Sunday, April 10, 2011

From 1944: 'Jammin' the Blues'

Featuring the great Lester Young on sax and the great Barney Kessel on guitar, among other immortals of the period. Lester's the one with the pork-pie hat who's always got a cigarette going -- it looks like he's going to burn his fingers. (But, having read about Lester, he might not have even realized it.) Barney was the only white dude there, and they kept him in the shadows a lot, sort of a role-reversal.

Dig it, kats.


Jack Jodell said...

Thanks for providing us with some real, honest jazz from the golden era, Joe. Quite a contrast between that and the sick, syrupy, sugar-coated refried R & B they call "smooth jazz" today! Give me the "rough stuff" ANYDAY over that!

Tim McGaha said...

This is awesome. Thanks.

Also: Good God, did they really wear their pants up that high back then?

Manifesto Joe said...

Hi Jack:

Yeah, I've been a jazz buff for over 35 years, and find myself going back to the period of, roughly, 1930 to the late 1960s, over and over. I'm happy that there are still people like Wynton Marsalis who play the real stuff, but there aren't enough of them. Starting in the 1970s, jazz steadily took on that predigested quality that so much of our pop culture shows now.

Hi, Tim:

Yeah, they did. The doctor who delivered me would have been in his early 20s around the time this short film was made. Even in his 40s and 50s, he still wore his pants waistline almost as high as his chest. It was a weird fashion of the time, mainly a 1930s thing that seemed to go out after WWII.