A compilation of some of the finest documentary footage of jazz greats, this collection features LIFE photographer Gjon Mili's Oscar-winning short "Jammin' the Blues," documenting a 1944 jam session that took place in Hollywood, with Lester Young, Harry Edison, Illinois Jacquet, Barney Kessel, and Jo Jones participating. Also featured is Mili's follow-up, which was previously only unavailable as a Japanese film entitled "Improvisation."
Stars: It features footage of Charlie Parker miming to a recorded track of Coleman Hawkins, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, and Buddy Rich playing. The Bird's only TV appearance, where he plays with Dizzy Gillespie, is included, as well as a 1959 TV program featuring the Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and the Gil Evans Orchestra. Clips from the SOUND OF JAZZ series offer performances by the Count Basie All-Star Orchestra, Red Allen All-Stars, the Thelonious Monk Trio, Billie Holiday with Mal Waldron and the Count Basie All-Star Orchestra, the Jimmy Giuffre Three, Pee Wee Russell with the Jimmy Giuffre Quintet, the Ahmad Jamal Trio, and the Ben Webster Sextet.