Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 
Buy New

or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Like New See details
$13.94 + $3.99 shipping
Sold by MovieMars.

or
 
   
Sell Us Your Item
For up to a $0.90 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here

Masters of American Music: Count Basie - Swingin' the Blues (2010)

Count Basie , Harry Edison , Matthew Sieg  |  NR |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

List Price: $19.99
Price: $15.96 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $4.03 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Thursday, Sept. 4? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Deal of the Week: 57% Off "Clint Eastwood: 40 Film Collection"
This week only, save 57% on "Clint Eastwood: 40 Film Collection." This series features 38 feature films and two new documentaries. The offer to own this complete series ends September 6, 2014, 11:59 pm PST. Shop now

Special Offers and Product Promotions


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Product Details

  • Actors: Count Basie, Harry Edison, Al Grey, Illinois Jacquet, Jay McShann
  • Directors: Matthew Sieg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EUROARTS
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00354XVVI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Part of the Masters of American Music television series in 1995, Count Basie: Swingin' the Blues is a short documentary about the life and musical history of the legendary bandleader Count Basie, an introductory course in the man and his musical legacy. The documentary is full of loving testimony by aged former band mates, dozens of interviews, and plenty of archival footage. Followers of the Count may find this treatment a bit introductory.

A master of simplicity and straightforward jazz piano, Count Basie's approach was minimalist and direct. He was a master of note conservation, never cluttering up his sound with two notes when one would do. This stripped-down, "one note" style of composition soon became his hallmark: an upbeat swinging sound that lead to outstanding levels of commercial success for Basie and his ever-changing orchestra. Although best known during the big band era, after the war, Basie stayed musically relevant by incorporating bebop--albeit in a more controlled and measured fashion than some musical experimentalists like Dizzy Gillespie or Charlie Parker did--personally leading the band all the way into the 1970s.

As documentaries go, this isn't the most exhaustive or authoritative take on the musician, especially not Basie as an individual or providing any insight into his personal life. Audiences can expect a showcase of talent through black-and-white performance clips of Basie and his orchestra, some brief biographical tidbits here and there, and a whole lot of old men reminiscing. A sizable hunk of the film is devoted to round table footage between surviving elderly members of Basie's orchestra, fondly discussing the band leader and his musical talent. I enjoyed the old television footage reels with Basie smoking in interviews towards the later years in his career. The man had a magnetic personality; he sat and tickled the keys casually, almost idly, sporting an ear-to-ear grin. This is a man who loved his job.

Narrated by a raspy Roscoe Lee Browne, Count Basie: Swingin' the Blues may be too short to be considered the definitive treatment of Basie. Still, the film does the best it can with the format, packing in a breakneck summary of the man's professional career spanning five decades. Basie had an amazing stable of musicians playing under his direction over the years: Harry "Sweets" Edison, Buck Clayton, Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Jimmy Rushing, Joe Williams, even the legendary Billie Holiday (for a short time).

Audio and video are relatively straightforward. It becomes immediately clear that this film aired on television; the image is soft and hazy, with washed-out black levels and grain subject to the quality of the archival footage being shown on-screen. The PCM stereo soundtrack gets the job done, with clear dialogue and a straightforward presentation. Bass response is nonexistent, but this kind of music and the recordings of the day never lent themselves very well to the low end. In all other regards this is a barebones presentation--no extras.

As good as a 60-minute documentary made for European television in the mid-nineties can reasonably be expected to be, Count Basie: Swingin' the Blues works best as a high-level overview into the successful bandleader's career and musical influence. Look elsewhere for a deeper treatment.

The Verdict Swingin'." -Adam Arseneau -- http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/countbasieswingin.php

"This documentary -- Count Basie--Swingin' The Blues - initially broadcast in 1991 as part of the Masters of American Music series, downplays the strictly biographical elements of Basie's story in favor of providing context to his immense professional accomplishments. Basie played a key role in establishing the rhythm of the 20th century, an insistent propulsion which would flourish (in a different manner) in the century's second half... The choices made by the filmmakers, whether visual, aural, or both, highlight a precise articulation of time, place, and result which serves to match the qualities of its subject. The interview subjects - including luminaries such as Illinois Jacquet, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Jay McShann, and Joe Williams - can explain not only that something was good, but why it was good. The carefully selected music excerpts are artfully placed and complement the observations... Count Basie - Swinging The Blues manages to both show and tell what refinement means in this context, and that too is some doing. This may be the best of the Masters of American Music series and should be considered highly recommended for all music lovers." -Jeff Carter -- PopMatters - July 12, 2010

Product Description

A leading musician of the swing era and an outstanding representative of the big band style, Count Basie was an eminent bandleader and jazz pianist. He led one of the most enduring swing bands of all time; no other musician was ever more committed to stomping,
shouting, swinging, jumping and dragging away the blues than Count Basie. In Swingin' the Blues, a distinguished group of Basie alumni including early band stars Harry
'Sweets' Edison, Earle Warren and Claude Williams, and later stars like Illinois Jacquet, Buddy Tate and Joe Williams lend their insights. The film is generously supported by
vintage performance footage beginning in the 1930s and master recordings of the greatest Basie sessions.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
(1)
3.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite All There February 20, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Yet another reissue of the Basie-Bennett Roulette album!!! There must be six different discs including this material on the market. This is one of the lesser offerings. Although the material included is very good, this disc does not include the entire 1959 album- it deletes the wonderful "Growing Pains," which Bennett performed accompanied only by the guitar. The extra tracks are all fairly inspired Basie offerings, but do not hail from the origianl album. A dedicated collector will want to track down a complete recording of the "Bennett Sings- Basie Swings" album, but a casual listener will find much to enjoy here.
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category