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Billy Eckstine Sings & Dizzy Gillespie Swings
Billy Eckstine Sings Dizzy Gillespie Swings
Actors: Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004     0hr 50min

These two Jazz Giants pioneered the transition from swing to be-bop in the big band era. Song include "Salt Peanuts", "One Bass Hit", "OOP Bop Shibam", "Our delight", "2nd Balcony Jump", Rhythm in a Riff" and many more. B...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Gillespie, Dizzy, Jazz
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/24/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 0hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

So this is why jazz doesn't sell...
souldrummer | Washington, DC United States | 02/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I've been viewing and reviewing this DVD quite a bit over the last few days. My elderly grandmother received this as a gift from a friend, and as a jazz head, I wanted to watch these two masters at work in original concert footage.

This DVD is really no frills. It's basically about 2-5 minutes of documentary footage narrated by folks who I believe are from Britt's Big Band. After that it's a few film footage tracks by vocalist Billy Eckstine and several tracks by Dizzy Gillespie's big band. Not much in the way of liner notes. Just the music. It's basically a window into what it would have been like to be a young person in this time frame.

The audience for this is strictly people who have a heavy interest in jazz. If you're not as into jazz, you would probably be better served by making an investment in something like Ken Burns Jazz first, a product that is more tailored toward a popular audience.

I was blessed by this because I didn't realize how a much of a *show* big band jazz was. There's much more to this than music. There's tap dancing, flamboyant conducting in the Cab Calloway tradition, and even comic introductions for the Dizzy Gillespie tunes. Watching things like this, I can see why jazz doesn't sell well today. Jazz currently takes itself so seriously that it doesn't make a great effort to provide some visual hooks to get the people to watch and come back.

I would have to see more special features and subtitles for the soloists to give this five stars. I'm a drummer. I know that I'm watching rare big band footage of Art Blakey backing up the Billy Eckstine band on the first half of this, but most folks will just focus on Mr. B himself and will miss a lot of the great musicianship that is supporting him.

I could write about this for days. Watching this with my grandmother triggered some amazing stories about what it was like for her growing up and living through this amazing period in Black Music.

--4 stars

The real swinger: a big surprise from Billy and Dizzy + thei
Carlos from Rio | Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brazil | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is something misleading in this DVD title because, in fact, Billy Ekstine swings and sings while Dizzy Gillespie also swings and sings.

Both masters show in front of their big bands, both real swingers with the typical repertoire from their times plus some dance and humor scats.

Yes Dizzy Gillespie does sing as he leads his band and also plays the trumpet. Also Ekstine does play his trombone and conducts his band besides his quite brilliant singing.

Helen Humes sings one song with the Dizzy Gillespie's band: a must.