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Africana Studies: Concert Films

Concert Films

Concert Films pertaining to Africana Studies research.



Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, 1929-1941 Stars of the Cotton Club 
TV 778  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_DukeEllington.jpg From the staff:
This tape contains three short feature films of the early Ellington band. From 1929 there is the Black & Tan Fantasy which features a comedic element when two piano movers try to take Duke's piano. The band is then shown backing up dancers including an ailing dancer played by Fredi Washington. This was her first film appearance.

Symphony in Black- 1935 The Band plays this four movement suite while images of Afro American life are depicted including a young Billy Holiday singing.

Hot Chocolate- 1941 The band plays "Cottontail" and features Ben Webster on Tenor Sax and Harry Carney on Baritone Sax. This clip features Lindy-Hop style dancing as well.

Louis Armstrong: Live in '59 
DVD 3707  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_LouisArmstrong.jpg From
"The very existence of this hour-long concert, billed as perhaps the only complete Louis Armstrong show ever recorded on film, is a treat; the fact that Live in '59 is excellent both musically and technically makes it truly special. By the time of this Belgian gig, Armstrong was decades past the groundbreaking work that established him as the greatest and most influential instrumentalist and vocalist in jazz history." - Sam Graham
Coleman Hawkins: Live in '62 & '64 
DVD 3926  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_ColemanHawkins.jpg From
"Jazz Icons: Coleman Hawkins presents two incredible concerts from 1962 and 1964 featuring 140 minutes of music. Both concerts feature stellar European and American side-musicians including Harry 'Sweets' Edison on trumpet and drummer Papa Jo Jones both jazz legends in their own right. The 1962 show is a newly-discovered one-hour concert from the Adolphe Sax Festival in Belgium, which has never been seen."
Lionel Hampton: Live in '58 
DVD 3738  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_LionelHampton.jpg From
"In this splendid Belgium concert Lionel Hampton's rendition of The High and The Mighty, complete with his four-mallet introduction, reminds us that he was a superb ballad player. The irrepressible Hamp plays piano, drums, and vibes, does a little singing, and throws in some dance steps as he and his big band absolutely delight this Belgian audience. With stalwart jazz soloists such as Andy McGhee, Lou Blackburn, Bobby Plater, Wilbert Hogan, and Eddie Williams, this Hampton Band plays his mixture of jump blues, jazz, and R&B and the crowd loves it."
Ella Fitzgerald: Live in '57 & '63 
DVD 3720  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_EllaFitzgerald.jpg From
"The First Lady of Song is in top form throughout Ella Fitzgerald - Live in '57 and '63, an entry in the excellent Jazz Icons series. Will Friedwald's detailed liner notes describe the summer of 1957 as a 'traumatic' time for the singer (including an onstage attack by a mental patient and a brief, unhappy marriage), but you'd never know it from the gig in Brussels, Belgium that leads off this collection." - Sam Graham
Celebrating Bird: the Triumph of Charlie Parker 
DVD 79  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_CelebratingBird.jpg From
"This 1987 film represents the first substantial documentary devoted to virtuoso saxophonist and bebop icon Charlie Parker, whose wildly inventive style and hip charisma made him a legend well before his untimely death at 34. Parker's huge, ultimately self-destructive appetites and sad demise long ago confirmed him as a poster boy for the doomed romanticism associated with the jazz life, and arguably apotheosized in a number of the bop era's most brilliant players, but while the film doesn't ignore Parker's life as a long-term heroin addict, the portrait hews more closely to exploring his creative genesis." - Sam Sutherland
Thelonious Monk: Live in '66 
DVD 3716  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_TheloniousMonk.jpg From
"...Thelonious's flat-fingered touch, trancelike dancing (which Riley playfully mimics), fancy footwork at the keyboard, and wild choice of hats steal the show. In the 20-page liner notes,trumpeter, arranger, and Monk scholar Don Sickler encourages you to, "[t]ake this fantastic opportunity to get a better understanding of his distinct style, of the unique way he accompanies soloists, and the other idiosyncrasies that make Monk a musical treasure." - Eugene Holley, Jr.
Dizzy Gillespie: Live in '58 & '70 
DVD 3708  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_DizzyGillespie.jpg From
"Two very distinct sides of Dizzy Gillespie are on display in Live in '58 and '70, and it's a measure of the trumpeter's versatility that neither has a whole lot to do with his most famous contribution to the jazz artform--that being his 'invention' (with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and others) of bebop. Recorded in Belgium, the '58 gig finds Diz leading a quintet that also includes the redoubtable bassist Ray Brown, saxophonist Sonny Stitt, and pianist Lou Levy." - Sam Graham
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers: Live in '58 
DVD 2648  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_ArtBlakey.jpg From
"The edition of drummer Art Blakey's protean Jazz Messengers featured on this DVD had been together for just a couple of months when Live in '58 was recorded in Brussels, Belgium. As it happened, this quintet would stay together for barely half a year--but what a lineup it was, with Blakey joined by pianist Bobby Timmons, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, bassist Jymie Merritt, and the astonishing 20-year-old trumpeter Lee Morgan." - Sam Graham
Miles Davis: The Cool Jazz Sound 
DVD 2169  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_MilesDavis.jpg From
"Exemplary television program with the Miles Davis Quintet featuring John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, and including the Gil Evans Orchestra."


