A number of jazz documentaries, collectively labeled the Masters of American Music series, were originally broadcast in the 1980s. Until now, they were only available to the public in VHS format. Recently four of those documentaries were remastered and released as DVDs by Naxos of American, in conjunction with Medici Arts. Here are the titles: The Story of Jazz; Thelonious Monk: American Composer; Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday and Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker.
The Masters of American Music series was the first historical documentary series produced about jazz. Dispensing with critics and historians, the series featured dozens of interviews with musicians in addition to a wealth of vintage photographs and video footage. A second set documentaries from the series, due in early 2010, will profile John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan and Count Basie.
Pictured above: Thelonious Monk