MAY PREMIERES: DOCUMENTARIES
SUNDAYS THROUGHOUT MAY AT 21:00 CEST
Every Sunday evening throughout May, Stingray DJAZZ premieres new programs at 21:00 CEST. This May, the focus is on documentary films, with special attention to jazz musicians’ profiles. The first profile is that of pianist and big band leader William 'Count' Basie, shown on May 2 at 21:00 CEST, followed one week later by that of legendary jazz vocalist Billie Holiday, on May 9 at 21:00 CEST. 'The devine one' [sic], virtuoso vocalist Sarah Vaughan, seems to exemplify an opposite approach to jazz singing – she is profiled on May 16 at 21:00 CEST. Singer, pianist, and soul pioneer Ray Charles is next on May 23 at 21:00 CEST, followed by the eccentric but no less ground-breaking jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, who is profiled on May 30 at 21:00 CEST. See it all on Stingray DJAZZ!
Count Basie - Swingin’ the Blues
SUNDAY, MAY 2 AT 21:00 CEST
No other musician was ever more committed to the proposition of stomping, shouting, swinging, jumping and dragging away the blues than Count Basie was. Basie led one of the most enduring swing bands of all time. In Count Basie - Swingin’ the Blues, a distinguished group of Basie alumni - including early band stars Harry “Sweets” Edison, Earle Warren and Claude Williams, and later stars like Illinois Jacquet, Buddy Tate and Joe Williams - lends their insights. Vintage performance footage from the 1930s onwards and master recordings of the greatest Basie sessions abound in this documentary. Basie-alumni and contemporaries, such as Harry “Sweets” Edison, Al Grey, Illinois Jacquet, Jay McShann, Buddy Tate, Earle Warren, Claude Willliams, Joe Williams, and Albert Murray, offer their first-hand perspectives.
Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday
SUNDAY, MAY 9 AT 21:00 CEST
Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday tells us the story of one of jazz’s greatest singers ever. Although Billie Holiday lived a life filled with tragedy, this documentary focuses more on her achievements as a singer and her exceptional ability to convey emotions through her voice, rather than going into detail about her drug and alcohol addictions and destructive relationships. Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday features several brilliant performances of Billie Holiday. Colleagues such as Carmen McRae, Annie Ross, Mal Waldron, Buck Clayton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, and Milt Gabler offer their first-hand perspectives.
Sarah Vaughn: The Divine One
SUNDAY, MAY 16 AT 21:00 CEST
Sarah, Sassy, 'the Divine One'… the incomparable Sarah Vaughan. Sarah Vaughan - The Divine One recounts the stellar singer's career from her beginnings at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, to her debut at the Apollo Theater and her pre-eminence in nightclubs, concert halls and jazz festivals around the world. Packed with live performances spanning her entire career, Sarah Vaughan - The Divine One offers a portrait of a woman who was professionally unparalleled. Colleagues, contemporaries and relatives, including Billy Eckstine, Roy Haynes, Joe Williams, Marty Paich, George Gaffney, Sarah's mother Ada, and her daughter Paris, offer their first-hand perspectives.
Ray Charles: Genius of Soul
SUNDAY, MAY 23 AT 21:00 CEST
“The mournful expressiveness of his voice opens a window into the human heart, it is the sound of soul, a cosmic howl that cuts through emotional canvases like a hot knife through butter.” These words of Yvonne Smith perfectly describe the incredible voice of Ray Charles. Charles, the man who combined blues, jazz, gospel and rhythm & blues creating the music that we now know as soul, can rightfully be called a genius. This documentary gives a unique overview of his turbulent life. Colleagues and contemporaries including David "Fathead" Newman, Dr. John, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Hank Crawford, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler, Billy Preston, Merry Clayton and Ray Charles, Jr. share their first-hand experiences with Ray Charles.
Thelonious Monk American Composer
SUNDAY, MAY 30 AT 21:00 CEST
The personal and conversational style documentary Thelonious Monk: American Composer was the first fully rounded portrait of Thelonious Sphere Monk, a terribly misunderstood man and musician finally given his due as a true original of American music. He was the pianistic ringleader of the bebop revolution and, after Duke Ellington, jazz’ first major composer. Appearing on the cover of Time Magazine in 1964, Monk had “arrived” as a top tier name in jazz. Monk - a most original talent - remained a highly productive musician even after thirty years of musical activity, always growing as an artist, exploring his art and extending his range. This documentary, filmed at Minton's Playhouse in New York City, includes conversations with Thelonious Monk III, Ben Riley, Billy Taylor, Orrin Keepnews and Randy Weston.