Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here

At the Jazz Band Ball - Vhs

 Unrated   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Today Only: 65% off "Scooby-Doo Where Are You! The Complete Series"
Own Scooby-Doo Where Are You! The Complete Series at a one-day special price.

Product Details


Product Description

Amazon.ca

At the Jazz Band Ball features rare, archival film clips from 1925 to 1933 that showcase a wonderful potpourri of musicians, bandleaders, singers, dancers, and entertainers that characterized the best of the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age. The range of this collection represents early 20th-century Americana, from the hometown charm of the Boswell sisters performing the jazz-scat classic "Heebie Jeebies" to the Al Jolson-like antics of Charly Wellman's take on "Alabamy Snow." Of course, jazz is the heartbeat of this pre-World War II time and it's manifested in many ways. There's the classical sophistication of Paul Whiteman's orchestra rendition of "My Ohio Home" with the young trumpet pioneer Bix Beiderbecke, and the elegant and enduring Duke Ellington swinging like mad on "Old Man Blues" with baritone saxophonist Harry Carney, and an imaginative medley consisting of "The Duke Speaks Out," the evocative "Black Beauty," and Cotton Club Stomp" in which the lovely dancer Fredi Washington--and the innovative mirror shots--steal the show.

There's also the "Empress of the Blues," Bessie Smith, with her sorrow-song version of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." But Louis Armstrong, the first major jazz improviser and vocalist, is the prince of this era, as evidenced by his down-home trumpet solos, stage charisma, and gravel-like vocals on "I Cover the Waterfront," the fast and furious "Dinah" (as seen on Ken Burns's Jazz), and "Tiger Rag." Add the dapper Dorsey Bros. Band, the tap-dance wizardry of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and Ben Burnie's burning big band treatment of the Harlem Globetrotters' theme "Sweet Georgia Brown" and you know the exuberance and artistry of this brilliant chapter in American history. --Eugene Holley Jr.

From the Back Cover

At the Jazz Band Ball brings together some of the greatest hot music, song, and dance captured at the height of the jazz age and in the early days of sound film (1925-1933). Included are some of the giants of the period in their very best early performances: Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Orchestra in clips featuring solos and a floor show, an exuberant, youthful Louis Armstrong, Harlem's "Bo Jangles" Robinson doing his famous step dance, Bessie Smith's only screen performance, a rare clip of the Boswell Sisters harmonizing on a Louis Armstrong classic, and an instrumental from the Dorsey Brothers Band with superb solos from Tommy and Jimmy. From L.A.-based Fowler Studios comes film of radio star Charlie Wellman, Tessie Maize (a featured artist at Frank Sebastian's Cotton Club) and black-faced performer Ruby Darby. Among the many other clips included is an early (1925) De Forest sound film of Ben Bernie's Orchestra in which under-appreciated reedman Jack Pettis contributes what is probably the first jazz solo on film.

And from the newreels for the week of May 18, 1928, the title card can read: JAZZ KING TEARS UP NEW OLD CONTRACT. On stroke of twelve Paul Whiteman starts his first recording for Columbia Phonograph Co.... as Paul Whiteman's Orchestra moved from Victor to Columbia Records. Long considered lost, this newsreel story contains the only appearance of jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke in a sound film as Bix stands up and plays through an ensemble brass passage. 60 minutes.

1. Get Out and Get Under the Moon (Dorsey Brothers Band) (1929)
2. Old Man Blues (Duke Ellington and His Orchestra) (1930)
3. Heebie Jeebies (Boswell Sisters) (1931)
4. Sweet Sue / Tiger Rag (dance contest with James Barton, the Harlem Lindy Hoppers, and Chick Webb's band) (1929)
5. I Cover the Waterfront / Dinah / Tiger Rag (Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra)
6. My Ohio Home (Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke) (1928) (2 transfers: 1st normal, 2nd with closeups)
7. Swanee River (Bill Robinson in his famous step dance) (1932)
8. Medley: The Duke Steps Out / Black Beauty / Cotton Club Stomp (Duke Ellington and His Orchestra with Fredi Washington) (1929)
9. Alabamy Snow (Charlie Wellman) (1930)
10. Chinatown, My Chinatown / High Society (Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra) (1931)
11. St. Louis Blues (Bessie Smith)
12. Someday Sweetheart (Tessie Maize and Her Darktown Strutters) (1930)
13. Who Is It? Who? / Tommy Christian Stomp (Tommy Christian and His Orchestra) (1928)
14. Whistle and Blow Your Blues Away / Mandy (unknown tap duet with band) (1931)
15. Sweet Georgia Brown (Ben Bernie and His Orchestra) (1925)
15. Tell the World He's Mine (Ruby Darby) (1930)


