This series features full-length concerts and in-studio performances by the greatest legends of jazz, filmed all over the world from the 1950s through the 1970s. Beautifully transferred from the original masters, none of these concerts has ever been officially released on home video, and in many cases, the material was never broadcast. Performers include Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers in 1958, Chet Baker in 1964 & 1979, Count Basie in 1962, Dizzy Gillespie in 1958 & 1970, Ella Fitzgerald in 1957 and 1963, Buddy Rich in 1959, Louis Armstrong in 1959, Thelonious Monk in 1966, and Quincy Jones live in 1960.
Jazz Icons: Chet Baker features two concerts by the foremost interpreter of the West Coast school of cool jazz. Filmed in Europe 15 years apart, these two shows seen together provide an overview of Baker's illustrious career. The first show is a haunting 1964 performance in a Belgian TV studio with a quartet including long-time sidemen saxophonist Jacques Pelzer and French pianist Rene Urtreger. Songs include the Miles Davis classic, "So What," and the jazz standard "Time After Time" (a very rare rendition featuring Chet's "Cool" vocal style.) The soulful1979 set from Norway, with a trio featuring vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid, highlights the growth and maturity of this troubled but inspiring artist.