Video of Art Blakey with John Gilmore

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#1 Mon, 1994-08-15 09:17
Robert L. Campbell
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Video of Art Blakey with John Gilmore

Courtesy of Chris Trent, I finally got a chance to see a videotape of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers broadcasting over the BBC in the summer or fall of 1964 (it was rebroadcast by the BBC in 1990). The broadcast ran for half an hour, though Chris missed the first 5 minutes. The lineup was: Blakey (d); Lee Morgan (tp); John Gilmore (ts); John Hicks (p); Victor Sproles (b). The music is much superior to the only studio recording these guys made. Without the blandifying influence of Curtis Fuller on trombone, Gilmore gets a lot more solo space, and the band really stretches out. the opener is an uptempo hard bop number (the title must have been given on the broadcast but is missing from Chris's copy) Lament for Stacy (Morgan's ballad feature) The Egyptian (a modal number, with great Gilmore solo-- you can see how he produced those famous "hard stops"--he even goes falsetto for a short while) I Can't Get Started (John's ballad feature--very Lestorian, with a good unaccompanied cadenza) Buhaina's Delight (another good Gilmore solo) The Theme (the same little tag Miles used to use) Since there are no known films of the Arkestra in action in the early 60s this is your only chance to get a glimpse of the John Gilmore who made "Other Planes of There" and "The Magic City." In fact, everyone's in good form. Sproles has a big bandage on the back of his picking hand but it doesn't seem to have impaired his technique. I've been told that this video was commercially released in the US. Does anyone know how to get it? (Beats having it transcribed from PAL to NTSC, which is a real pain). rlc