Jazz Episodes

2001, TV Show

Episode Detail: Our Language (1924-1928) - Jazz

"Our Language" (Part 3 of 10) follows Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong between 1924 and '28, and profiles other notable jazzmen and women associated with the period, including Bix Beiderbecke, Sidney Bechet, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, and clarinet rivals Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw (who's interviewed). Ellington was honing his sexy "jungle music" at Harlem's Cotton Club while Armstrong was making his groundbreaking recordings with studio groups known as "Hot Fives and Sevens."

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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