Michael Jackson’s This Is It in HD

I’ve never been big on idol worship or celebrity; it’s my feeling you can draw inspiration from any musician as a fellow artist – it’s really the point of music. But that works both ways; for all that can be said of him, and for all that people may be suffering from Michael Jackson fatigue, the man’s talent can still be stunning.

My editor at Keyboard, Steve Fortner (via Twitter), sends along this trailer for an upcoming Michael Jackson documentary. It features some of the rehearsal footage prior to the artist’s death. You can also spot keyboardist Michael Bearden, Friend of Keyboard Magazine – who has, in turn, been featured on Keyboard TV. Check out his incredible bio. And on the same note, it’s often these lesser-known artists, the people playing next to all the famous artists everyone has heard of, who can be equally inspiring. Their sounds and musical imagination is woven into a lot of the popular music of the last half century, even if their names may not be as imprinted on people’s brains. They also typically have to have the ability to quickly sit in with artists of radically varying styles and “make it work.”

I think it’s possible to be a champion of the lesser-known or obscure without being allergic to the well-known. To do anything else would deprive you of the experience of some great musicians. And the documentary looks like it could be terrific.

  • Bynar

    I'm glad you posted this. I was one of the many that wrote MJ off for just being "wacko jacko" until his untimely death. It had been years since I listened to most of his songs that actually shaped my early music tastes. Unfortunately, we tend to take true talent for granted until it's gone. I remember my father recollecting on the death of Muddy Waters as having a similar effect on him.

  • Heheh… well, you and the rest of the planet, apparently. I think asde from the baage that came with Michael Jackson's personal strife, maybe part of what was missing was some perspective on the music. You go back and listen to the records, and you hear some new things. Some of the tunes I think fall into the background, but then you get others that can still sound fresh – maybe even more fresh.

  • It would be kind of interesting to read about how they coped with audio and video that was seemingly never meant for broadcast but now through unfortunate circumstances is incredibly valuable.

  • john z

    oh, i bet they were documenting everything at broadcast quality.

  • Michael

    OMG OMG….this is going to be the best…. its like the anticipation most went though in waiting for THRILLER when it first came out.

  • amnesia

    I was sick of MJ back in the day and I am sure sick of him now!

    I just never found MJ to be entertaining, I would much rather listen to Stockhausen, John Cage etc

    Wost thing is my son is only interested in MJ never would have hard of him if I had my way.


    Its a shame most folks dont have an open ear.

  • Everybody has different tastes, but what made MJ so influential is that he innovated in dance, songwriting, singing and visual arts (on stage and in videos). I can't think of anyone who can do that these days.

    Even for those who don't like black music, there's something to learn from this guy. These days, most indie bands are happy playing music on stage with jeans, t-shirts and zero showmanship. MJ, James Brown, Tina Turner & Freddy Mercury always went the extra mile to make their live shows into events.


  • amnesia

    I dont consider music black or white its sound.

    I love Detroit Technoe, Sun Ra, Miles Davis etc etc etc, I have never considered it black music????

    But why do you need to be a dancing twit to make music entertaining? Can you just like the music.

    Do you need a painter to dance to show you their art?

  • usedtobe

    sucks that the tv stations are going so consistently nuts and making people tired of hearing about him. i honestly can't think of any modern music that is as shamelessly pop yet undeniably rad.

    @amnesia dude. bra. chillout.

  • Bynar

    A major part of dance and pop music is dancing. I agree with NickMtl that most of these new bands sure have the look down but don't have the showmanship that Michael Jackson, James Brown, or hell even Mick Jagger had in their day. This is unfortunate because part of making music and enjoying music is feeling it!

  • @amnesia: Imaginary Landscape, Rocket No. 9, Billy Jean – beautiful thing about music is, you really don't have to choose.

  • Mike S

    lol @ amnesia

  • > oh, i bet they were documenting everything at broadcast quality.

    The TV commercial as seen in HDTV varies wildly. Some of it looks superb and other parts are full of motion and and resolution issues.

  • LSD 25

    Seems like it must have been a good gig for the musicians who had to put up with the bizzare (we are here for michael idolity) shown in this preview. For union minimum.

  • LSD: That seems highly improbable to me. A gig is generally a gig anyway, and I've heard terrific things from people who worked with Jackson. I don't know first-hand, but I would think there's a good chance they were happy to be there.