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Various Artists

America's Music Legacy - Dixieland Jazz DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Looking at the box to this series, one might assume that these DVDs are documentaries. They are not. Instead they are documents of a concert of numerous artists from the specific genre they represent. In this case that genre is Dixieland Jazz, a decidedly American musical idiom.

Al Hirt, a New Orleans jazz musician played host to the show, and that’s a better fit than on some of these shows. In addition to Hirt, we get performances from many artists, including Woody Herman and Della Reese. The performances here are strong and really give a good cross section of what Dixieland Jazz is all about. It was filmed in 1985, and has the type of video and sound characteristics one would expect from a film dating to that era. In other words, it’s good, but not up to the level of today’s videos. The quality of the performances more than make up for that, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at

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