Friday, December 18, 2009

After Hours

Ellington/Smith/Taylor. Perdido

Here's a fun thing from 1969. Three players representing distinctly different styles all onstage together. There's Willie "the Lion" Smith, the old school stride merchant, who is least comfortable in this setting, Duke Ellington, swing genius (who sports a really bad greasy jazz mullet) and Billy Taylor, representing the post-bop generation. Their rhythm section is not the greatest, but this is television. It was Ernie Kovacs who said that television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done, so the rhythm section's quality corresponds inversely with the vastness of the audience. As a special bonus, you get to see a pre-Nixon-interviewing David Frost being dismissed by Ellington. Overall, it's an interesting artifact. Nobody plays really well, but they all end at the same time, so that counts as a good performance.

No comments: