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Featuring spectacular archive footage, seemless performances and vivid, pivotal interviews with an extraordinary array of the most famous and infamous figures in the American jazz scene, including Armstrong, Basie, Parker, Coltrane, Monk, Charles, Holiday, Vaughan, BB King, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Billy Taylor, Carmen McRae, Charles Mingus, Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, and Ella Fitzgerald, Masters Of Jazz is the most impeccably detailed and indispensible 12 hour experience in the company of the most vibrant, innovative and incomparible artists the world has ever known.
Each film is filled with thrilling film clips of featured performers, never before seen footage, historic recordings exclusively restored for this UK release telling the epic story of 20th Century Jazz. Prolific jazz historian and producer Toby Byron has amassed critical acclaim and numerous awards for his pioneering series.
Disc 1 - Jazz Pioneers: 'Satchmo - The Life Of Louis Armstrong': The first, long overdue appraisal and exploration of the legendary trumpeter, singer and jazz pioneer who became a symbol of 20th Century American culture.
'Count Basie - Swingin' The Blues': No one was more committed to the fusion of blues than Basie who led the greatest swing band of all time for five decades, ensuring a legacy that would live forever.
Disc 2 - Jazz Innovators: 'Celebrating Bird - The Triumph Of Charlie Parker': The most significant award winning portrait of Parker's evolution of jazz from Armstrong's 20's to the peak of bebop's perfection in the 1950's.
'The World According To John Coltrane': Depicting the musical tribulations of the multi-faceted genius who repelled convention, spiriting the soundtrack of the turbulent 1960's to the airwaves of the world.
'Thelonius Monk - American Composer': Epitomising just what a jazz musician should be, the pianistic ringleader of the bebop revolution took Harlem and the music world in his 'stride' - style in the late 1950's.
Disc 3 - Vocal Legends: 'Ray Charles - The Genius Of Soul': Battling poverty and blindness, Charles' life saw him reach the ranks of musical master maintaining versatility, innovation and a crusade never less than breathtakingly assured.
'Lady Day - The Many Faces Of Billie Holiday': An award winning portrait of a legend in her time, a crusading black and female artist, reaching her peak in the 1940's, remaining the essence to jazz to this day.
'Sarah Vaughan - The Divine One': The story of the century's most glorious jazz/pop singer who manipulated her voice like an instrument, remaining a masterful artist and performer for over 50 years.
Disc 4 - A History Of Jazz: 'Bluesland - A Portrait In Music': Creative and highly visual exploration of the complexity, poetry, irony, humour, eroticism and powerful subtext of the music that underlies every popular form of the 20th Century.
'The Story Of Jazz': A rich, evocative, first hand account of how jazz developed into a constantly evolving ever enduring musical expression that has become an absorbing, vividly universal language all of it's own.