Alto saxophonist Eric Person fires up the screen in a trio setting in Brooklyn, playing a blistering version of McCoy Tyner's Passion Dance" on the first of two hot selections. The second, a hip, backbeat version of Gibraltor" (by Freddie Hubbard), brings funk and electric keyboard to bear while Person explains his range of influences and background as a jazz instrumentalist.
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JAZZ NEWS: Historian Robin D.G. Kelley labored over the research and writing of the now celebrated biography, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Hero, for over 10 years. Jazz it Up! caught Kelley in discussion with the founder of Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, Robert O'Meally, and senior statesmen and keeper of the Monk flame, pianist Randy Weston, at a book signing in Harlem.
VINTAGE: The Oscar Peterson trio is featured playing a rousing live version of Reunion Blues," with fleet-fingered Peterson accompanied by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen.
JAZZ SPOTLIGHT: Vocalese master Jon Hendricks discusses his experience collaborating with the great pianist Art Tatum, with host Greg Thomas at the Harlem Speaks series of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In one humorous anecdote, Hendricks reveals that his hometown association with Tatum silenced a skeptical Sonny Rollins upon their first meeting. Part one of a two-part interview, to be continued in season 3.
JAZZ CAMEOS: James Moody, Benny Golson, Jonathan Batiste, and Esperanza Spalding implore viewers to Keep Swingin'!
Jazz it Up! dedicates this episode to all of the jazz artists who died in 2009, and to drummer Ed Thigpen, who passed away in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 13, 2010. (See Vintage segment for footage of Thigpen in the Oscar Peterson Trio.)
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Next on Jazz it Up!
Be on the lookout for the premiere of Season 3 of Jazz it Up!, featuring the four-time Grammy award-winning jazz song stylist Dianne Reeves, and Ben Williams, the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition winner.
About Jazz it Up!
Jazz it Up!, a production of BrownStone Digital, Inc., contains live performances, news, and discussions by emerging to established artists who play the array of styles that make jazz. Program segments are designed to engage viewers through different angles of insight into the art form. Our editing style appeals to a younger demographic through special effects, and to a mature audience as well, via syncing the edits with the transitions in the music.
This is the only online music series that incorporates: interactive streaming video; mp4 sound technology; banner and video ads; features for sharing and feedback, with a distribution model exploiting the low-cost viral nature of email. Any user of Apples iPhone can view our half-hour episodes.
Hosted by jazz writer, producer and broadcast journalist Greg Thomas, the first season of Jazz it Up! was watched by 1,000,000 people in 15 countries. Season 2 has garnered an additional 2 million + viewers, for a two-season total of over 3 million viewers. In October 2008, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Consumer Electronics Association nominated Jazz it Up! for a Global Media Award in the Outstanding Long Form Entertainment category.
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