I purchased my first "hi-fi" VCR just to record this show. I watched every episode in amazement at the diversity and unexpected musical pairings that were presented. Some didn't work particularly well, some seemed a bit forced, if you know what I mean - but the unforgettable moments far outshone all the rest.
I hadn't heard of many of the artists when this show first aired, but that is precisely what I loved about it. Never knew what to expect. Jazz, reggae, blues, funk, avant-garde performance pieces - all on the same night! Famous musicians, up-and-coming bands, obscure and never- heard-from again acts. Sun-Ra! The Chili Peppers, with Flea resplendent in his teddy bear pants - what the hell?! Screamin' Jay Hawkins! Sonny Rollins and Leonard Cohen! Some people dressed in costumes wandering around the stage smashing cymbals... huh? Bootsy Collins - "Dave Got the Funk! He got the Funk - - Yah!" All presented with reverence, humour and a great laid-back style by David Sanborne, who often participated with the acts in some memorable collaborations.
This is what TV COULD be. I would like to think that there is a place for quality Arts programming like this among all the lame sitcoms and insipid talk shows that make up the bulk of TV. A small (ratings) place, perhaps - - but a place. It must have been incredibly difficult to produce this show. I couldn't believe it was not renewed after two short seasons. I can't see how it could be released on DVD, so many record companies, publishers, such a varied palette of talent - many of whom are now deceased. A legal nightmare, I'm guessing.
More's the pity...
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