|ICONS AMONG US
Web site: http://www.myspace.com/iconsamongus
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With Jazz constantly undergoing changes of monumental magnitude and importance, ICONS AMONG US promises to be a dynamic and engaging documentary that explores the thoughts and lives of the musicians spearheading today’s jazz front lines. Through interviews and performances from many jazz heroes, the film bears witness to the power of jazz as an art form that is alive, is vivacious and is constantly exchanging breath with other genre; in the world of jazz the future is now.
That there are few legendary artists in the 21st Century has nothing to do with contemporary artists being any less innovative; it's just that there are many independent labels producing music out there. Without extensive publicity, it's not always possible for any album sell and any musician to stand out. In the 21st Century, the music may not be moving forward in great leaps; instead, a multiplicity of artists are pushing the music forward, inch by inch. The cumulative effect of what these musicians are doing ultimately becomes massive, and one of these days these artists together will create new paradigms that are just as significant.
In the first film show, “The Quiet Revolution” shows live footage and interviews from artists ranging from Nicholas Payton and Terence Blanchard to The Bad Plus, Bugge Wesseltoft and Bill Frisell. What comes through in this episode is a call for action to
redefine what jazz is in a responsible and powerful way. With jazz never being a style with defined boundaries, it is clear that how people perceive it will change. Included in “12 Notes in Real Time” are some marvelous cross-genre clips, and what that asserts is convincingly that today's musicians aren't thinking along stylistically or culturally discrete lines. In this episode, when we watch an experiment made by Medeski, Martin and Wood in straddling the line between jazz and what some call jamband (i.e. rock band playing extended jams) style, and no longer viewing jazz as museum piece. It also means to show us how contemporary jazz can be embraced along an ever-expanding continuum.
In the second film show, “In the Spirit of Family” explores how a group mentality is created. That’s when musicians are investing emotionally by playing jazz with the deepest of their hearts, hence sharing a close familial bond. When we look back at the variety
of styles and genres that have emerged, that are rooted in jazz since its inception in New Orleans, we are glad to see that matters of race, culture, geography, gender and religion no longer matter in the music; jazz is “Everything Everywhere”. In this titled episode, Norwegian keyboardist Wesseltoft proves to those who are still doubtful that he can have a mixture of the elements of Jazz and Europe Art music because Jazz is truly global and as alive as always.
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