Jazz: The TV Mini-Series
Directed by Ken Burns
I’ve heard people talk time and time again about Ken Burns documentaries, but I’m actually not sure I’d ever seen one. Burns is sort of PBS’s documentarian extraordinaire, as he has done documentary series on everything America including baseball, the Civil War, national parks, and much more. Burns is so patriotic in his work, I bet there is a 12-part series on apple pie coming soon. Describing jazz as the only true American art form, it makes total sense that Burns would cover it at some point. The series is actually 14 years old, so you may ask why we are covering it now. Well it seems like Netflix grants new life to all sorts of content (old documentaries, classic TV series, and even TED Talks), this nearly 20 hour documentary series is now available to watch in a click from your queue. Jazz is an extraordinary beginner’s to jazz and its importance in American history.
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How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘N’ Roll
I realize that LxL doesn’t ordinarily fashion itself as a book club, but extremely good books – and specifically extremely good music books – require our attention. Believe it or not, this isn’t our first book review, as Austin praised Songs of Ice and Fire series about a year ago, the series that has spawned the hugely popular Game of Thrones on HBO. Well, enough of this justification, and on to the review.
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For some, jazz music is merely a cacophony of nonsensical noise. To others, it is heaven by way of music. Not that I have ever felt the former, but the more I listen to jazz and make it my own, the closer I get to aligning myself with the latter. Jazz is ambiguous and spontaneous. Jazz can be incredibly happy, or it can be devastatingly depressing. It has the ability to take so many different forms, and sometimes many forms in a single song. It doesn’t necessarily follow the usual structures or progressions. Sometimes it doesn’t follow any progressions. It doesn’t play by the rules in that sense. I especially love when jazz is fused into other genres of music, but for this list, I am going to stick with some of my favorites of the basics. One college spring break on a long, late night drive, Wes and I began a tradition of late night jazz sessions on road trips. As of recent, I’ve found myself doing it more and more often myself. Last Monday, I had a nice three-hour stretch of road in which I let some of my favorite jazz artists drive their airy, spastic, beautiful notes straight into my skull and enrich my soul. Here are some highlights from that jazz session.
Continue reading “LxListening: All That Jazz”