Robert Altman's Jazz 34: Remembrances Of Kansas City Swing
Featuring Ron Carter, Christian McBride, Don Byron, Russell Malone, Mark Whitfield, Victor Lewis, Geri Allen, Cyrus Chestnut, James Carter, Craig Handy, and David Murray
Produced and Directed by Robert Altman
Narrated by Harry Belafonte
Music Producer: Hal Willner
Music Supervisor: Susan Jacob
Featuring: Jesse Davis, David "Fathead" Newman, Ron Carter, Christian McBride, Tyrone Clark, Don Byron, Russell Malone, Mark Whitfield, Victor Lewis, Geri Allen, Cyrus Chestnut, James Carter, Craig Handy, David Murray, Joshua Redman, Curtis Fowlkes, Clark Gayton, Olu Dara, Nicholas Payton, James Zollar, and Kevin Mahogany.
In the midst of making his film KANSAS CITY, Robert Altman decided to recreate an all-night jam session as it might have taken place in a Kansas City club during the Depression era. The city, Mr. Altman's hometown, was a magnet for great jazz musicians. Mr. Altman, who was 9 years old in 1934, places his film in the Hey Hey Club, letting the musicians rule triumphantly. The music, covering composers from Count Basie to Duke Ellington, is toe-tappingly seductive. In no time at all, it's easy to forget that this is not some archival film but a modern reinterpretation of classic jazz with enormously talented musicians of today. There is a 'battle of the saxes,' which actually took place between the legendary tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. The recreation by James Carter, Craig Handy and Joshua Redman is nothing short of thrilling. There are also calculated echoes of major musicians like the pianists Mary Lou Williams and Fats Waller. Taking a disarmingly simple idea and rounding up an outstanding group of contemporary musicians, Mr. Altman works his film magic with characteristic sophistication.
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Prince of Wails
King Porter Stomp
Lullaby of the Leaves
Pagin' the Devil
DVD-R (NTSC/ALL REGION), 75 minutes