Ken Burns: Jazz

Ken Burns: Jazz

Ken Burns: Jazz

  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Release Date: 2001-01-08
  • Advisory Rating: TV-PG
  • Episodes: 10
  • iTunes Price: USD 39.99
From 23 Ratings


The story, sound, and soul of a nation come together in the most American of art forms: Jazz. Ken Burns celebrates the music's soaring achievements, from its origins in blues and ragtime through swing, bebop, and fusion. Six years in the making, this "soundbreaking" series blends 75 interviews with major artists, such as Wynton Marsalis and Dave Brubeck, and critics; more than 500 pieces of music; 2,400 still photographs; and 2,000 rare and archival film clips including performances by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and many more.


Title Time Price
1 Gumbo (Beginnings to 1917) 1:28:35 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
2 The Gift (1917 - 1924) 1:48:26 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
3 Our Language (1924 - 1929) 1:52:14 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
4 The True Welcome (1929 - 1934) 2:01:06 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
5 Swing: Pure Pleasure (1935 - 1937) 1:28:56 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
6 Swing: The Velocity of Celebration (1937 1:43:42 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
7 Dedicated to Chaos (1940 - 1945) 1:57:51 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
8 Risk (1945 - 1955) 2:04:16 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
9 The Adventure (1955-1960) 1:53:52 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes
10 A Masterpiece By Midnight (1961 - PRESEN 1:50:29 USD 4.99 Buy on iTunes



  • A Sumptuous Overview

    By iPhönner
    I love jazz. From Armstrong to Ayler, jazz isn’t just good, it’s nearly life sustaining manna! Okay, ’70’s fusion leaves me cold but nobody’s perfect. Production values of Burns’ documentary is uniformly outstanding and Keith David’s narration is second to none. Jazz icons and their work are given valuable context within the times they lived, which in turn, gives a nice sense of pace and progression from one episode to the next. The series deftly illustrates how jazz constantly strives to evolve and although not featured, one can argue an example of how today’s Jaap Blonk takes Louis Armstrong’s scat singing in new and surprisingly creative directions. Yes, justifiable criticism of Ken Burns: Jazz does exist. Sub-genres tend to get short shrift and a healthy chunk of time is given over to early Auteurs. Armstrong and Ellington’s achievements, with their initial expositions are a good example but these two also serve as a second and third narrative thread weaving throughout the music’s history. Of course, this is at the expense of other featured musicians but it does connect dots that might otherwise go unnoticed. Many viewers would like to have seen more artists make the cut and I admit that I’m no different. Even so, there is a limited amount of time Burns could spend on the subject as a whole. Perhaps my biggest quibble has to do with a personal choice that Ken was forced to make. When discovering an anecdote wasn’t actual fact, Burns elected to present the legend and retain the accepted flavor of the artist in question. How often did this take place? I don’t know. I’ll recommend Ken Burns: Jazz as a wonderful place to start for anyone interested in jazz --warts and all.
  • Motivation of the Masters

    By JazzMonkey2014
    What an extraordinary peice of work. I love it so much, it has this great way of making us think of ideas.
  • Unforgetable & Riviting!

    By iTuner48
    I saw this series on television and will never forget it. The Jazz series is an important MUST SEE for everyone. It is an important series that documents, like few other films and videos I have seen, the despicable racism African American's had to endure in the early to mid twenthieth century. It shows how racism affected Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and so many other people. TRULY UNFORGETABLE!
  • Where is Civil War?

    By 88luke
    All of Ken Burns' work is awesome, but where is the Civil War series? That is his best stuff. I-Tunes has to put this out next.
  • Dad and Me

    By LearnBiology
    I have my soon-to-be 84 year-old father over for dinner and Jazz every Monday night. This has been very informative and entertaining. Different bands and music types bring back memories for him and I get a personalized commentary along with that of the video. I really like the technical detail added by Wynton Marsalis. The website is very handy as I can look up information as we watch and it adds greatly to the experience-and I can answer my father's questions. The series has been great, especially enhanced by watching it with someone who lived and loved the music.
  • Kens Burns Jazz tells the story

    By Catdaddy68
    Ken Burns Jazz gives a good account of the music and it's beginnings. I am a second generation drummer, grew up in a house with a father that played drums and partiipated in the Central Avenue scene. There was always a jam session or rehearsal going on. What Ken Burns has put on film is what I learned from my father and his friends about the music and the times. This hopefully will help to keep my grandson interested in continuing his double bass studies. To discuss this topic in a Music History classroom, there are not enough hours. I highly reccomend all young musicians to check it out. Thanks

    By jazzfreek
    This doc. is the history of jazz according to Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Crouch and has a severe New Orleans bias.It is as though jazz never exsisted in Detroit ,Chicago and L.A. This is also a nice biography of Louis Armstrong but for a true hisory of jazz you better look elsewhere.Also, the list of jazz artists missing or hardly mentioned would fill a who's who of jazz.Tread wih caution.
  • A wondeful addition to a video libary

    By Beingfreejust4me
    This is great and it makes me happy to own a IPOD when quality program, history is availible. The price isn't bad and you can basically buy the episodes (time periods) you want. Im getting a few and trust me I just want to support this because i recorded it off PBS when it first aired. But I want to send IPOD a message that their is a demographic that would enjoy this. Thank you Itunes!
  • This film is wonderful, put together well and extremely informative

    By Skitchparks
    I got to see this film in its entirety in 2002 when it aired on PBS and thoroughly takes the viewer from the beginnings of jazz to its current state. The price isn't bad either considering the DVD set costs over $120 in stores.
  • Giving Reviews for Something You Haven't Seen

    By Saeca
    I've seen this series a few times already and it's just funny to me how many in here gave reviews without actually seeing it yet. Now to the people reading this, would you go by the reviews of people who haven't seen this yet or the people who have? Read closely. Most of the people who have seen this usually gave it a good review. My review: BUY IT!