Segments in this Video

Jazz: America's Most Popular Music (04:44)


Bebop becomes a serious art form in the 1940s. Musicians discuss its intellectual component and modal music. Miles Davis begins his career in bebop. John Coltrane expands modality.

Free Jazz (07:45)

Ornette Coleman re-revolutionizes jazz; the musical style reflects the Civil Rights Movement. Charles Lloyd and his band combine free jazz, bebop, and post-bop; he performs "Sangam" with Zakir Hussain.

Herbie Hancock (09:45)

Herbie Hancock joins Davis' ensemble but continues creating solo albums; one track leads to jazz fusion. He performs "Cantaloupe Island." Hancock leaves the ensemble in 1968 and releases "Head Hunters."

Wayne Shorter (08:27)

Shorter is the founder of the jazz fusion group Weather Report. He performs "Smilin' Through." Shorter expresses himself through music.

Brad Mehldau (05:37)

Hancock and Shorter continue to have major roles in jazz. Mehldau is a beacon in the modern jazz scene; Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk influence his work. Mehldau performs "Unrequited."

Big Band (08:47)

Wynton Marsalis brings new life to the musical form; the past is important to the future of jazz. He and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra perform "Big Train."

Credits: Free Jazz to Future Jazz (00:44)

Credits: Free Jazz to Future Jazz

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Free Jazz to Future 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 is one of America’s great gifts to world culture. In this program, Oscar-winning actor and music enthusiast, Morgan Freeman tells the story of jazz’s varied and sometimes challenging postwar history. After the musical revolution of bebop in the 1940s there came an even more challenging style, free jazz, formulated by Ornette Coleman in the late 1950s; concurrently, John Coltrane took Miles Davis’s experiments with ‘modal jazz’ and made them his own. During the 1960s, sax-player Charles Lloyd led one of the most popular jazz combos in the world. We see him here playing with an Indian tabla player. Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, also showcased, played highly influential roles in developing ‘jazz-fusion’ in the late 1960s. Shorter, one of the true saxophone greats, co-founded Weather Report in the 1970s; while Hancock sold over a million albums with his band Headhunters, and has since been sampled by many rappers. More recently, the jazz flag has been flown by an array of musicians including pianist Brad Mehldau and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL210780

ISBN: 978-1-64867-929-2

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.