Volume 1 Here is perhaps the most famous jazz broadcast of all time. Assembled in one all-star studio session, some of the giants of post-war jazz, captured in a smoke-filled room, perform a series of classic setpieces. Henry Red Allen, Pee Wee Russell, Coleman Hawkins and Count Basie play vibrant blues; Thelonious Monk, unapproachably cool, plays one of his extraordinary tunes. Jimmy Rushing does this wonderfully modern pastoral. 'The Train And The River', and Jimmy Rushing sings an ancient blues, with the crew-cut figure of Gerry Mulligan helping out in the band. But the heart-stopping sequence is of Billie Holiday, almost at the end of her career, singing the most beautiful and moving version of 'Fine and Mellow' you can imagine; Lester Young, her lifelong friend, is one of her accompanists. Respectful yet uncompromising, this is one of the most valuable and enjoyable jazz documents of its period. Volume 2 More priceless jazz material drawn from vintage American television. The opening sequence features a couple of tunes from pianist Ahmad Jamal and a lovely ballad performance from tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, later joined by Chuck Clayton and Vic Dickenston. But the second course if even more exciting, the legendary 'Sound of Miles Davis' broadcast in its entirety. The music includes a long, grippingly intense recording of 'So What', featuring Miles and the incomparable John Coltrane in one of his few surviving TV appearances, plus a feature for the trumpeter in front of a big band under the casual direction of long-time associate Gil Evans. Despite the offhand demeanour of the camerawork and Miles's customary so-what attitude, the film captures a magical spontaneity in the playing. The atmosphere of this occasion is still electrifying, more than forty years later.
Tracklisting: The Count Basie Orchestra 1. The Count's Blues Red Allen Octet 2. Wild Man Blues 3. Rosetta Thelonious Monk Trio 4. Blue Monk Jimmy Rushing - Sings The Blues 5. I Left My Baby The Count Basie Orchestra 6. Dickie's Dream Billie Holiday with Nine 7. Fine and Mellow Jimmy Giuffre Trio 8. The Train and the River Ahmad Jamal Trio 9. Darn That Dream 10. Ahmad's Blues Ben Webster Sextet I I. Chelsea Bridge 12. Duke's Place Miles Davis Quintet 13. So What Gil Evans Big Band with Miles Davis Quintet 14. The Duke and Orchestral Sketches No.I and No.2