By EW Staff
March 31, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

Swing, Swing, Swing: Classic Big Band and Jazz Shorts

type
  • Movie
Genre

SWING, SWING, SWING: CLASSIC BIG BAND AND JAZZ SHORTS (1995, MGM/ UA, five discs, B&W, unrated, $124.98) Long before MTV, there were Vitaphone music shorts, in which movie audiences of the 1930s and ’40s could see the top bands they knew from radio and records. A whopping 45 of these shorts are jammed into this 81 2-hour collection, all complete and beautifully transferred. Beginning with the legendary Jammin’ the Blues (directed by Life photographer Gjon Mili), they provide unique looks at Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Dorsey, and dozens more. The shorts range from lavish and imaginative to prosaic and tacky, with some stickily dated racist overtones here and there; the music itself goes from sizzlingly hot (Artie Shaw’s ”Lady Be Good”) to rinky-dink (The Mound City Blue Blowers’ ”I Left My Girl on the Mountain”). Overall, though, this is an extraordinary time capsule. B+ -Roy Hemming

Swing, Swing, Swing: Classic Big Band and Jazz Shorts

type
  • Movie
Genre
mpaa
  • Unrated
Complete Coverage
  • Swing, Swing, Swing: Classic Big Band and Jazz Shorts
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