Mixed bag of early black cinema
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 02/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Jazz fans may salivate at the idea of this one. This juxtaposition of jivers Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Jordan sounds unbeatable-BUT.....
"Jivin in Bebop" has no framing device (a'la "Killer Diller" or "Boardinghouse Blues."). This is a straight filmed vaudeville show with Diz emceeing with a rather unfunny comedy partner. Aisde from a few nice tunes and a still-sexy "shake dancer" (actually quite classy compared to the video rumpmistresses of today), nothing to write home about.
On the other hand, the super lunatic madman surpeme, sultan of saxophone and storytelling, and Grandfather of Soul Louis Thomas Jordan really shines in BEWARE! In what was one of the first films set on a black college campus, our man returns to his alma mater to save it from the clutches of a crooked president (the "School Daze" of the 1940s). Our man and his Tympani Five really jazz up the jokes and jive here, and if you could stand the wear on the print, you are in for a treat as Jordan & co. perform some really great renditions of their early hits. The dance number "Long Legged Lizzie" and the wild performance of the title song are almost wirth the price of admission alone! It would do well if the folsk at Alpha video would pair this with LJ's other filmed masterpiece LOOK OUT SISTER (1948-the film that inspired a young James Brown's direction in life). But that's available elsewhere.
With that said, enjoy the latter film and see the first one once or for Dizzy's performances."