Gillespie, Monk, Blakely, Fizgerald Featured In Rare Live DVDs

Rare concerts from jazz legends Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, Art Blakey, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Buddy Rich and Louis Armstrong will be released for the first time on DVD Sept. 26 via Reeling in the Years Productions and TDK Recording Media Europe S.A.

The shows were filmed in Europe between 1957-1978 both in TV studios and traditional concert venues, and in many cases, have never been broadcast, even in excerpts. They are being issued under the heading “Jazz Icons,” with distribution by Naxos of America.

Among the highlights of the first batch of titles are a 1958 show with Blakey and a lineup of his Jazz Messengers that only played together for six months, Fitzgerald concerts from 1957 in Belgium and 1963 in Sweden, Monk shows in Norway and Denmark from 1966 and two Jones concerts from 1960, featuring an 18-piece band.

Baker is featured in a 1964 performance for Belgian television and a 1979 performance in Norway, while the 1959 Armstrong show is one of his only known complete filmed performances from this era.

“From an educational standpoint this series is a gift to our culture,” Jones says. “I’m honored to be a featured part of it, but I’m more thrilled just to sit down and watch it with my grandkids.”


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