Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Subject Is Cool Jazz

An intelligent and hip program about jazz on a major American television network? It sounds like the stuff of fantasy today but back in the 1950s, it was possible. Case in point: "The Subject Is Jazz", a 13 week show that ran on Sundays on NBC back in 1958. JazzVideoGuy has posted parts of the show on YouTube and they are great fun, critic Gilbert Seldes discussing various subgenres in the music which are then demonstrated by a band that includes Billy Taylor, show's musical director, on piano, Mundell Lowe on guitar, Ed Safranski on bass and Ed Thigpen. This excerpt is the fisrt half od a show on cool jazz with added musical guests Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh and Don Elliott. Even PBS would never do a show like this today. Heck they probably would never rerun this one.

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