Sunday, August 2, 2009
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC FROM BILLY TAYLOR AND DOC SEVERINSEN - RARE CLIPS OF "THE SUBJECT IS JAZZ "- NBC-TV - CIRCA 1958
Jazz is dynamic, organic, and a uniquely American art form.In 1958, the NBC Television Network decided to explore the vibrant, expressive music that had been born of the African-American experience, and which was rapidly electrifying new audiences around the globe, in a video showcase.The resultant,erudite and entertaining, B&W series was called THE SUBJECT IS JAZZ and was produced at the NBC studios in New York.
The network engaged the distinguished,social commentator Gilbert Seldes as host and enlisted piano virtuoso Billy Taylor as musical coordinator of the young mediums first, weekly series that celebrated the history and heritage, power and passion of Jazz, in all of its iterations.
Among the accomplished musicians who comprised the house band was Carl "Doc" Severinsen, who went on to play in and, later,conduct, THE TONIGHT SHOW ORCHESTRA. Billy Taylor distinguished himself serving as musical director for THE DAVID FROST SHOW and for Washington DC's Kennedy Center.Taylor also has served as a correspondent for CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING.
The public affairs show provided cerebral context for the vivid,visceral music that had become the soundtrack for the nation's brooding "beat" generation, while setting the tempo in London nightspots and the mood in Parisian coffee houses.
In an insistent display of "old school" interactivity, the limited run series offered a discography and book list, for those who wrote to a New York City post office.
Below is a rare clip of the series final episode, entitled THE FUTURE OF JAZZ. Enjoy!!!!!