Music on Netflix

 A short conversation with a student recently revealed something I hadn't thought of.  Everybody enjoys streaming Netflix.  It's accessible, affordable, and the best way to enjoy high end, high-def blu-ray content without spending $30+ per disc.  Tons of great content, both classic and new (well, somewhat new).  It was just a few years ago you could only stream a limited selection of movies to a PC.  Now you can stream to a Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, select Android phones, and all major game consoles.  Blu-ray players and televisions now come with built-in Netflix apps, which I believe has really allowed the company to expand to where it is today.  

Now of course, who doesn't love watching an old episode of Scrubs, or an under-appreciated Coen brothers film, or a classic 80's film from their childhood?  I even caught up on five seasons of Lost before the final season.  But would you believe there is literally TONS of great musical content available on Netflix as well?  Not just 'musical' genre movies, but documentaries and live concerts as well.  Covering all sorts of musical genres; classical, jazz, rock, funk, pop, musical theater, world, contemporary, and those are just the ones I enjoy.  Isn't it amazing that we live in a world where we can go back and watch a concert filled with legendary musicians from the 70s, delivered right to your television through the interwebs?  

There's a lot to learn from watching some of the interviews in the documentaries.  I recently watched one about Charles Mingus, in which his drummer Dannie Richmond explains their first encounter and Mingus teaches him how music is a conversation between band members, and it's difficult to hold a conversation if everybody is screaming at each other.  

Another one of my favorite quotes is from a Philip Glass documentary, when the filmmaker asked Philip of his secrets.  To which Philip replied, "You get up early in the morning and you work all day. That's the only secret."

The streaming catalogue of Netflix does change from time to time, nor am I going to limit the list to streaming only movies.  Parents be advised that many of these documentaries are "not rated" and may contain objectional language.  The following list is just a sampling of some of the great musical content available on Netflix.

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

Jaco Pastorius: Live and Outrageous

Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers 

Herbie Hancock: Possibilities

Jazz Giants of the 20th Century 


Sarah Vaughan & Other Jazz Divas

The Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas 


Ray Charles with the Voices of Jubilation Choir 



The Wiz 

West Side Story 

Michael Jackson's This Is It

Soul Power

Béla Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart 

Again, this is just a mere sampling of what is available.  Got a recommendation?  Leave it in the comments below.