In 1958, the living musicians who actually originally created Dixieland Jazz were getting old; the younger artists wanted to be identified with those masters, and an historic record needed to be made ... This is that historic recording!
Since television videotape recording simply did not exist, at the time, as a widely available reality, the Kinescope Recorder was the only way to make a permanent record of a television broadcast and to preserve historically important television events onto movie film.
This Traditional Old New Orleans Jazz Performance is just such an event, for it brings together many of the greatest living jazz artists of the time, some of whom actually originally created Dixieland Jazz, and they all play together in the same band for the first time.
Although television was in its infancy, and the kinescope primitive in comparison with modern recording methods, this film is nonetheless remarkable for innovative production, lighting, direction, and unconventional visual boldness. It is a thoroughgoing delight to anyone who can tap a toe to superbly entertaining Jazz and appreciate the enormous formative vitality and significance of this great confederation.
The kinescope recorder was a ferociously expensive and complex device which essentially used a movie camera to film the image shown on a picture tube (the kinescope). Only the national networks regularly used the kinescope recorder, and even then only for prestigious theatricals and the like, such as “Studio One.” These “kinneys,” as they were called, are the only surviving records in existence of these splendid programs from the “golden age of television.”
Of course, few local television stations even had the equipment, and those that did, such as WDSU in New Orleans (then much admired as the NBC “Rockefeller Center of the Deep South”) only used the kinescope recorder to preserve programs and events of the most monumental importance.
New Orleans is the undisputed birthplace of Dixieland Jazz, and in 1958, the living musicians who actually originally created Dixieland Jazz were getting old. It was decided to gather together as many prominent Dixieland musicians as the spacious studio could comfortably accommodate, and then just let them hoot it out for the pure joy of making the music and preserving the event permanently for all the world to see.
Minimalist (and sometimes daring) set decoration, creative lighting, and expert direction attuned to the spontaneous demands of live television come together with some of the most skilled traditional Dixieland musicians in the world to produce an unprecedented and unrehearsed jazz event. Although never before appearing all together in the same band, these folks feel and understand this music and each other in a way that only the most accomplished musicians can understand, and in a way that brings genuine enjoyment to the rest of us.
The remastered soundtrack of this performance is available on a Nobility® Collection CD.
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