Duke Ellington plays his symphonic jazz piece ('A Rhapsody of Negro Life') with his orchestra against slice-of-life background scenes. The four movements: 1) The Laborers, 2) A Triangle: ... See full summary »
Duke Ellington Orchestra,
A husband who listens to jazz instead of mopping the floor is brained with a mop by his wife; he dreams he's King of Jazzmania, a land of soapsuds where Louis Armstrong performs 'I'll Be ... See full summary »
Fanny Belle DeKnight,
Of all the musical shorts on the disc "Hollywood Rhythm: Volume One", this might be among the very best. There's just so much to like about this short chock full of the great Duke Ellington and his orchestra. One of the best thing is that unlike many of the other Black shorts of the day made by White studios (such as Paramount and Warner-Vitaphone), Ellington is a man--not a walking stereotype of what American might have wanted to see in a talented Black man. He was very well-spoken and proud and none of the silly theatrics of the time were used to demean him or his music. I also liked Ellington's version of "Stormy Weather". While Ivie Anderson's singing of the song isn't nearly as good as the famous Lena Horne version (Anderson sings with much less feeling), Ellington's version of the song is slower and more languid--and very, very good. Overall, this is a delight for anyone who loves history or great music. Well worth anyone's time...unless they have absolutely no taste.
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