Music DVDs That Beat Expectations Occasionally a music DVD comes along that exceeds expectations. Shanda, a documentary about Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, and Flow,a look at the jazz of trumpeter Terence Blanchard, go the extra mile.
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Music DVDs That Beat Expectations

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Music DVDs That Beat Expectations

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Music DVDs That Beat Expectations

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LIANE HANSEN, Host:

There are a lot of music DVDs out there, most are repackaged MTV videos or concert films. But occasionally, a title comes along that goes deep into the music. WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY's music director Ned Wharton presents a couple of them for this edition of Director's Cuts.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NED WHARTON: Shanda documents the extraordinary life of Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, a singer committed to social change through the power of song.

OLIVER MTUKUDZI: Unidentified Man: (Chanting in foreign language)

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

WHARTON: The story of "Tuku," as Mtukudzi's fans know him, is told through archival footage, interviews, and music recorded in Zimbabwe's townships and beer halls. He wrote this song, Mutavara, to encourage youth to join his country's struggle for liberation from the British in the late 1970s.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "MUTAVARA")

MTUKUDZI: Mutavara was talking about the feeling of the people. We were sort of encouraging more and more youths to go out and fight, but then you could reach really fade out. So we used programs and (unintelligible) and secured languages that people could understand, but the regime wouldn't understand.

WHARTON: Trumpeter Terence Blanchard's Grammy-nominated DVD is called "Flow."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC FROM THE ALBUM "FLOW")

WHARTON: The title refers to a mental state of supreme engagement and focus.

TERENCE BLANCHARD: Woody Shaw used to talk to me about when he would play, he would always try to free his mind and try to get out of the way of those musical idea, you know. Because sometimes as young artists, you can come to a situation and you learn something and you think, oh man, this is great, let me go on and play this, or let me deal with this particular concept because I know this is hip right now. And you may be getting in the way of your own creativity.

WHARTON: "Flow" is what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called that heightened state of mind. Watching Terence Blanchard on this DVD connect onstage with his fellow band mates shows that great jazz is what "Flow" is all about.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC FROM THE ALBUM "FLOW")

HANSEN: This is NPR News.

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