The Last of the Blue Devils (1979)
1h 30min · Documentary, Music · 1 October 1979
During Prohibition, Kansas City was wide open, and jazz was its music. Late in the 1970s, musicians of the Pendergast era gather at the union hall to play, sing, and talk. Some were part of Walter Page's Blue Devils, joined Bennie Moten's band, and stayed with Count Basie's Orchestra. Basie is on hand, as are Big Joe Turner, Jay McShann, and some of his big band. Highlights include Turner's vocals, McShann's sly piano playing, a drum clinic from Jo Jones and Baby Lovett, Jimmy Forrest solos, and remembrances of Lester Young and of how Charlie Parker got his nickname. Throughout is the Kansas City sound: cool and relaxed, blues meeting swing, an afterbeat that calls for dancing.
- Written by
Director(s): Bruce Ricker
Cast: Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, Dizzy Gillespie
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