Jazz Episodes

2001, TV Show

Episode Detail: Swing: Pure Pleasure (1935-1937) - Jazz

"Swing: Pure Pleasure" (Part 5 of 10) recalls the years 1935 to '37, when "jazz came as close as it ever came to being America's popular music," says narrator Keith David. The reason: swing. It "unleashed forces that people didn't know existed," says critic Gary Giddins." The result: "pure physical pleasure." Swing's king: Benny Goodman, who's profiled, as is Jimmy Lunceford, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw (who's also interviewed) and Billie Holliday.

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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