Legends of Jazz

About a month or so ago I stumbled (literally) across a PBS show called Legends of Jazz hosted by Ramsey Lewis. I was thrilled to find it and instantly added it to my recurring recordings on my DVR.

The reason I had to stumble upon it is that it is apparently only shown in HD, and although I record a lot of HD in the den, we don’t watch much HD on the set we watch the most. The series is worth seeking out if you like jazz at all.

While Ramsey Lewis is a tremenodus jazz pianist, he is by no means a great interviewer – but damn if he doesn’t try hard. Ultimately, it works, but the chit chat generally comes off as pretty stiff, unless the guest in question is particularly effusive and relaxed.

The shows are short, with an interview section and then with the guest(s) playing a song. One of the shows worth seeking out is the 2006 NEA Jazz Masters show (I kinda doubt this stuff is up in the torrentsphere, but who knows). It features Chick Corea, Ray Barretto and Tony Bennett – all of whom were chosen as 2006 NEA Jazz Masters (fyi, Ramsey Lewis has been chosen a 2007 NEA Jazz Master). At the end of the show the four of them play together and it’s just a wonderful ride. Talented cats, for sure.

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