Matthew Lurie writes from Chicago:
I just thought I’d drop a line and link to an article I wrote about Legends of Jazz for Time Out Chicago. Because Ramsey Lewis is from here (as are the rhythm section of Larry Gray, Willie Pickens, and Leon Joyce) and the show was shot here, we viewed it as our special Chi-town duty to try and address some of the problems of the show.
Did he ever. Two samples:
The younger musicians who do make it in the show (Chris Potter, Roy Hargrove and Kurt Elling) perform beneath themselves despite herculean efforts to the contrary—they can’t escape the stylistic straitjacket the producers have imposed.
The problem with Legends is that jazz, the most quintessentially spontaneous music, is treated like a still photograph of someone who’s already dead and gone.
To read all of Lurie’s review of the series, go here.