Friday, May 7, 2010
Icons Among Us: Jazz In The Present Tense
I received a brilliant DVD in the mail this week - a great documentary recently released entitled "Icons Among Us: Jazz In The Present Tense". This documentary is an examination of the state of Jazz music in today's terms as expressed by artists who are currently active and pushing this music forward. Lots of candid opinions and passionate statements from a diverse group of Jazz artists who are leading the charge.
Now, I always contended that there was lots of great information to be found in Ken Burn's PBS documentary series "Jazz" from a few years ago but that it was really about ten episodes too short (!) having glossed over too much important music that was made in the 60s through the 80s and didn't address the dynamic music being made today.
Fortunately, I think this new documentary really fills a much needed void. While it did offer many honest opinions about the challenging current status of Jazz music today, overall I felt a positive message prevailed that this music is indeed alive and moving forward. A nice break from a lot of the doom and gloom, "Jazz is dead" type of messages that so often frequent the press....not that there aren't more than a few hardline statements made in this piece. But they are well grounded statements and I feel that the arguments are balanced and an overall positive message is conveyed.
I would highly recommend this documentary to anyone who is interested playing Jazz today, in the present tense.
Here is a trailer to wet your appetite:
And you can learn more about this great documentary here: