This phenomenal DVD release includes rare documentaries of two of the most extraordinary figures in jazz, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, and jazz tap extraordinaire Baby Laurence.
Produced and directed by Jud Yalkut, this unique 1998 film focuses on the life of the legendary jazz musician Charles Ellsworth "Pee Wee" Russell. The clarinetist's career encompasses the entire history of jazz, ranging from his early days with such important traditionalists as Jack Teagarden, Louis Prima, Eddie Condon and Bobby Hackett, to his later work with the likes of Jimmy Giuffre and Thelonious Monk.
A musician of unparalleled sensitivity and imagination, Russell's life took an unexpected turn when he discovered his love for painting. The clarinetist's wife Mary Russell tells the humorous story of how she got sick of her husband sitting around the house watching TV, and went shopping for art supplies.
Although he was reticent to start painting, Russell soon discovered a new passion he couldn't easily stop. This documentary focuses on Pee Wee Russell in the act of painting, with his breathtaking music providing the soundtrack.
Directed by Bill Hancock, this exciting 1981 release showcases the life and work of the indisputable king of jazz tap, Baby Laurence. While most tap dancers were hanging up their shoes with the emergence of bebop, Baby Laurence was busy pioneering a new style of jazz tap designed to accompany the likes of such legendary figures as Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell.
In addition to exciting footage of Laurence performing with a modern jazz band, this documentary boasts a detailed history of tap featuring Laurence's demonstrations of the steps used by other legendary tap dancers such as King Rastus Brown, Bill Robinson and John Bubbles.
The film also boasts rare archival clips of Art Tatum, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as an outstanding rendition of Laurence's "An Afternoon in Percussion," featuring the ta