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The Black Big Bands
The Black Big Bands
Actors: Ann Baker, Art Blakey, Billy Eckstine, Lightnin' Hopkins, Leroy Maxey
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004     1hr 1min


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Movie Details

Actors: Ann Baker, Art Blakey, Billy Eckstine, Lightnin' Hopkins, Leroy Maxey
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Blakey, Art, Jazz
Studio: Storyville Films
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/17/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 1min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A record of great black big band music from the late '40's
J. E. Fox | New York, New York United States | 08/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is a collection of music by several of the black big bands that were around in the late 1940's, when big bands were dying and existing bands were shifting over to rhythm and blues.
But first up is Cab Calloway from 1935, playing several swinging items with his classic original band derived from the St. Louis Missourians. The numbers are well arranged and are marvelous.
Next up is Lucky Millinder from 1948. The band is still swinginng, but includes several vocals including a ballad(!) by "Bull Moose" Jackson. There are good solos by an alto player (featured but not identified) two trombonists (likewise) and several others. There is also a number or two with a backbeat- a portent of what was to come for this band. Yet now they had a good jazz policy and are wonderful to hear.
Andy Kirk is next from 1948, the year he disbanded his band, which has a unidentified personnel. He names two of the tenor players: Ray Abrams and Shirley(?) Jackson who both play very well. The band models itself on Lionel Hampton of the period (there is a "Flying Home"-like number) and is very good. Once again there are several portents of the future.
Last are numbers from the film "Rhythm in a Riff" featuring the Billy Eckstein band of 1946. Art Blakey is on drums and Gene Ammons, Frank Wess, King Kolax (from Chicago) and Billy take the soloes. Less bebop than swing but they do play Tadd Dameron's arrangement of "Our Delight". It's wonderful to have this stuff all collated together.
All in all a great package and an enjoyable hour of jazz. Portents of the future are there to people to see-for the consequences, such as what happened to Cab Calloway, find the five VHS tapes of Snader transcriptions from the early fifties such as "Basin Street Review"."