[members-announce] HARLEM BLUES AND JAZ BAND DOCUMENTARY IN TRIBECA
dankassell at juno.com
Mon Apr 26 21:21:04 EDT 2004
CONTACT: Dan Kassell (212) 779 - INFO
THE LAST OF THE FIRST
A Feature Documentary about Extraordinary Musicians
The Last of the First, whose working title was
Architects of Swing,
will Premier as the only JAZZ Documentary Feature at the
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL,
UA Theater on
May 2 / 7:15pm, May 4 / 2:00pm and May 8 / 6:00pm.
Producer Al Vollmer intended this as his unique
contribution to the legacy of jazz with a rare look at some of the
last of the first and one of the longest running bands in the history
of jazz. The subjects of this documentary are veteran jazz
musicians who started in the 1920's and 30's. In addition to Lionel
Hampton, Milt Hinton, Hank Jones, Jonah Jones, Jay McShann and
Benny Carter, it features a group of veteran jazz musicians who to
this day embody the spirit and authenticity of early Swing-Jazz. We
want to pay tribute, give something back to these extraordinary
musicians and preserve their music and their tales for generations to
come--before it is too late.
This feature documentary has incorporated a wide range of
witnesses including Tony Bennett and Dr. Billy Taylor, jazz experts
such as Dan Morgenstern - Institute of Jazz Studies Rutgers and
Phil Schaap - historian, WKCR DJ and Congressman John Convers
of Michigan who passed House Resolution 57, designating jazz as
a rare and valuable national American treasure to which we should
devote our attention, support and resources.
The Harlem Blues & Jazz Band
Formed in 1972 by Al Vollmer with a purpose of giving
opportunities to veteran musicians of the 20's and 30's, this band is
- in the words of Dr. Billy Taylor - a wonderful collection of
people . . . These men and women have shaped the vocabulary
we all use and in the words of New York Times Peter Watrous -
[these musicians] can still conjure up the drama that jazz demands
. . . its so rare to hear this type of jazz played with the necessary
immediacy that it becomes almost revelatory, a window onto
an older existence.
Members of the band include Al Casey (Fats Wallers
guitarist and last living member of Wallers Rhythm Boys);
Lawrence Lucie (guitarist with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrongs
All Stars and Benny Carter and the last living musician to have
recorded with Jelly Roll Morton); Johnny Blowers (Frank Sinatras
drummer for 15 years); Joey Morant (trumpeter who is able to
present Louis Armstrongs humorous and serious sides
simultaneously) and Alex Layne (who has also supported Coleman
Hawkins, Billy Eckstine, Carmen McRae and Max Roach).
Noteworthy members (who have since passed on) are: Ed
Swanston (pianist in Louis Armstrongs Orchestra in the movie
Atlantic City); David Bubba Brooks (Billy Doggetts tenor
saxophonist); Laurel Watson (female vocalist with Duke Ellington,
Count Basie and the HBJB until 1999). Eddie Durham (electric
guitarist and trombonist with Count Basie); Johnny Williams (string
bassist with Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday); Clyde Bernhardt
(saxophonist, a founding member) plus collaborations with
trumpeter - Doc Cheatham and vocalist - Maxine Sullivan.
The HBJB traveled to Russia to perform the music of Louis
Armstrong at Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall at the request of
conductor Yuriy Saulskiy in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of
Jazz Ambassador Louis Armstrong's birth on June 3, 2000.
For an audio/video sample that includes a vocal by Ruth Brisbane
go to: www.a.ru.com/harlem/
BARRON VOCA408-Vol 2
The Harlem Blues & Jazz Band-From Past To Present
Featuring and dedicated to Laurel Watson,
is available from Cadence/NorthCountry distributors
or JazzPhone (866) 411-JASS $15.OO Postpaid.
This CD was recorded during the period 1982-1987.
Only Al Casey, drummers Shelton Gary and Johnny Blowers
BARRON VOCA407-Vol 1
The Harlem Blues & Jazz Band-From Past To Present
Featuring Doc Cheatham.
Recorded from 1973 to 1975 only Barbara Dreiwitz - tuba
The Very Best of Swingin' Jive Guitarists
includes Buck Jumpin' , Buck Still Jumps(ASCAP).
includes his tunes "Pantin' At The Panther Room"
and ""Buck Jumpin'". (ASCAP).
The Jazz Swing All Stars: Hot Nights in Harlem
recorded in 1998 with trombonist Al Grey and clarinetist Sammy
Rimington who join Mr. Casey for some wonderful swing at
George and Nina Buck's Palm Court Restaurant in New Orleans.
Al Casey - A Tribute to Fats
recorded in Holland with pianist Red Richards.
JAZZ INC 3921
Johnny Blowers and His Giants of Jazz
includes his drum solo Caravan.
produced by Aleardo Buzzi in May 1995.
HBJB Demo of Upside Down Blues
is his most recent recording as pianist with Harlem Blues and Jazz
Band and fellows Al Casey, David Bubba Brooks, Johnny
Blowers, Larry Lucie, Joey Morant and Alex Layne for inclusion in
The Last of the First and a self-produced
CD: Eddie Swanston & the Savoyards.
For HBJB photos, additional history contact:
Dan Kassell <dankassell at juno.com>
Tel: (212) 779-4636
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