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Brecker Extras, Part V: A Chat with the Jazz Video Guy

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

Jazz journalist Bret Primack, a longtime colleague of mine who wrote for DownBeat and JazzTimes magazines during the '80s and '90s, as I did, has been chronicling the jazz scene in New York City as a videographer since 1995. A graduate of the NYU film school, where he studied with Martin Scorcese, Primack filmed the Saxophone Summit (Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano) at their premier engagement at Birdland in 2004, also conducting interviews with each of the saxophonist between sets. He became the Jazz Video Guy in March of 2006 when YouTube arrived. "To put jazz on the web," he recalled, "I needed a name that says it immediately and is easy to remember." His 7-year-old grandson suggested the name Jazz Video Guy, and it stuck.

To date, Primack has posted nearly 3000 videos on YouTube that have over fifty million views. He is currently working on a documentary film about anti-Semitism in America entitled 'They Will Not Replace Us.' The film is now in post production with a fall 2021 release. He took out time from his busy schedule to conduct and interview with me regarding my book, "Ode to a Tenor Titan: The Life and Times and Music of Michael Brecker" (Backbeat Book). We spoke for nearly two hours and Bret then divided up that spawling interview into separate segments in post-production, interspersing clips and interview footage into our conversation.

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