Son House & Bukka White 
DVD 428  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_SonHouseBukkaWhite.jpg From
"Eddie 'Son' House and Booker T. Washington 'Bukka' White were giant figures in the annals of American music. Both were passionate purveyors of their native Mississippi Delta music and of slide guitar. Both were seminal figures, not only through their association with legendary blues pioneer Charley Patton, but also in the strong influence Mississippi blues has had on this century's music from Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters, all the way to Eric Clapton."
Swing Era: Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne, Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, Ida Cox, Ethel Waters 
DVD 2348  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_SwingEra.jpg From
"Sarah Vaughan ranked with Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holiday as one of the very best female jazz singers of the past century. She was one of the first vocalists to incorporate bop phrasing into her singing, as her splendid performances."
Big Bill Broonzy and Roosevelt Sykes 
DVD 658  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_BillBroonzy.jpg From the DVD cover:
"Roosevelt Sykes was one of the greatest blues pianists of all time. In a recording career that extended over five decades, Sykes displays a mastery of performing styles from barrelhouse to stride piano, from St. Louis boogie woogie to New Orleans blues. Big Bill Broonzy is a towering and influential figure in traditional blues as a guitarist, singer and architect of early Chicago blues. Broonzy came to Chicago in the 1920s and began recording rags and hard-edged guitar blues. As blues became more urbanized, Broonzy moved with the times, retaining his spectacular guitar style and warm vocals."
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee 
DVD 1059  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_SonnyTerryBrownieMcGhee.jpg From
"Sonny Terry (1911-1986) and Brownie McGhee (1915-1996) were once ubiquitous, and as such tended to be taken for granted in the halcyon days of the 1960s blues rediscoveries. But nearly two decades have passed since the perennial team parted, and the 16 performances here remind us of this superb duo's complementary strengths..."
Devil Got My Woman: Blues at Newport 1966 
DVD 884  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_DevilGotMyWoman.jpg From the DVD cover:
"Devil Got my Woman is not, however, concert footage from Newport. Alan Lomax recreated a juke joint at Newport, stocked the bar, and let nature take its course. The resultant film footage captures the blues experience in its first and truest milieu, one in which African-American men and women drink, dance, and share their troubles and triumphs."
The American Folk Blues Festival, 1962-1966 
DVD 899-900  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_AmericanFolkBlues.jpg From
"Their concert performances (several in stagy but effective down-home settings) before a rather formal but appreciative German audience have them playing in some cool combinations (T-Bone Walker backing Memphis Slim, Otis Rush with Junior Wells), even introducing one another (Williamson on guitarist Lonnie Johnson, an elder statesman on the tour: "A very nice musician")--and all with great sound (mono, but still flawless) and visuals (in black and white). This is one for blues fans to treasure." - Sam Graham
The American Folk Blues Festival, 1962-1969. Volume 3 
DVD 1539  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_AmericanFolkBluesV3.jpg From
"If names like Skip James, Bukka White, Dr. Isaiah Ross, and Son House (all playing in the acoustic Delta style, a sound that's about as raw and real as the blues gets) ring a bell only with serious blues fans, no matter. The performances (including what's purported to be the only extant audio-video footage of harmonica legend Little Walter) are uniformly strong, and the black & white images and strikingly clear sound are once again extraordinary." - Sam Graham
Memphis Slim & Sonny Boy Williamson 
DVD 2090  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_MemphisSlimSonnyBoy.jpg From
"Pianist-singer Memphis Slim (original name: Peter Chatman) is a fine musician, certainly the more stately and clean-cut of the two; Sonny Boy Williamson, a great harmonica player and singer who was known as Aleck Ford and Rice Miller before he co-opted the name of a well-known predecessor, plays music that was more unpredictable, darker..." - Sam Graham
B.B. King 
DVD 962  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_BBKing.jpg From
"The B.B. King seen in this 30-minute, 1968 program is a far cry from the amiable patriarch who hawks burgers on TV and sits in with U2 and Eric Clapton. The current B.B. has certainly earned his legendary status, of course, but this is the real thing--a leaner, meaner bluesman, closer to his Mississippi and chitlin' circuit roots but with his trademark stinging guitar leads and bellowing vocals already well established. Joined by a drummer (the redoubtable Sonny Freeman), an organist, and two horn players, King motors through five tight, compact numbers..." - Sam Graham
Blues Masters: the Essential History of the Blues 
DVD 682  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_BluesMasters.jpg From
"Born on the plantations of the Mississippi Delta, the blues is America's roots music. Few performances of the early masters were ever captured on film, but those that were are profoundly insightful and entertaining."
Maintenance Shop Blues: Albert King 
TV 577  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_MaintenanceShopBlues.jpg From the video cover:
"A 6-foot 4-inch, 250lb giant of a man, Albert King plays giant blues which have managed to cut across the usual musical barriers and win wide acclaim. He was born in Indianola, Mississippi on April 25th, 1923 and started his musical career in 1948 as a singer with the Harmony Kings Quartet gospel group before moving to Chicago where he played drums for Jimmy Reed, Jackie Wilson and Brook Benton. Bad Luck Blues, his first record as a blues singer/guitarist, was cut in 1953."
Messin' With the Blues 
DVD 4118  Check Availability
Image:AfricanaStudies_DVDConcert_MessinWiththeBlues.jpg From
"A legendary concert featuring some of the most well known blues songs of all time. Recorded at The Montreaux Jazz Festival, in Switzerland, in 1974, this film captures on DVD some of the most influential and endearing musicians of the century including Chicago Blues legends Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells."