5/2/18

DUKE ON FILM: 'BUNDLE OF BLUES'



Today's Duke Ellington video is a short film shot (mostly) on May 23rd, 1933 called 'Bundle Of Blues'. It features the Ellington Orchestra (natch) as well as the great Ivy Anderson singing 'Stormy Weather'. Filmically, it attempts to break out of the proscenium with the latter number, featuring a country cabin set for pretty much no apparent reason other than to break out of the proscenium. This gets a lot more interesting once the optical department at Paramount Studios got involved, creating a series of 'stormy weather' wipes (rain, melting ice etc.) that take us from one pointless still image to another. Finally we are treated to a terrific dance duo--Florence Hills and Bessie Dudley--who wind up the whole sh-bang with voop-dop-deop-dop number that the optical department couldn't quite keep their hands off of either. The fidelity is better than good and these all-to-few filmed recordings of the great man and his band are as valuable to us as the zillion-plus audio recordings that exist. Covfefe!

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