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Title Slate: The Eleventh Hour #350. Jazz in New Jersey. Rec: 4/26/90. Dir: Andrew Wilk. The words "Stereo Dolby" flashing
Funding by announcer. Charitable orgs overlay The Eleventh Hour graphic.
Show opener to live jazz
Show opens to jazz horn musicians from The Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars performing
Hands playing piano with reflection in piano's keyboard mirror
Host Robert Lipsyte in the studio announces tonight's program about Jazz music. He announces guests including critics plus musicians from the Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars Band.
Lipsyte welcomes viewers and announces the show and himself.
Lipsyte talking to viewers about how there are many jazz clubs open in the area but jazz radio play is down - of the 52 all music stations, only 1 plays Jazz
Close up on needle arm of turntable spinning an album, jazz music is heard.
African American deejay, James Brown, from Jazz Radio 88.3 FM, speaking into mic with a very smooth sounding voice
Hand loading CD into player
Wall clock sitting on top of WBGO 88.3 FM shelf in studio
African American finger pressing button on equipment (in deejay booth)
Sound equipment, dials measuring beats and volume
African American hand moving dials on deejay keyboard
Article clipping reads: Billy Eckstine Mr. B and the Band
Turntable of record player spinning an album
Deejay James Brown, is seen picking through a shelf of CD's.
z'in on a small curved WBGO logo plaque
View of the New New Jersey skyline and river, foggy day, and crawling words across bottom of the screen read: WBGO is based in Newark and established its 24 hour jazz & news format in 1979 to support the cultural needs of the community
African American man, Thurston Briscoe, Program Director, talking with unseen unknown interviewer from the radio studio about how people are coming back to the heart of jazz.
Exterior signage Carnegie Hall - WBGO Jazz 88 and Coca Cola Salute George Wein, A benefit Concert for WBGO - rest of poster obscured by verbiages crawling across Botton of screen : "Recently the station held a benefit concert in tribute to George Wein.
Wide shot Carnegie Hall lit up at night - end of verbiage scrawl.
Jazz pianist, George Wein, on stage with handheld mic talking with unseen audience about how jazz musicians live to play music the way he wants to play music..
Wynton Marsalis, iconic jazz trumpeter performing mellow solo tune at Carnegie Hall
Close up jazz artist, George Benson, in red bow tie, talking with unseen unknown interviewer about jazz music
Clip of Benson performing singing jazz rhythms playing electric guitar
Clip George Benson performing with Jazz Singer, Joe Williams
Iconic Jazz Singer, Joe Williams speaking with unseen unknown interviewer about the sophistication of jazz and the people who enjoy it.
Clip of young Jazz guitarist, Stanley Jordan, performing on two guitars simultaneously!
An exterior red stage door light
A peek inside narrow door opening revealing a female deejay at the controls.
Hand moving dial on the deejay mixer soundboard
Female deejay from WBGO introducing jazz guitarist Stanley Gordon.
Jordan, at the radio station, with crawl along bottom of the screen reads, "10% of WBGO's programming is dedicated to on-air interviews with jazz musicians, many representing the new generation."
Female Deejay interviewing Jordan live in radio station studio. Clips of Jordan playing two guitars with one hand each.
Cut to WBGO radio deejay, James Browne, talking with unseen unknown interviewer at the radio station about the exciting new young jazz musicians on the scene today.
Clip of young jazz trumpeter, Terence Blanchard, performing live.
Sound dial pointer moving back and forth
Browne interviewing young jazz musician and trumpeter, Terence Blanchard, in radio station studio.
African American female deejay broadcasting from radio station talking into mic
Aerial New York City, with crawl "Unlike commercial radio stations, WBGO depends on listeners, grants and fund-raising for its annual budget of 1.5 millions dollars.
World Trade Center buildings with views of skyline, bridges and Hudson River. Crawl continuing.
Anna Kosof, General Manager of WBOG, talking with unseen unknown interviewer about funding for the station and the struggle
Slow pan Newark, New Jersey skyline. WBOG deejay is heard as jazz music plays.
Jazz Saxaphonist, Branford Marsalis, speaking casually indoors with unseen unknown interviewer.
Montage B&W photo stills jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker, as Marsalis narrates, nobody claps, the music is so sophisticated it goes right over their heads!
WBOG deejay spinning album on turntable.
Close up turntable needle arm on record
Back with Deejay James Browne in radio studio standing in front of rows of albums on shelves and talking with unseen interviewer about how revered Jazz is in other countries such as in Japan versus where in the "land of its birth, there is little or no interest paid to the music outside of public broadcasting outlets via radio or television.
Crawl overlays sunset shot over Newark from a distance, NYC Time Square at night. Crawl reads: "There are 300,000 listeners who tune in daily: 39% from N,J., 53% from NYC, 7% from NYS and 1% from Conn.
Browne, still talking with interviewer states, jazz at this point is a universal music appealing to people of all backgrounds, " it would be great if America would open its eyes and join in on the party".
cut to a slate with a picture of vintage yellow dial radio and microphone overlay the Manhattan skyline.
