Ken Burns: Jazz

Season 1 Episode 9

The Adventure (1956-1960)

1
Aired Unknown Jan 29, 2001 on PBS
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For jazz, the late 1950s is a period of transition when old stars like Billie Holiday and Lester Young will burn out while young talents arise to take the music in new directions. New virtuosos push the limits of bebop: saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins; jazz diva Sarah Vaughan; and the drummer Art Blakey. But the leading light of the era is Miles Davis whose lush recordings expand the jazz audience; and a cultural icon whose tough-guy charisma comes to define what's hip. As the turbulent Sixties arrive, two saxophonists take jazz into uncharted terrain. John Coltrane explodes the pop tune My Favorite Things, while Ornette Coleman challenges all conventions with a sound he calls "free jazz."moreless
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