Saturday, August 03, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Newport Jazz Festival moments

With the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival happening this weekend, this edition of our video showcase pays tribute to one of jazz's longest-lived and best-known events by looking at some choice performances given there by various jazz greats over the years.

The first video is actually a full-length movie: Jazz On A Summer's Day, the film about the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival by Bert Stern that generally is considered the first important jazz documentary. It features performances by Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Gerry Mulligan, Dinah Washington, Chico Hamilton, Anita O'Day, George Shearing, Jimmy Giuffre, Chuck Berry, Jack Teagarden, Thelonious Monk, Big Maybelle and numerous others.

Down below, it's Newport Jazz Festival 1962, a less well-known documentary with music from Count Basie, Johnny Hodges, Oscar Peterson, Clara Ward, Pee Wee Russell, Ruby Braff, Joe Williams, Roland Kirk, and Duke Ellington.

Below that, there's a clip featuring the Giants of Jazz, an all-star aggregation assembled in the early 1970s for a couple of albums and tours that included Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Thelonious Monk (piano), Sonny Stitt (saxophones), Kai Winding (trombone), Art Blakey (drums) and Al McKibbon (bass). They're seen here playing Monk's "Round Midnight" at the 1971 Newport Jazz Festival.

Next, we find guitarist and singer George Benson teamed with the Count Basie Orchestra at the 1990 festival, performing "On Green Dolphin Street" and "Basie's Bag."

The fifth clip pairs two friends, pianist George Shearing and singer Mel Torme, for a medley of tunes that looks to have been recorded sometime in the early to mid- 90s.

The final video features singer Tony Bennett, who's celebrating his 87th birthday today, and the late pianist Dave Brubeck performing the standard "That Old Black Magic" at the 2010 Newport Jazz Festival.

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