Customer Reviews

4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag; For The True Devotee March 4 2004
By TeeBee
Format:DVD
A nice selection of rare material is undercut by the presentation here. Many films have been poorly framed so that people's heads are cropped - God, it's annoying, did no one look at this before it was released? Audio is generally as good as source material permits. As for the Bix clip - yep, there he (barely) is, in the brass section, FAKING his way through "My Ohio Home" (watch his fingering, it doesn't match the arrangement, and he stops playing before the rest of the section). So this is not the "only sound film document" of Bix playing - he ain't playing. There is no tray insert with any background info or even a track list, and nothing onscreen to indicate what you're watching, so you'll need to have the box handy. Nobody went out of their way to upgrade this for DVD, that's for sure. If you have the VHS, you don't need this. Four stars for material, docked one star for presentation.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Jazz June 19 2002
Format:DVD
What would you rather watch to get a taste of German cabaret in the early '30s, Cabaret (1972) or The Blue Angel (1931)? If you answer the latter you may especially enjoy this interesting compilation that is less polished than many others, especially the big studio productions of later years.

I am especially charmed by two productions that might be at the bottom of others' lists--the dance hall performances by Tessie Maize and Ruby Darby. By modern standards, many of the dancers were too heavy and too unpolished to even point a camera at, but they let us see what an ordinary audience of their times could see, not only the numbers, but the unaffected intimacy of the piece, and their cheer and enengy.

This DVD is like discovering a treasure in a collector's attic. A must have.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding clips from the sunset of the golden age of jazz Oct. 22 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
I think this video is a must have for anyone interested in the 20's jazz world.The short but wonderful Boswell Sisters film is my favorite because I didn't know such a thing existed and I've been fascinated by their scratchy recordings for years.The films of Armstrong,Ellington,and Bessie Smith are the earliest (and only for Smith) examples of them on film.Of coures they are hot and it's the"20's Ellington sound "and LOUIS the soloist .Still I have to say it's only a faint glimmer of a world we can only view as a dream thats ended.The Ben Bernie and Tommy Christian bands are interesting examples of 20's band styles .The dancing varies from bad chorus line to totally amazing.Not every thing on this video is great or even good but if you can relate to it on its own terms its a peek through the veil to something wonderful.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag; For The True Devotee March 4 2004
By TeeBee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A nice selection of rare material is undercut by the presentation here. Many films have been poorly framed so that people's heads are cropped - God, it's annoying, did no one look at this before it was released? Audio is generally as good as source material permits. As for the Bix clip - yep, there he (barely) is, in the brass section, FAKING his way through "My Ohio Home" (watch his fingering, it doesn't match the arrangement, and he stops playing before the rest of the section). So this is not the "only sound film document" of Bix playing - he ain't playing. There is no tray insert with any background info or even a track list, and nothing onscreen to indicate what you're watching, so you'll need to have the box handy. Nobody went out of their way to upgrade this for DVD, that's for sure. If you have the VHS, you don't need this. Four stars for material, docked one star for presentation.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Jazz June 19 2002
By Paul Matus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
What would you rather watch to get a taste of German cabaret in the early '30s, Cabaret (1972) or The Blue Angel (1931)? If you answer the latter you may especially enjoy this interesting compilation that is less polished than many others, especially the big studio productions of later years.

I am especially charmed by two productions that might be at the bottom of others' lists--the dance hall performances by Tessie Maize and Ruby Darby. By modern standards, many of the dancers were too heavy and too unpolished to even point a camera at, but they let us see what an ordinary audience of their times could see, not only the numbers, but the unaffected intimacy of the piece, and their cheer and enengy.

This DVD is like discovering a treasure in a collector's attic. A must have.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Compliation-look for more May 20 2003
By J. E. Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is an excellent compilation of rare material, and it a must have for the great Boswell Sisters material, the shot of Bix in Whiteman's trumpet section (not soloing as the box says), the "dance contest" with Chick Webb's 1929 band (which released only 1 78), closeups of Duke's 1929 band-Wellman Braud, Sonny Greer, young Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges (soloing on soprano), Freddy Jenkins, Artie Whetsol, Cootie Williams...
Collectors should be warned that the version of St. Louis Blues with Bessie Smith is an edited, truncated version. So is the 1929 Duke Ellington material featuring Fredi Washington, great as all this stuff is. So for more, seek out the whole items, available on other collections.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Hard to find Swing Dance Scenes Dec 10 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
The quality of this compilation is excellent. This video has Bojangles famous "stair tapping sequence. Also, the only "Shorty George" Snowden swing dance scene in existance that was taped in 1929, which shows how the original Lindy Hop looked more like Charleston than Lindy. Plus a few other scenes of dancers such as the Cotton Club Boys, etc. Some excellent Music scenes of some famous as well as obscure bands. If you are a video collector/historian/Dancer...this is a must have video.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback