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,
Cab Calloway advises a train conductor to get his wife a radio so she won't step out. But she does anyway, meeting Cab at the Cotton Club. While the husband's away, Cab visits the wife at home; but there's a surprise in store for all concerned. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
A rather strange one-reeler from Paramount features Cab Calloway performing three songs (I Love a Parade, Lady with the Fan, Zaz Zuh Zaz) and while they're all terrific numbers the thing that really stands out here is the story. It starts off with Calloway on a train and receiving a telegram that the Cotton Club wants him to change the opening number so he wakes his band up and they start rehearsing. After a music number we see the conductor on the train giving his wife a radio so that she can listen to Cab but instead she goes to the club to see him. The film then presents us with another number and then it flashes back to the woman's apartment where she's now making out with Cab on the couch when her husband comes back home. As you can tell, the story is certain pre-code and I found it somewhat shocking that Paramount would show the jazz star in the arms of a married woman but perhaps this was just part of the image back in the day. Even in 2011 it's pretty brass to present the story this way but at least it keeps you entertained and it's certainly something you don't typically see from this era. The three music numbers are all extremely good but the most catchy one is certainly Lady with the Fan, which takes place at the Cotton Club. The music is extremely catchy as are the lyrics and the added visuals are just icing on the cake. Fans of Cab or these period of jazz will certainly want to check this one out.
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