PORTRAIT OF PEE WEE RUSSELL/BABY LAURENCE: JAZZ HOOFER
Pee Wee Russell/Baby Laurence
Pee Wee Russell was a legendary clarinetist whose music spanned the history of jazz. He played with a range of musicians from traditionalists Jack Teagarden, Louis Prima, Eddie Condon and Bobby Hackett to modernists like Jimmy Giuffre and Thelonious Monk. Starting in late 1965, I started filming Pee Wee painting as he did at home, in the living room overlooking New York's Eighth Avenue. It was this location which he also memorialized in his jazz composition "28th and 8th." This filming in 16mm color continued into 1967, over the course of his painting approximately 12 major works. During this time I also audiotaped Pee Wee's reminiscences, including his life in Oklahoma, the early music scene from Chicago to New York, and his drinking acquaintance with painter Jackson Pollock. Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, serves as commentator and supplemented my historic footage with images from the Institute's archive and collection of Pee Wee's paintings, allowing me to bring the breadth of Pee Wee's creativity to a larger audience.
JAZZ HOOFER records the bebop dance style and life of one of the great old tap dancers, Baby Laurence, who "led tap into its last creative phase" (Marshall Stearns, JAZZ DANCE). "His legs and feet were speed and thunder and surprise" (THE NEW YORKER). In addition to performances of his unique style, we are also treated to a vivid history of tap with demonstrations of the steps used by other great tap dancers: King Rastus Brown, Bill Robinson and John Bubbles. Unusual film clips of Charlie Parker and Art Tatum illustrate the music that inspired the one-of-a-kind tap-dancing legend.
NOTE: THIS IS A DOUBLE-SIDED DISC WITH NTSC FORMAT ON ONE SIDE AND PAL (EUROPEAN) ON THE OTHER. THIS IS ALL-REGION AND WILL PLAY ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
DVD (NTSC/PAL - ALL REGION
Pee Wee Russell, Louis Prima, Eddie Condon, Dan Morgenstern, Art Tatum, Baby Laurence, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie