Giants of Jazz

Giants of Jazz

Copenhagen 1971

DVD - 2009
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"This was one of the nearly fifty concerts performed by the so called 'Giants of Jazz', a true all-star group that toured Europe during the last few months of 1971 and the first few months of 1972. This band put an almost retired Thelonious Monk back on the road, and reunited him with Art Blakey, who had participated on some of Monk's early studio sessions."--Container notes.
Publisher: Europe : Standing Ovation, [2009].
Branch Call Number: 781.65 G434c
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 54 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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BertBailey
Jun 07, 2013

Agree with the other reviewer: this was a worldwide tour of some fame, considering the time was well past it for most small-combo jazzists, not just a European tour. Huge name that I acknowledge he has, Gillespie has never quite stood out as much as Lee Morgan and a few others for me. And for some reason I've never warmed to Sonny Stitt as I have to a good dozen more eloquent saxists; Kai Winding I don't know well enough to say -- or to compare him to Curtis Fuller. So it's a meeting of giants only insofar as Monk and Blakey are at it again: two musicians of enormous consequence for jazz in its golden age: from 55 to 65, mainly. I wonder also if I agree with the other reviewer here as to a 3/5 rating. There's some tight playing, but its more a matter of passing off solos from one to the other than anything like well-considered ensemble playing. Diz does play a mean keyboard (yes, a piano!), in his duet with bassist McKibbon: a highlight of the DVD. Another point: you just can't just throw Monk in as one additional talent in any group, however distinguished. Just doesn't seem to work a fraction as well as when it's _his_ group. He's no interchangeable keyboardist.

r
RainbowRabbit
Jan 21, 2013

This was recorded near the end of a two-month world tour which took the Giants of Jazz to Australia, Japan, Israel and Europe (Berlin, Copenhagen and then London, where the group recorded a double CD set). After the tour, Monk recorded a great set in London with Art Blakey (drums) and Al McGibbon (bass). A couple of months after their return to America, Monk went into a catatonic state, and never recorded again.
This dvd catches a great band, playing loosely but well.
At the time, Rock and Roll had pushed jazz out of public attention, so great jazz artists had to tour Europe and elsewhere to get decent attention. This tour produced a few well-loved recordings.

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