Back in The Eleventh Hour studio with Host Robert Lipsyte, he introduces his guests: Jeff Levenson, Jazz Editor of Billboard, New York Correspondent for Downbeat and co-publisher of the jazz nightlife guide Hothouse; Dan Morgenstern, Jazz Journalist, Critic & Author and Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers; Terence Blanchard, young Jazz Trumpeter and just completed the soundtrack for Spike Lee's movie, Mo Better Blues.
one jazz station in this area. Does this mean that people really aren't listening to jazz?
Terrence Blanchard 11:00
Well, I don't think that they're, they're not listening to jazz, but by choice, I think there's, there's just not enough exposure. I mean, I have a lot of friends who've never listened to the music. And they've come over to my house. And I've played records for them. I've told them who the artists were, I tried to give them a little background into the music and into the artists themselves. And they've walked away jazz, avid jazz listeners and jazz fans. So I don't think the problem is that the people really won't listen to the music, I think that they just have to hear it and be exposed to it,
Robert Lipsyte 11:33
or a commercial decision is being made, and it's not easy to sell.
Terrence Blanchard 11:36
Yeah well see, the biggest problem I see with radio is that they mislabel other music to jazz, that's the biggest problem, you know. So that creates a lot of confusion, you know, when you see other groups who play electronic music, and just because there's not a vocal on the track, so that means that that track will not be able to compete in an in another market was like Michael Jackson, or Prince or somebody like that, they have to put it someplace else where it can stand on its own. And the unfortunate side of that is that they called it jazz. So it could be in its own market. Now, what happens after that is that we we lose out the so called purist, you know, in this idiom, because people look at us and say, Well, you know, what are you doing? You're playing a nostaligic art form. And that's not necessarily the case, it's up to y'all was going
Robert Lipsyte 12:24
You're playing a classical art right. Now, meanwhile, jazz seems to be healthy in the clubs. Jeff, you're certainly know about the the clubs, that that costs money.
Jeff Leverson 12:34
The economics of the club situation are such that it's very hard for certain kinds of artists to get their music heard. New York is relatively healthy in that there are a handful of clubs, each one of which has a distinct identity, each one of which programs a particular kind of jazz, but what club owners traditionally do is they recycle artists who they know are good business who are draws, that makes it very difficult for young artists who haven't yet established themselves. And it makes it also very difficult for cutting edge artists, artists whose music is decidedly left of center, very difficult for them to get heard. And to get paid for it.
Robert Lipsyte 13:17
And and it means the audience is basically businessmen and yuppie barbarians, right?
Jeff Leverson 13:22
Well, it seems to me that all programmers of music be at the radio station managers or club owners have to walk the tightrope between honoring the the traditional, and historical. The history of music on one side and the commercial viability on the other. It's a very difficult balancing act. And too often, these programmers fall too far. On one side,
Robert Lipsyte 13:47
Dan, I have the sense that that jazz has always been in trouble and who live on their cycles in this history.
Dan Morgenstern 13:54
Well, in a way, that's very true. It's also been out of trouble a lot. I mean, there was a period when jazz was the popular music of this country, the so called Swing Era. And there's still a lot of people around who are old enough to have been around them and love that particular kind of music. And that brings to mind the fact that jazz is an enormously rich and varied music. And when we just say jazz, we mean a lot of different kinds of music. Some of that music is perhaps inaccessible, but a lot of it is by no means and inaccessible.
Robert Lipsyte 14:31
Terrence you are 28. When Dan talks about swing, is he making a connection for you? I mean, what you think about classical and traditional
Terrence Blanchard 14:38
Well of course, because the, the way I was introduced to the music, I mean, I grew up in New Orleans. So I heard a lot of traditional artists. From my father, I mean, he played Louis Armstrong and Sid Catlett all the time, and I heard a lot of musicians who really knew how to play different styles in New Orleans. Then Once I got to school, you know, they really exposed me to the evolution of the music. So that's what really, really made me understand that this music is constantly growing. It's it's still around, it hasn't gone anywhere. And it's something that we really need to take a serious look at. Because, I mean, there are a lot of great artists out there who are constantly developing a lot,
Robert Lipsyte 15:22
are we getting a good look at it? I mean, do you have a sense that it's being taught, and then it's growing?
Dan Morgenstern 15:27
Well, you can teach jazz, to an extent you can't teach talent, you either have it or you don't. There's a tremendous amount of jazz education going on. And I think the best it does is that it exposes a lot of young kids from high school on to the music, and many of them will never become professionals, but they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. One would hope and affection for that new
Robert Lipsyte 15:57
appreciation and appreciation, take it into the clubs. Is this a healthy time for jazz?
Jeff Leverson 16:02
I think essentially, it is healthy, because I think that many kinds of jazz are represented. I think that New York is a special case, of course, I don't believe that it's representative of all cities in the in the country where the planet, but it's essentially healthy. The thing that does concern me, however, is that because of the music that's being offered to people, that they're not going to get the kind of education that Dan alluded to. Jazz is very rich, and it's a big category. And you wouldn't always know that from seeing what's playing around town on any given night.
