Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday Music Club: some jazz television series in black and white--an addition

Stars of Jazz (KABC Los Angeles 1955; ABC 1958)
Max Roach Quintet (bad edit in middle)

Julie London

Billie Holiday

The Nat King Cole Show (NBC 1956)(famously unable to get consistent national sponsorship, so NBC ran it in essence to sell Cole's records...and because they should)
with the Oscar Peterson Trio

Art Ford's Greenwich Village Party (Dumont 1957...the last Dumont network series, essentially):

Art Ford's Jazz Party (NTA Film Network of the first NTA series):
Billie Holiday:

Coleman Hawkins:

The Subject is Jazz (NBC 1958) (Gilbert Seldes and Billy Taylor, hosts)
"Early Jazz"

Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio

"The Future of Jazz"

Playboy's Penthouse (syndicated 1959) (Hugh Hefner aping Art Ford)

Playboy After Dark: two episodes of the sequel series (syndicated 1969)

Jazz Casual (NET/National Educational Television 1961) (Ralph Gleason, host)
The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

The John Coltrane Quartet

Jazz Scene USA (syndicated 1962) (Oscar Brown hosting, Steve Allen producing)
Jimmy Smith Trio

Stan Kenton Orchestra

Jazz 625 (BBC 1964) (Steve Race, host; later, Humphrey Littleton)
The Modern Jazz Quartet and Laurindo Almeida

Brubeck Quartet

The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet

The Jazz Messengers 

excerpt: The World of Lenny Bruce (unsold pilot)

Lenny Bruce, Jazz Fan by bret-primack


Rick Robinson said...

Wow, so many then. I hadn't realized. There is nothing like these now, and jazz so much less prominent.

Todd Mason said...

They tend to migrate onto the web now, but there has been the occasional notable series on broadcast, such as the public-broadcasting syndicated series LEGENDS OF JAZZ with Ramsey a decade back, now, and back in the 1990s, NBC syndication's SUNDAY NIGHT/NIGHT MUSIC and Ben Sidran's VH1 series NEW VISIONS were notable, as was FROM JUMP STREET with Oscar Brown in the '70s. And all of them better at what they did than the Ken Burns JAZZ series was at what it tried to do, and failed so badly.

When BET on Jazz (now Centric) and WorldNet (now Voice of America Television) were bestriding the coaxial, JAZZ ALLEY TV was often seen, and occasionally would get some clearance elsewhere, too.

Sadly, jazz has only sporadically been treated well on television, with the likes of CBS SUNDAY MORNING and long-gone OMNIBUS being rather good sources for the music among other things, when they got to it...

Walker Martin said...

Thanks for these clips. The Playboy Penthouse now strikes me as sort of dated and stiff. My favorites are the John Coltrane and Jimmy Smith segments.

Todd Mason said...

Hefner was always stiff on camera, though a little less so by the time of AFTER DARK. I imagine he was always happy to be stiff when he dated. You're quite welcome, Walker! Thanks for commenting.

Todd Mason said...

Managed to leave out STARS OF JAZZ, hosted by Bobby Troup. Ran for several years on KABC before going national in 1958 (only) on the network.