Jazz Episodes

2001, TV Show

Episode Detail: The Gift (1917-1924) - Jazz

Part 2 of 10: "The Gift (1917-24)" examines the phenomenal "jazz age" and the early careers of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. The film also profiles Armstrong mentor Joe Oliver, Willie "the Lion" Smith, Fletcher Henderson, Chicago's Austin High Gang and Paul Whiteman. But it concentrates on Ellington and, especially, Armstrong, who's seen telling Edward R. Murrow that there are only two kinds of music: "good and bad."

Episodes: Jazz (11)

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Premiered: January 08, 2001, on PBS
Rating: None
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Premise: Ken Burns' panoramic 10-part essay on `America's music.' Jazz, says narrator Keith David, is `creation on the spot.' Not so with this documentary series: It took six years to produce and featured some 500 pieces of music and 75 interviewees. The opinions of the primary one, Wynton Marsalis (billed as `senior creative consultant'), riled a number of critics. But few could dispute the genius of Burns' two key `Jazz' artists, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

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