Virtual Screening Room: Frankly Jazz: Three Preserved Episodes

Streaming Online
Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Black and white still image from Frankly Jazz

Frankly Jazz: Three Preserved Episodes

Premiering on Los Angeles’ KTLA Channel 5 in 1962, the short-lived local television series Frankly Jazz offered viewers powerhouse live performances by some of the best West Coast jazz musicians of the day. Hosted and co-produced by noted disc jockey Frank Evans (and sharing the eponymous title of his popular L.A. radio show as heard on KRHM-FM), Frankly Jazz took up where Bobby Troup’s Stars of Jazz ABC-TV series left off in 1958—providing a ‘60s-era, new frontier soundtrack to the City of Angels, with stark modern visuals to match. Recorded on black and white videotape from a bare soundstage draped in noir shadows and cigarette smoke, host Evans schooled Saturday evening television audiences on the sacred world of jazz with an unshakable, laid-back cool, effortlessly dropping deep musical knowledge and keeping it real with his hip trademark sign-off, “later.”

The Archive presents three episodes of this obscure local music TV series, as preserved from recently acquired, original 2 in. master videotapes featuring legendary artists such as Gerald Wilson, the Jazz Crusaders and Sammy Davis Jr. The performances will be introduced by jazz musician and educator Ray Briggs, Ph.D., Jazz Studies Department Chair for the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, and Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at California State University, Long Beach, where he teaches courses in jazz history and ethnomusicology.

Made possible by the John H. Mitchell Television Programming Endowment.


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Black and white still image from Frankly Jazz


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