Robert Lipsyte 16:39
Because it's the same stuff talents that we hear over and over again, or because it's misnamed,
Terrence Blanchard 16:45
I think a lot of is because it's Miss named then some of the stuff that misnamed sounds the same, unfortunately. But I mean, because when you look at when you look at what's played on a radio, if somebody comes up with a particular sound that sells and there's going to be 100 Other artists who are going to go after that same sound, and it doesn't necessarily have to do anything with jazz, but they labeled it that so there could be a group of people who feel that they're really jazz lovers. And I think it's really it does a disservice to the to the listener because they can make an honest choice for themselves.
Robert Lipsyte 17:18
We have to we have to work at our jazz loving Yeah, Terrence, Jeff, Dan, thanks very much for being with us.
Interview concludes. Lipsyte thanks guests and introduces live music from the Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars. He introduces each musician by name: Joe Hellini, Trombone; Lew Tabackin, Saxophone; Byron Stripling, Trumpet; Jackie Williams, Drums; Eddie Jones, Bass; George Wein, Piano.
Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars (live)
Featuring George Wein, Founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, on piano. The band performs live in The Eleventh Hour studio.
Performance ends. Host Lipsyte leaning over piano introduces George Wein and gets his thoughts on the future of jazz.
INTERVIEW - GEORGE WEIN
the climate of health the jazzy Now, where do we go from here? Our kids coming up? Do you see what's going to happen?
George Wein 22:17
No, nobody can predict what's going to happen. Jazz is a music that just flows with the times and reflects what's happening in the world. The only thing that makes me sad about jazz sometimes is that young players don't realize that it's if jazz is an art form. And I, I'm not even sure it's an art form. Because Ellington Basse seen those people, they didn't think of jazz as an art, they were just playing their music. But if jazz is an art form, then there's a mainstream to the music. And no, no, a painter would learn how to paint before he would be abstract. And a lot of jazz musicians don't learn how the rudiments of the music before they play in an abstract way.
Robert Lipsyte 23:03
One of the problems for me as as a jazz lover was early on, I found not so much that the music was inaccessible, but that I was told that I wasn't smart enough or hip enough to get into it. And that was only until I learned that you can just listened to it and like it. Then I began to love it. How do you educate people to join
George Wein 23:26
I don't ever try to educate people, there's no way of educating people. Jazz is is like, all the good things in life. Everybody doesn't appreciate the good things in life. There's a lowest common denominator to a lot of things. But jazz is not the lowest common denominator, it may be the highest common denominator. So if jazz is a challenge, you meet the challenge,
Robert Lipsyte 23:49
that sounds pretty elitist, I thought jazz was something for people that kind of reached out and touched them.
George Wein 23:54
Opera is for people one time there they were they sang badly in the streets of Italy. And it's it's they can listen to jazz in the streets of New York. But that doesn't mean that jazz has to play down to you. You have to really relate to what's happening.
Robert Lipsyte 24:07
And what does that mean, you have to relate to what's happening. I mean
George Wein 24:11
You're asking me a lot of difficult questions.
Robert Lipsyte 24:13
If you're supposed to be a really smart guy, I mean, you can play and you can make money, which a lot of people can't do both at the same time. So I mean,
George Wein 24:21
what was the question?
Robert Lipsyte 24:22
The question is, George, how do you just kind of lay back and let jazz wash over you? How do you let it into yourself?
George Wein 24:29
Like anything else? knowledge helps enjoyment?
Robert Lipsyte 24:33
Where do you start?
George Wein 24:34
I guess you just start by saying, Well, who is Duke Ellington, who is Charlie Parker? Who is John Coltrane, these are more than just names. What do these names mean to you? And why are they famous? When you learn that? Then you can listen to the music and listen to other people that have followed these great people and learn to appreciate them. It's just like knowledge. Knowledge is a great thing.
Robert Lipsyte 24:58
Now knowledge also means access. ability question we posed early on was it seems surprising that the New York area had only one real 24 hour jazz station. What does that mean,
George Wein 25:09
doesn't seem surprising to me at all. The surprising thing is that, that we even have one. I think that's great. Jazz is not. You call it elitist? I don't think it's elitist. But it is not a music of the masses is even in its greatest day. Dan was talking about Benny Goodman in the swing craze, Guy Lombardo sold more records than Benny Goodman even in those days. But of course, Benny Goodman was playing for dancing. It was an extra approached the music fact that was great music was incidental to the fact that people were swinging a Jitterbug in all over the place.
Robert Lipsyte 25:44
George Wein, thank you very, very much for being with us. The Newport Jazz Festival all stars are going to play us into the weekend. That's the 11th hour I'm Robert Lipsyte
Lipsyte thanks Wein and introduces another performance by the Newport Jazz Festival All Stars.
The word "Jazz" spelled out with instruments on the count of four before performance begins.
Newport Jazz All-Stars (live)
Show credits overlay the All-Stars performing.
Funding by announcer. Charitable orgs overlay The Eleventh Hour graphic.
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