When we released the first Jazz Icons™ DVD series in 2006, we didn’t know what to expect. Jazz DVDs don’t generally sell that well and vintage titles fare even worse. Needless to say, we were overwhelmed by the positive response from critics and consumers alike. Having promised more if the first series did well, we are now honored to present the second series of Jazz Icons™ DVDs: Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery and Sarah Vaughan. These seven new titles are every bit as worthy of inclusion in the elite Jazz Icons™ family as the first nine and meet all the criteria of the first series: every artist is a household name that has in some important way helped shape the history of jazz; the concerts capture the artists in their primes during an important and vital period in their careers; we have the full blessing and support of the artists or their estates; and finally, all of the side-musicians are being fairly paid.
The fact that these DVDs fill such an important void in jazz points out what a debt of gratitude we owe the European TV stations that had the original passion and foresight to film and preserve these full-length concerts. Were it not for them, an important part of American culture and heritage would have been lost forever.
No project of this magnitude can get off the ground without a great team and we’re fortunate to have one of the best: Jim Sturgeon at Naxos has become a trusted ally and champion of the entire series; Rick Eisenstein again handled the monumental task of artist and publishing clearances; Steve Scoville again worked his editing magic; our associate producer Don Sickler and consultant Hal Miller each shared their vast wealth of knowledge time and again; and finally, you, the loyal jazz lovers who bought the first series and helped us spread the word. We thank you for allowing us to do this again.
In this day and age, jazz is sadly underappreciated given its tremendous contribution to society. The International Association for Jazz Education™ is doing much to help remedy this, and we’re proud that a percentage of proceeds from each sale of the second series will go to the IAJE’s Campaign For Jazz, providing support for student scholarships, jazz advocacy and teacher training.
David Peck, Phillip Galloway & Tom Gulotta
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