Saturday, September 24, 2011

Iconic Moments

I'm reviewing a number of DVDs for DownBeat's holiday gift guide, and have been very impressed by the four-DVD set Icons Among Us, a series produced in conjunction with The Documentary Channel. The set includes extensive educational materials, but the primary features are interviews and performances by a number of contemporary artists, ranging from Wayne Shorter at the older end to Aaron Parks and Jamie Cullum.

It reminds me of some series I recall from the 1970s, which tried to put jazz in a contemporary and historical context, but this one really nails it through the depth and breadth of its interviews, and by the scope of the artists who are involved.

There's some good drama, too, such as the point/counterpoint of Wynton Marsalis and John Medeski, and some touching moments with Donald Harrison, Jr., re-building his home in New Orleans, and onstage with Esbjörn Svensson just prior to his drowning death.

Watch for my full review, but this is highly recommended.

1 comment:

Alayne McGregor said...

I saw the feature film (one-DVD) version of Icons Among Us and was really impressed by the performances by artists like Marco Benevento, Esperanza Spalding, and Brian Blade, and many others.

Well worth seeing (if a bit choppy and not quite proving its thesis), and I can only imagine the full-length version would be even better.