As pleased as we all were with Ken's monumental documentary, in that it got a lot of people talking about jazz who wouldn't otherwise, there is the general sense in the jazz community (located off I-64, near the Cracker Barrel) that Jazz may have missed the mark a little when it comes to a complete and thorough examination of the music and those who created and prospered it. In fact, out of the entire twenty hour documentary, I came away with only three salient points:
- Apparently, Louis Armstrong was very important.
- There was a time when black folks weren't particularly well-liked in this country.
- Duke Ellington.
First and foremost would be a personal complaint, the oversight of Johnny Hartman. His luxurious baritone is perhaps one of the finest vocal instruments in the history of jazz. Woefully under-recorded (his voice was so smooth, it slid right off of most vinyl records. Advances in digital recording came too late, as Hartman died in 1983), his best work came with John Coltrane on the classic album John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. To this day, Hartman's voice has an almost mystical seductive effect on women. Give me a bottle of wine and a Johnny Hartman record, and I could get k.d. lang's bra off (and then put it right back on, because I'm just trying to prove a point).
Yes, in case you were wondering, he does have a column titled, Pianist Enlargement.