Monterey Jazz Festival
Executive Producer: Monterey Jazz Festival, McCune Audio Video
Director: Jesse Block & Eric Predoehl
Production period: 2002- current
If you’ve attended any of the Monterey Jazz Festivals in the past few years, you’ve probably seen some of Jesse’s work, as he’s been directing television for the big screen there since 2002, which included some unforgetable performances by Sonny Rollins, David Brubeck, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock and Ornette Coleman, to name but a few.
Here’s a little web-advertisement Jesse produced for the Monterey Jazz Festival to promote a special performance…
In 1965, John Handy recorded an album that inspired an ocean of adjectives by jazz writers all over the world. “Live at Monterey” was the album that drew overwhelming praise for alto saxophonist John Handy and a quintet that included violinist Michael White, guitarist Jerry Hahn, bassist Don Thompson, and drummer Terry Clarke. Some 30 years later, the band reunited at a special performance at the Storyville nightclub in San Francisco, and Octalouie producer Jesse Block decided to use this moment as a focal point for a new music documentary. As a superb musical performance captured with multiple camera angles, digital multi-track audio, and insightful interviews with the band members, this program promises to be yet another amazing addition to the archives of recorded music.
Larry Coryell & Bombay Jazz – Live at Yoshi’s, San Francisco
Produced & Directed by Jesse Block (self-financed)
Larry Coryell has been called a lot of things in his illustrious career, including the phrase “Guitar God” by more than a few people. Dan Ouellette of Down Beat Magazine once called him “the Godfather of Fusion.” With over 75 albums to his credit and 40 years as a bandleader, Larry took on another musical direction recently when he embarked on his Bombay Jazz ensemble, combining traditional Indian musical instrumentation to compliment his guitar fusion playing. Recognizing that this particular ensemble needed to be captured for posterity, Octalouie principal Jesse Block decided to take upon himself to produce a multi-cam production of this special group, so he did. Fellow Octalouie principal Eric Predoehl joined along on the project, providing camera work and some assistance with the interview, including some special questions about a certain Northwest musical phenomenon during the early 1960s, which Larry participated in.
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.