BET Jazz Central TV show
Executive Producer: BET Network
Location Production Team: Jesse Block & Eric Predoehl
Production period: 1994- 2000
One of the few contemporary television programs to highlight jazz music, “Jazz Central” on the BET network provided a regular forum for this great American art form. The Octalouie team provided support for this show, assembling crews for ongoing productions at their home base in San Francisco, as well as remotes from New York and New Orleans. The Octalouie team was honored to work on episodes that featured Betty Carter, Abby Lincoln, John Lee Hooker, David Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Chick Corea, Tootie Heath, Milt Jackson, Miles Perkins, Hank Ballard, Dave Ellis, Charlie Hayden, David Sanbourn, and Mal Sharpe, to name but a few.
Here’s an excerpt of the movie BROTHERLY JAZZ- The Heath Brothers, a documentary produced by Danny Scher, directed by Jesse Block.
Brotherly Jazz- The Heath Brothers” paints a vivid portrait of Philadelphia’s Heath Brothers — bassist Percy, saxophonist/composer/arranger Jimmy, and drummer Albert “Tootie” — through words and music, notably a 2004 California concert that marked one of the last times the brothers performed together. In a series of revealing interviews, the brothers tell their stories. Percy talks about his stint as a Tuskegee Airman, his bass lessons from Ray Brown, and his lengthy tenure with the Modern Jazz Quartet. Jimmy discusses the painful years he spent in prison and how he definitively turned his life around as a composer, arranger, and educator. And youngest brother “Tootie” admits that “had it not been for my older brothers, I might have gone astray and become a doctor or lawyer.”
Containing fascinating archival material about the Heaths’ family life and early professional activities as well as rarely seen footage of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and other bebop figures, Brotherly Jazz also features new interviews with key friends, admirers, and fellow musicians, including: Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock; Taj Mahal; Jack DeJohnette; Peter Jennings; Christian McBride. Brotherly Jazz makes abundantly clear that there’s a lot more to their lives than stellar musical accomplishments. Percy, Jimmy, and “Tootie” are beguiling characters, raconteurs par excellence, and beloved members of the jazz fraternity.
Todd Rundgren performed live at Maritime Hall in San Francisco in 2000, and our guy Jesse Block was given the opportunity to direct the video. Available at all the usual outlets, the DVD of this show includes such songs as I Hate My Frickin ISP, Yer Fast, Black and White, Number 1 Lowest Common Denominator, Open My Eyes, Trapped, Love in Action, Bang the Drum All Day, Temporary Insanity, Medley: Mystified/Broke Down and Busted, Buffalo Grass, and more!
Studio: Alchemedia Productions in conjunction with Image Entertainment
Director: Jesse Block
Release Date: Jun 11, 2002
Running Time: 81 Minutes
Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Executive Producer: Dave Kaplan / Surfdog Records
Associate Producer + Technical Director: Jesse Block
Production period: 2002-2003
It was a very special night in December 2002 when Dan Hicks‘ 60th birthday was celebrated in a grandiose style at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco. An all-star cast of friends, featuring various members of Dan’s past and present bands, joined their friend to celebrate with an unforgettable night of memories, stories, and magnificent music.
Octalouie principal Jesse Block was brought as associate producer & technical director for video production of this event, coordinating camera operations and technical logistics.
Octalouie principal Eric Predoehl also worked on this production, credited on the DVD as one of the live audio engineers.
The Sweetwater club in Mill Valley, California holds many sentimental memories for the Octalouie team. Brought in to document some of the great parties hosted by John Goddard of Village Music, the Octalouie team was honored to produce multi-camera videotapes of these historic musical events, beginning in 1990. Those that attended John’s legendary parties could hardly forget all the great performances by John Lee Hooker, NRBQ, Carlos Santana, Ry Cooder, Richard Berry, Little Jimmy Scott, Charles Brown, Albert Collins, Pop Staples, Ann Peebles, Blind Boys of Alabama, Carla Thomas, and many others. When Gillian Grissman decided to assemble a documentary on her father, David Grissman and old friend Jerry Garcia, she found some superb concert footage produced by the Octalouie team, and used it in her “GRATEFUL DAWG” feature documentary, which was released by Sony Pictures Classic.