Norman Granz Presents: Improvisation

Gift guide

Music DVDs

Norman Granz Presents: Improvisation

(Laser Swing Productions/Eagle Eye Media)

Jazz impresario Norman Granz and Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili collaborated on an extraordinarily artful, Oscar-nominated short film in 1944 called "Jammin' the Blues." Six years later, the pair was at it again, bringing together for the first time in performance saxophone titans Coleman Hawkins and Charlie Parker. This marvelous studio date also includes wonderful segments with saxophone president Lester Young, trumpeter "Sweets" Edison, and vocal queen Ella Fitzgerald. It took almost 50 years for the project to be released, and now it's been reissued with added Granz-produced sections, featuring a Duke Ellington Trio performance from 1966, Montreux Jazz Festival all-star jams with Count Basie, Oscar Peterson's small groups from 1977, and a 1979 studio set from Joe Pass and Ms. Fitzgerald. All of it is superb. A second disc features "Jammin' the Blues" plus film rushes and stills from the 1950 session. This is nirvana for jazz lovers.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Grupo Fantasma
American Music Vol. VII (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, April 19, 2019

Texas Platters
Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord
Harder On the Outside (Record Review)

Michael Toland, March 22, 2019

More by Jay Trachtenberg
Book Review: <i>Black Leopard, Red Wolf</i>
Book Review: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Marlon James’ epic new novel is a literary phantasmagoria

April 2, 2019

Texas Platters
Rosie Flores
Simple Case of the Blues (Record Review)

March 22, 2019


Norman Granz Presents Improvisation

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle