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Masters of American Music [5 Discs] [DVD]

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Masters of American Music: Lady Day - The Many Faces of Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday is recognized as one of the greatest blues and jazz vocalists of all time. This program tells her story. Holiday's song, "Strange Fruit," a reference to the lynching of black Americans in the South, was voted the most important piece of music of the 20th century. The singer experienced firsthand the indignities of racism in her native land. She found solace in the alcohol and drugs which eventually killed her. Her music continues to thrill audiences. Many of her signature tunes are included in this documentary, such as "St. Louis Blues," "My Man," and "God Bless the Child." Archival film clips show Billie Holiday in performances in film, television, and concert appearances. Interviews with musical colleagues and friends give insight into the troubled life of this giant of American music. ~ Rose of Sharon Winter, Rovi

Masters of American Music: Sarah Vaughan - The Divine One
As the queen of the bebop, Sarah Vaughan's popularity was unmatched for several decades. Her constantly evolving vocal style insured her a place in some of the world's greatest big bands. In her mature years, Vaughan proved singers merely get better with age. Sarah Vaughan: The Divine One showcases the legendary voice in concert. Championed by Billy Eckstine, Vaughan rose quickly through the jazz ranks. Her ability to manipulate a tune earned her a reputation as one of the finest musicians of the new bebop era. In this release, she performs many of the songs that brought her fame: "Misty," "Send in the Clowns," "I've Got a Crush on You," and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Sarah Vaughan: The Divine One also features footage of interviews with those that were closest to her. ~ Sarah Ing, Rovi

Masters of American Music: The Story of Jazz
This video documents the evolution of jazz. It began in 19th century New Orleans, where the slaves first introduced the rhythms of African music. Story of Jazz follows the developement of jazz music from the blending together of African rhythms, European and American folk, and classical styles. Included are performances by: Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Willie "the Lion" Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmie Lunceford, Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, Count Bassie, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, and Sara Vaughan. Rare film clips, vintage footage, and photo's complete this indepth look at Jazz. ~ Beth Deki, Rovi

Masters of American Music: Thelonius Monk - American Composer
This look at the life and career of influential jazz musician and composer Thelonious Monk features archival footage along with interviews of jazz experts as well as those who knew the man like Billy Taylor, Randy Weston, and Thelonious Monk III. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Masters of American Music: Celebrating Bird - The Triumph of Charlie Parker
One year before the Clint Eastwood-directed Bird, Gary Giddins likewise covered the life and work of jazz great Charlie "Bird" Parker in this absorbing documentary. Rare filmclips of Parker in action on the alto and tenor sax are intertwined with the live reminiscences of his contemporaries. Among those interviewed are Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. As a bonus, we see them in performance as well (and there are many, many bonuses in this film). As the title indicates, this is a celebration of Bird's life, though one cannot help but come away from the film grieving over Parker's premature death at age 34 in 1955. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Billie Holiday
    Billie Holiday
  • Image coming soon
    Carmen McRae
  • Annie Ross
    Annie Ross
  • Image coming soon
    Buck Clayton
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.