Sunday, December 19, 2010

"America's Music Legacy - Dixieland Jazz" DVD

Looking at this uniquely American conglomeration of styles and influences, fans of Dixieland may be dismayed upon viewing this mid-80s TV showcase. As with previous editions of this series, the historical context of the genre is only briefly examined, with the bulk of the program devoted to live performances from (then-contemporary) artists (often marginally related to the genre).

Standouts here include Scotty Plummer's banjo madness, and the immortal Scatman Crothers (who some may know more from his acting in little gigs like "The Shining"), who proves he was a showman of the first order. Also included here are Della Reese (who's songs seem more Vegas than Dixieland), Al Hirt (who hosts), Gene Estes, and the New Orleans Jazz All-Star Band. As a word of caution, there's a lot of filler here, with little of lasting substance. You're better going elsewhere for a serious examination of the style. (MVD Visual)

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