The leader of one of the most popular combos in jazz during the Fifties and early Sixties, the blind George Shearing (b. 1919) was reputed for his mastery at the piano,which led him to perform alongside Oscar Pettiford, Peggy Lee, Wes Montgomery, Mel Tormé or Jim Hall to mention a few. Besides gathering different clips and soundies featuring the great George Shearing and his combo, this video includes additional numbers showcasing what we could term Fifties Swingers: Mel Tormé, the Slam Stewart Trio, Slim Gaillard, the Bobcats, and others. In all, a splendid compilation.
Outstanding Collection of the hottest numbes in the Golden Age of Big Bands: Artie Shaw & His Orchestra, Art Tatum All Stars with Tommy Dorsey, Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Stan Kenton & His Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra & others.
Artie Shaw - One of jazz's finest clarinetists, Artie Shaw never seemed fully satisfied with his musical life, constantly breaking up successful bands and running away from success.
Duke Ellington In Hollywood is a wonderfully entertaining and nostalgic collection of scenes from Ellington's movie appearances, loaded with equal parts stellar playing and amusingly bad acting from just about all concerned. Beginning with The Duke's first film appearance, 1929's Black and Tan, Ellington's acting limitations are masked by the louder bad acting of others, like the over-the-top performance from dancer Fredi Washington, whose death scene just dragged on and on.
One of the most beloved vocalists of the past century, Dinah Washington (1924-1963) was justly celebrated for her very personal singing style that was at home in all types of music, be it blues, jazz, R&B or pop. In this respect, she was gifted with an unmistakable salty, high-pitched voice that was perfect for her complete clarity of fiction and her phrasing with strong roots in the blues. An artist who led a very turbulent personal life, Dinah Washington was known for her no-nonsense, unsentimental, yet always moving renditions centred on the universal subject of lost love.
The great John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917-1993) was more than just one of the best jazz trumpeters of all time. A superlative musician of dazzling, astonishing technique, Gillespie was one of the key founders of the BeBop movement of the forties, to the point that his goatee, beret and "bop glasses" came to epitomize the new, revolutionary style. One of the masters of the Bop idiom, Gillespie also was the first jazzman to seriously experiment with Afro-Cuban rhythms, the leader of two of the most exciting big bands in history, a composer of note, a masterful showman onstage, and an enthusiastic, quick-witted personality off it. In many respects, Diz - as he was universally known - showed the way to every post-war trumpeter in the jazz field.