Jackie Cooper stars in this biography of jazz great Milton "Mezz" Mezzrow. An unruly youth, his parents put him in a reform school where he first encountered jazz. He eventually became a talented clarinetist and fronted his own combo during the 1920s, but when music trends moved towards big bands, he suffered a rapid decline in fortunes. Mezz endured much mental suffering during this period before being reintroduced to the public by friends like musician Gene Krupa.
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