The Premiere of Brigitte Berman's "''Bix: Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet''

The Premiere of Brigitte Berman's "''Bix: Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet''

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 9th, 2011, 11:59 pm #1

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0"><tr><td><img alt="Publication Image" src="http://proquest.umi.com.proxy.emmaclark ... b/7818.gif" border="0"></td></tr></table><a></a><div style="width:12px;height:12px;"></div><a></a><a></a><div class="docSection" style="padding-left:4px;padding-top:4px;"><span class="textSmall"></span><h2>Abstract (Summary)</h2><div class="textMedium"><p style="margin-top:0px;">Bill Challis, an arranger for the Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman orchestras, with which [<em>Bix Beiderbecke</em>] played, was among those on hand for the invitational showing and to renew old ties to other veterans of the early jazz years at a reception. In the film, ''Bix: Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet,'' which comes from a remark by Louis Armstrong, Mr. Challis talks about how he would arrange numbers for the Whiteman orchestra, leaving 8- or 16-bar openings for Beiderbecke to improvise in, and noting that Bix never disappointed him in rising to the occasion. ''He took a load off my mind,'' Mr. Challis said.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">In the film, Mr. [Charlie Davis] expresses his sorrow that he and others did not know of Beiderbecke's poor health, for they might have helped him. During an interview in the film, Mr. Davis also plays an improvised composition that he says Beiderbecke would play, called ''Cloudy.'' But he said the composition existed now only in his memory, and that Bix never did anything further with it.
</div></div><a></a><div class="docSection" style="margin-top:5px;"><div class="textSmall docBar"></div><div class="textMedium"><span class="italic">Copyright New York Times Company Aug 10, 1981</span>

<p style="margin-top:0px;">Of all the legendary figures in jazz, none is more legendary than <em>Bix Beiderbecke</em>, the cornetist from Davenport, Iowa, who blazed briefly but memorably in the 20's and died of pneumonia aggravated by alcoholism on Aug. 6, 1931, at the age of 28 - leaving behind a host of admirers and even worshipers, some recordings and the legend. The legend reached its height, perhaps, in the Dorothy Baker novel ''Young Man With a Horn,'' which was made into a 1950 movie starring Kirk Douglas that disappointed admirers of Beiderbecke.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">The Bix literature has grown to large proportions over the decades; many of the recordings remain available even after 50 years, and some of the people who grew up with Beiderbecke and played with him in various bands are still around to tell the tale. Many of them were in New York last week to mark the 50th anniversary of his death and to see a documentary in which many of them reminisce about him.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Renewing Old Ties
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Bill Challis, an arranger for the Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman orchestras, with which Beiderbecke played, was among those on hand for the invitational showing and to renew old ties to other veterans of the early jazz years at a reception. In the film, ''Bix: Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet,'' which comes from a remark by Louis Armstrong, Mr. Challis talks about how he would arrange numbers for the Whiteman orchestra, leaving 8- or 16-bar openings for Beiderbecke to improvise in, and noting that Bix never disappointed him in rising to the occasion. ''He took a load off my mind,'' Mr. Challis said.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Others at the showing and reception at the Canadian Consulate's offices included Spiegle Willcox, a trombonist with the Goldkette orchestra; Paul Mertz, pianist with the Sioux City Six, a jazz group that included Frankie Trumbauer and Miff Mole as well as Beiderbecke, and Charlie Davis, a pianist and composer who was a well-known bandleader in the 20's and 30's. Composition Lost in Time
<p style="margin-top:0px;">In the film, Mr. Davis expresses his sorrow that he and others did not know of Beiderbecke's poor health, for they might have helped him. During an interview in the film, Mr. Davis also plays an improvised composition that he says Beiderbecke would play, called ''Cloudy.'' But he said the composition existed now only in his memory, and that Bix never did anything further with it.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">The film, for which no distribution has been arranged, is two hours long, and includes all the known footage of Beiderbecke and hundreds of stills of him and his milieu from Davenport to New York. The soundtrack contains an almost continuous stream of excerpts from Beiderbecke recordings. 4 Years in Production
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Among others interviewed about their association with Beiderbecke are his sister, the composer Hoagy Carmichael, the trumpeter Doc Cheatham and the violinist Matty Malneck.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Brigitte Berman, a television producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, said she spent four years producing and directing the film as a result of her obsession with the Beiderbecke music. In the background notes for the showing, she says, ''What really got me going was the tone of his music - the spirit of someone pouring his heart into everything he played.''
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 10th, 2011, 12:08 am #2

