Sunday, November 18, 2007

Barney Kessel Lives!

This is kind of off topic, but I'm feeling crappy today -- a pesky cold -- and this has made me feel better.



Jammin' the Blues is a 1944 short film in which several prominent jazz musicians got together for a rare filmed jam session. It features Lester Young, Red Callender, Harry Edison, Marlowe Morris, Sid Catlett, Barney Kessel, Joe Jones, John Simmons, Illinois Jacquet, Marie Bryant, Archie Savage and Garland Finney. For some, this is their only known appearance in a theatrical film. Barney Kessel is the only white performer in the film. He was seated in the shadows to shade his skin, and for closeups, his hands were stained with berry juice. Lindy Hop legends Archie Savage and Marie Bryant do the Lindy Hop (Jitterbug) on this footage. Directed by Gjon Mili and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry

Pretty amazing, no? Incidentally, Kessel also did the spooky guitar part on that Julie London clip a few posts down...

[h/t sittenpretty]

7 comments:

whiskey girl said...

Yes, very amazing! Playing music is swell! I had a gig last night and my regular drummer was in New York with his other band opening for the Silos. So, another great local drummer agreed to sit in--with no practices. It was really fun to be picked up off the ground by someone else! (And of course, my fiddle player, Jim, and bass player, Frank, who are multi-talented professionals, said after the gig, "It's great to play with a real drummer!")

Sorry you're not feeling well, steve. I look forward to you lindy-hopping me someday!

steve simels said...

WGP:

I don't know if these aged bones are up for the lindy, but if you're at EschaCon08 I'll be honored to buy you an adult beverage....

P. Drāno said...

Thanls for this, it really is superb.
A little off topic, but I had never heard of Gjon Mili, who was apparently a pioneer in "the use of photoflash to capture a sequence of actions in one photograph" (Wiki).

virgotex said...

This IS good medicine.

Kid Charlemagne said...

I have only one word for this: Swingin'!

TMink said...

When I am blue, mood or illness, I listen to some Count Basie. His light touch on the piano and the way everyone with him swings just makes me happier. Fats Waller does that too.

Good for the soul.

Trey

Finch said...

Fantastic! When I was young, I used to listen over and over again to Illinois Jacquet's riffs on Flyin' Home on Lionel Hampton's live Newport album. It made me want to put my sax away forever.