Is there a DVD with classic jazz performances?
March 3, 2011 11:51 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to show black-and-white footage of jazz performances during a party. Is there a DVD of classic jazz performances I can play, or is there some way I can make use of short youtube videos without having to sit at my computer and select different videos all night?

I'm planning a jazz-themed party, and think it would be great to have black-and-white footage of jazz performances playing on a screen to help set the scene. Most documentaries splice performance footage with interviews and other stuff, but I'm looking for uninterrupted performances. Sound quality isn't important as it will most likely be on mute in the background. Ideally there's some DVD out there that has black-and-white footage of a bunch of different performances, but I'd be happy with just one long-ish performance as well.

Does such a DVD exist? If not, how else can I make this happen? There are a lot of great clips on Youtube, but I would really like to have something I don't have to babysit all night.
posted by lilac girl to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can add the clips to a YouTube Queue, and then play the whole queue without any intervention between clips. This works in fullscreen mode, too.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:06 PM on March 3, 2011

This is 60 minutes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Paul Chambers, and the Bill Evans Orchestra in 1959. It's cool as hell, and exactly the aesthetic I think you are going for. But, yeah, it's just the one performance and is only an hour.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ken Burns' Jazz is what you are looking for though the DVD will cost you $50.
posted by TheRaven at 12:18 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Sound of Jazz (1957) is a pretty straight-ahead B&W documentation of performances from, among others, Count Basie, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, and Thelonious Monk. The Holiday and Young pieces are particularly great. Available on Amazon for $13.49 new.
posted by googly at 12:45 PM on March 3, 2011

The are some great bits in the classic jazz film The Glenn Miller Story.
It is not black and white - it is early color. But it is a great jazz film.
posted by Flood at 1:23 PM on March 3, 2011

Not B&W, but Jazz on a Summer's Day is mostly live footage from the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958, and it's just beautiful.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:07 PM on March 3, 2011

Jazz Classic and Jazz Scene USA are two old b&w tv shows that consisted mostly, but not quite entirely, of live performances. Both are on DVD.

And I hate to disagree, but Ken Burns' Jazz is what you're looking for. In the Burns style, it's more still photos and talking heads and less live performance.
posted by box at 6:07 PM on March 3, 2011

Oops, that was supposed to be 'I don't think Ken Burns Jazz is what you're looking for.'
posted by box at 6:11 PM on March 3, 2011

Response by poster: I ultimately went with The Sound of Jazz. It was almost exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for all the help!
posted by lilac girl at 8:58 AM on April 10, 2011

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