<div style="width:12px;height:12px;"></div><a></a><a></a><div class="docSection" style="padding-left:4px;padding-top:4px;"><span class="textSmall"></span><h2>Abstract (Summary)</h2><div class="textMedium"><p style="margin-top:0px;">Narrated by actor Richard Basehart, the film retraces [<em>Bix Beiderbecke</em>]'s life to the accompaniment of several of his recorded solos ("Jazz Me Blues," "Riverboat Shuffle," "In a Mist" among others). Beiderbecke's horn solos with the Wolverines, Paul Whiteman and Jean Goldkette follow the rise of this mostly self-taught musician, one of few white players to inspire his black counterparts.
</div></div><a></a><div class="docSection" style="margin-top:5px;"><div class="textSmall docBar"><table><tr><td><span class="left"></span><h2>Full Text</h2> <span class="right">(367  words)</span></td></tr></table></div><div class="textMedium"><span class="italic">Copyright Boston Globe Newspaper Apr 22, 1983</span>

<p style="margin-top:0px;">Leon (<em>Bix</em>) <em>Beiderbecke</em> was one of several wonder children of jazz who illuminated the scene for a brief time before their flame was snuffed out all too soon. Others were bassist Jimmy Blanton, guitarist Charlie Christian and trumpeters Clifford Brown and Bunny Berigan.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">In "Bix," a two-hour profile of the tremendously respected cornetist- pianist -composer, Brigitte Berman provides a trenchant perspective of his personal and professional life through painstaking research, interviews with Beiderbecke's former colleagues and effective photographs and paintings.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Narrated by actor Richard Basehart, the film retraces Beiderbecke's life to the accompaniment of several of his recorded solos ("Jazz Me Blues," "Riverboat Shuffle," "In a Mist" among others). Beiderbecke's horn solos with the Wolverines, Paul Whiteman and Jean Goldkette follow the rise of this mostly self-taught musician, one of few white players to inspire his black counterparts.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Even Louis Armstrong, with whom the Davenport, Iowa, cornetist jammed in Chicago lauded him: "Ain't none of them play like him yet."
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Despite an inability to read music, Beiderbecke rose to the status of cult hero, both admired and exploited by a public which allowed him no privacy. This consuming devotion contributed to a severe alcohol problem which led to blackouts during performances and erosion of his health. However, in his 28 years Beiderbecke amassed what would become a legacy of memorable music.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">"Bix" contains interviews with Beiderbecke's sister, composer Hoagy Carmichael, a close friend who once hired the cornetist's band to play for a prom at the University of Indiana; arranger Bill Challis, clarinetist Matty Malneck and others. The poor sound reproduction of Armstrong's commentaries is the only flaw in this excellent portrait of Beidebecke the musician and ill- starred son denied his parents' recognition.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">His parents never approved his choice of career, even when their son attained stardom with Whiteman's orchestra at Carnegie Hall. During a period of convalescence at the family home, he was painfully reminded of their intransigence when he found boxes of his recordings which he had sent them still unopened.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Another moving moment was Charlie Davis' piano solo of Beiderbecke's hitherto unheard ballad, "Cloudy."
<p style="margin-top:0px;"><em>Bix Beiderbecke</em> died of pneumonia Aug. 6, 1931. One musician friend put it more succinctly: "He died of everything."
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Last edited by ahaim on February 10th, 2011, 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jim Petersen
Jim Petersen

