Segments in this Video

Cradle of Jazz (05:04)


New Orleans is the birthplace of a musical style that represents a mixture of cultures. The military marching band influences New Orleans music and musicians begin exploring improvisation. Olu Dara demonstrates a pocket trumpet.

Kid Ory (06:30)

Jazz begins to emerge in the late-19th century; bands play in New Orleans' red light district. Trailblazers include Buddy Bolden, Joe "King" Oliver, and Ory. The New Orleans All Stars perform Ory's song "Muskrat Ramble." Jazz piano players learn from piano rolls.

Big Band Era (07:54)

The U.S. Navy closes Storyville in 1917. Many musicians move to Chicago and New York, ushering in the age of Swing. Louie Bellson, Duke Ellington's favorite drummer, performs "Tenor Time" with Don Menza, Scott Robinson, and others.

Introduction of Bebop (05:02)

Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker develop a complex style of playing that elevates the status of jazz; bop refers to tempo and harmonic progressions. Abram Wilson and Greg Osby demonstrate elements.

Mainstream Jazz (09:57)

The Newport Jazz Festival is the musical style's "natural home." George Wein, Clark Terry, and others perform Gillespie's "Birk's Works"; Terry is the first African American to play with the NBC Symphony Orchestra on "The Tonight Show."

Third Stream Jazz (06:08)

Third stream is a synthesis of jazz and classical music. Modern Jazz Quartet performs "Django"; MJQ originates in the 1950s. In the 1960s, MJQ signs with Apple Records.

Cool Jazz (04:30)

Miles Davis plays his first session in 1945 and is part of the new jazz movement. The music industry makes him a representative. Conducted by Quincy Jones, Davis and others perform "Boplicity"; he dies two months later.

Credits: Sounds of Jazz (00:40)

Credits: Sounds of Jazz

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Sounds of Jazz

Part of the Series : A Journey Through American Music
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Jazz was perhaps the first great American art form of the 20th Century. In this informative and enthralling program, award-winning actor Morgan Freeman tells the story of the first few decades of jazz, beginning at the mouth of the Mississippi in the city widely acknowledged as its birthplace, New Orleans. We follow jazz’s journey from its origins as a mixture of African, Classical European and blues ingredients; through the great Dixieland days of Louis Armstrong and King Oliver; to the swing and big band eras of Duke Ellington and Count Basie when it became the most popular music in the country. The musical trip then continues to take in the explosion of bebop and other postwar developments such as mainstream, third stream and cool jazz, and closes with footage of one of Miles Davis’s final performances. Throughout this engaging history, each style of jazz is illustrated by top-notch performances recorded at the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL210777

ISBN: 978-1-64867-927-8

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.