In this all-black cast short, legendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin' with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and ... See full summary »
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,
When you see Artie Shaw in this film, it's hard to imagine that this ordinary looking guy would marry eight times--and to such women as Lana Turner and Ava Gardner! What they saw in him apparently was fleeting--and vice-versa.
This film is less a typical musical short and more like an educational film. It consists of a narrator describing the music, composition and style of a big band. It's really sad, as just hearing the Artie Shaw Orchestra would have been nice--but instead the narration makes it pretty distracting. In addition, you hear a singer (Helen Forrest)--and fortunately the narration ends as she begins to sing. But still, the narration makes the film a bit of an annoyance.
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