completely different experience from listening to his music on record. It was an overwhelming and joyous event; music just poured out of him like a gusher. He was an ever-thinking force of energy who swept the audience up into his orbit. This 1972 concert with an excellent band is a perfect example.
Freddie Hubbard - Live In France 1973
An Incendiary Hard Bop Concert By A Master
On this 1973 concert, he and his quintet with Junior Cook and George Cables stretch out on three of his greatest compositions of the period: Straight Life, The Intrepid Fox and First Light. Hubbard and Junior Cookshare a common ground and deep empathy and the rhythm section led by Cables give the hornmen all the push they crave. These performances are incendiary!
Johnny Griffin - Live In France 1971
Virtuoso At Work
Johnny Griffin was a tenor saxophone virtuoso. He possessed a magnificent even tone through- out the range of the tenor saxophone and the ability to navigate the fastest tunes and the most sophisticated chord changes with seemingly effortless precision. Toss in his soulfulness and inventiveness and you have a recipe for genius. Art Taylor's drumming here drive Griff and guest Dizzy Gillespie to incredible heights.
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