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Norman Granz Presents: Duke - The Last Jam Session
Norman Granz Presents Duke - The Last Jam Session
Actors: Louis Bellson, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Ray Brown, Joan Mir
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2008     3hr 0min

This new two-disc set, the latest addition to the Norman Granz collection, brings together two of the greatest names in jazz: Duke Ellington & Ella Fitzgerald. The first disc sees Duke performing live in the South of Franc...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Louis Bellson, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Ray Brown, Joan Mir
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Ellington, Duke, Jazz, DTS
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/18/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Misleading Description
Sea Otter | Millbrae, CA United States | 05/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The description for this two disc DVD set says "the latest addition to the Norman Granz collection, brings together two of the greatest names in jazz: Duke Ellington & Ella Fitzgerald." However they do not appear together and Ella Fitzgerald only sings three songs on the entire collection (Satin Doll, Something To Live For and Jazz Samba). I bought the DVD set thinking that Ella is featured on most, if not all, of the songs on the first disc so I was initially disappointed. However Duke Ellington does put on a good performance with his orchestra on the first disc. Then when Ella finally does come on, she also puts on a good performance with her own pianist, bassist and drummer backing her along with the rest of Ellington's orchestra.

The second disc features Duke Ellington on piano with Ray Brown on bass, Joe Pass on guitar and Louis Bellson on drums working on and recording some of the tunes that ended up being on the album "Duke's Big 4". You get an insight into how Duke arranges tunes on the spot. Each player is a master of their instruments and you get lots of close up shots of them playing. I, being a bass player, especially liked the many close ups of Ray Brown playing his bass. The booklet states that the cameras were called in at the last minute and they obviously did not plan much in advance. There are many shots of the backside of Norman Granz the producer when he walks in front of the camera to talk to Duke. Also the cameras tend to focus much of the time on Duke so there are times for example when Ray Brown is taking an incredible solo and the camera moves during the solo from Ray to show Duke just comping on his piano. I would prefer the camera stay on whoever is soloing throughout the entire solo. Still, it's great to see these musicians working out the songs on this session.

I would rate this DVD collection three and a half stars due to the misleading description but since I am limited to whole stars, I gave it four."
"The Great Norman Granz Presents ... Ellington & Fitzgerald
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 05/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Eagle Rock Entertainment presents "DUKE ELLINGTON AT THE COTE D'AZUR WITH ELLA FITZGERALD & JOAN MIRO/DUKE:THE LAST JAM SESSION" --- a true gem for classic jazz enthusiasts, Norman Granz Presents Duke: The Last Jam Session --- Granz captures this unique treasure that relays the toe tapping performances of Ella and Duke at Cote D'Azur. Intended as a vehicle to promote Ella, it became a rightly shared ticket when Duke Ellington and his band were signed as accompaniment --- Filmed in 1967 at the French Rivera venue, Duke and his boys are in fine form, as portrayed in this film begins with a brief monologue from Ellington himself and then proceeds to the Cote D'Azur stage for a light-hearted yet riveting performance --- Ella Fitzgerald joins the band and sings with soulful assurance that captures the hearts of all in attendance --- Bonus features on this disc include an introduction by longtime jazz music critic and analyst, Nat Hentoff, a vintage photo gallery, and another gallery of jazz-themed pen-and-ink art from David Stone Martin.

Under the production staff of:
Jacques Muyal - Producer
Geoff Kempin - Executive Producer
Terry Shand - Executive Producer
Mark Fossitt - Production Coordinator
Claire Higgins - Production Coordinator

the cast includes:
Duke Ellington - [Performer]
Ella Fitzgerald - [Performer]
Joan Miró - [Performer]
Joe Pass - [Performer]
Ray Brown - [Performer]
Louis Bellson - [Performer]

Scene Index
Disc #1 -- Norman Granz Presents: Duke Ellington at the Cote d'Azur With Ella Fitzgerald and Joan Miro
1. Presentation by Nat Hentoff [3:59]
2. The Opener [4:28]
3. Such Sweet Thunder [3:54]
4. Medley [9:57]
5. Kinda Dukish [4:35]
6. The Shepherd [7:00]
7. The Old Circus Train Turn-Around Blues [7:25]
8. La Plus Belle Africaine [10:18]
9. Satin Doll [2:55]
10. Something to Live For [4:10]
11. Jazz Samba (So Danço Samba) [5:57]
12. Things Ain't What They Used to Be [1:00]

Disc Two presents what would become the Duke's final jam session, filmed as he recorded numbers for his record, Duke's Big 4 --- Previously unreleased footage reveals Duke and his band, The Duke Ellington Quartet (including bassist Ray Brown, guitarist Joe Pass, and scat drummer Louis Bellson) --- This is a very intimate setting as one would say, you have a fly-on-the-wall view of the legendary jazz master laying down tracks with his musicians --- As a bonus feature, you'll find an interview with Duke's bassist, Ray Brown, in Ray Brown: 25 Years Later --- Although not on this gig, remember Ray and his pianist Gene Harris, who in my estimation was one of the greats behind the keyboard.

Disc #2 -- Norman Granz Presents: Duke - The Last Jam Session
1. Opening Session [2:36]
2. The Brotherhood [6:41]
3. Just Squeeze Me [12:38]
4. Carnegie Blues [16:52]
5. The Hawk Talks [5:29]
6. Prelude to a Kiss [23:14]
7. Cotton Tail [8:45]
8. Everything But You [5:21]
9. Love You Madly [8:42]
10. Fragmented Suite for Piano and Bass [5:10]

SPECIAL FEATURES:
DISC ONE (1)
1. Nat Hentoff Presents Duke & Ella Photo Gallery
2. Portraits by David Stone Martin

DISC TWO (2)
1. Interivew with Ray Brown: 25 Years Later

Hats off to Eagle Rock Entertaiment --- strongly recommend this DVD to music lovers and all others who need to hear some great Jazz music --- Norman Granz, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, please stand up and take a bow for this well deserved rare gem you've given us --- this is a keeper!

Total Time: 180 mins on DVD ~ Eagle Rock Ent 39069 ~ (3/18/2008)"
Excellent!
Michael B. Kasteleyn | 09/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bought this DVD for my ailing Dad in The Netherlands. He's loving it and has probably replayed the whole thing several times :o)"