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  • Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together
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Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This is the classic documentary by Stevenson J. Palfi featuring interviews and performances by three of New Orleans' finest piano players. It has been digitally restored for a sharp picture and clean, stereo sound.


Product Details

  • Actors: Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, Tuts Washington
  • Producers: Stevenson J. Palfi
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004X7BVU4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,001 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By William E. Donoghue on February 7, 2009
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Professor Longhair was the quintessential New Orleans pianist. Without 'fess, no Fats Domino, no Huey Smith, no Dr. John, and no James Booker in fact, no Harry Connick Jr. or Senior. 'fess described his style as "a little mambo, a little calypso and that trick that I does."
Tuts Washington was 'fess' mentor and his students included the brilliant Allen Toussaint. The three were going to present a concert together, an historic concert. It just didn't work out that way and I won't tell the full story here.
I have had copies of this video for years and loved to watch it several times each year and show it to new friends as an introduction to what a music documentary should be. Stephenson Palfi the producer and editor won 20+ awards for this documentary. He spend a decade editing it. The stream of consciousness between the interviews of all three pianists is eerie. Palfi was working on the successor to this documentary entitled "Allen Toussaint, Songwriter Unknown" when Katrina flooded his studio/home. Palfi tragically committed suicide six months later. Hew was my friend and I may be his biggest fan after Allen Toussaint.
Don't miss this one. It's the best roots music documentary ever made and features one of the few totally original musicians who transformed the world we live in.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Martin Kasdan Jr. on May 17, 2010
Format: VHS Tape
This is a classic music documentary. Long unavailable, it can now be found on DVD from Louisiana Music Factory, a great independent music store in New Orleans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joe on September 17, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The prof played a gazillion notes in his life. Too damn few were saved. I discovered his music and recordings back when he was alive, but never got the chance to hear him live. There is not a huge amount of stuff available. Now, outta nowhere, this comes up on my computer. Highly recommended. Totally unexpected. Well worth the price. If you're a fan, even more so.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Max on June 21, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary with three of the greats in the tradition of New Orleans "piano professors" is a look into the creative process as they prepare to play a concert that did not happen as planned (buy it if you want to know why - no spoilers here!). Recordings of Tuts Washington are rare, and if only to see and hear him work, the film is worthwhile (I cannot believe how long his fingers were). But there is much more: Allen Toussaint, the writer of more hits than I can name, is seen here as a young man working with two of his idols. The interaction of student with elders is a look at another era.

The eye opener for me was Professor Longhair. If you don't know the story, here it is as I have heard it: he started playing in clubs after World War II, and as he said, he had lots of work and very little pay. He quit playing. In the early 70's someone recognized him and he was coaxed into playing at the then fledgling New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. At the time the entire festival was held in Congo Square. Acts almost had to compete with each other to be heard. Few people knew who he was, so when Longhair started playing there was not much of an audience at his stage. That quickly changed - he brought the other musicians to a halt as the entire crowd was drawn to where he was. The legend began ...

Until I saw this film all I knew was the story and the recordings; I never saw him play. So all I could do was wonder how he worked - his playing is so "there" that it sounds as if he just sits down and the music happens. The film let me see how much there was to his work. No theorizing, no impossible-to-understand technical talk - just explanations and demonstrations of how to get the sound. The sound, the rhythm, the doing, and doing it right, were the point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Linderman on January 16, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have waited a decade for this to be available on DVD and it was worth the wait. GREAT GREAT GREAT and for anyone interested in New Orleans Music, essential.
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