February 10th, 2011, 8:28 pm #3

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0"><tr><td><img alt="Publication Image" src="http://proquest.umi.com.proxy.emmaclark ... b/7818.gif" border="0"></td></tr></table><a></a><div style="width:12px;height:12px;"></div><a></a><a></a><div class="docSection" style="padding-left:4px;padding-top:4px;"><span class="textSmall"></span><h2>Abstract (Summary)</h2><div class="textMedium"><p style="margin-top:0px;">Bill Challis, an arranger for the Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman orchestras, with which [<em>Bix Beiderbecke</em>] played, was among those on hand for the invitational showing and to renew old ties to other veterans of the early jazz years at a reception. In the film, ''Bix: Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet,'' which comes from a remark by Louis Armstrong, Mr. Challis talks about how he would arrange numbers for the Whiteman orchestra, leaving 8- or 16-bar openings for Beiderbecke to improvise in, and noting that Bix never disappointed him in rising to the occasion. ''He took a load off my mind,'' Mr. Challis said.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">In the film, Mr. [Charlie Davis] expresses his sorrow that he and others did not know of Beiderbecke's poor health, for they might have helped him. During an interview in the film, Mr. Davis also plays an improvised composition that he says Beiderbecke would play, called ''Cloudy.'' But he said the composition existed now only in his memory, and that Bix never did anything further with it.
</div></div><a></a><div class="docSection" style="margin-top:5px;"><div class="textSmall docBar"></div><div class="textMedium"><span class="italic">Copyright New York Times Company Aug 10, 1981</span>

<p style="margin-top:0px;">Of all the legendary figures in jazz, none is more legendary than <em>Bix Beiderbecke</em>, the cornetist from Davenport, Iowa, who blazed briefly but memorably in the 20's and died of pneumonia aggravated by alcoholism on Aug. 6, 1931, at the age of 28 - leaving behind a host of admirers and even worshipers, some recordings and the legend. The legend reached its height, perhaps, in the Dorothy Baker novel ''Young Man With a Horn,'' which was made into a 1950 movie starring Kirk Douglas that disappointed admirers of Beiderbecke.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">The Bix literature has grown to large proportions over the decades; many of the recordings remain available even after 50 years, and some of the people who grew up with Beiderbecke and played with him in various bands are still around to tell the tale. Many of them were in New York last week to mark the 50th anniversary of his death and to see a documentary in which many of them reminisce about him.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Renewing Old Ties
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Bill Challis, an arranger for the Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman orchestras, with which Beiderbecke played, was among those on hand for the invitational showing and to renew old ties to other veterans of the early jazz years at a reception. In the film, ''Bix: Ain't None of Them Play Like Him Yet,'' which comes from a remark by Louis Armstrong, Mr. Challis talks about how he would arrange numbers for the Whiteman orchestra, leaving 8- or 16-bar openings for Beiderbecke to improvise in, and noting that Bix never disappointed him in rising to the occasion. ''He took a load off my mind,'' Mr. Challis said.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Others at the showing and reception at the Canadian Consulate's offices included Spiegle Willcox, a trombonist with the Goldkette orchestra; Paul Mertz, pianist with the Sioux City Six, a jazz group that included Frankie Trumbauer and Miff Mole as well as Beiderbecke, and Charlie Davis, a pianist and composer who was a well-known bandleader in the 20's and 30's. Composition Lost in Time
<p style="margin-top:0px;">In the film, Mr. Davis expresses his sorrow that he and others did not know of Beiderbecke's poor health, for they might have helped him. During an interview in the film, Mr. Davis also plays an improvised composition that he says Beiderbecke would play, called ''Cloudy.'' But he said the composition existed now only in his memory, and that Bix never did anything further with it.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">The film, for which no distribution has been arranged, is two hours long, and includes all the known footage of Beiderbecke and hundreds of stills of him and his milieu from Davenport to New York. The soundtrack contains an almost continuous stream of excerpts from Beiderbecke recordings. 4 Years in Production
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Among others interviewed about their association with Beiderbecke are his sister, the composer Hoagy Carmichael, the trumpeter Doc Cheatham and the violinist Matty Malneck.
<p style="margin-top:0px;">Brigitte Berman, a television producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, said she spent four years producing and directing the film as a result of her obsession with the Beiderbecke music. In the background notes for the showing, she says, ''What really got me going was the tone of his music - the spirit of someone pouring his heart into everything he played.''
</div></div>
The BBMS would like to stock copies of this video again as we are completely out. We've been told it's not available anymore. Those of you on the forum who know the music business, can you shed any light on this for us?
While some of the "facts" in the video aren't correct, it's still a very worthwhile and well done DVD.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Best wishes to all,
Jim Petersen
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 10th, 2011, 10:33 pm #4


Your best bet is to try to have Playboy Home Video to make copies specifically for the Society. You are a not-for-profit organization and they might produce a special run with the restriction that only the Bix Society is permitted to sell.

I realize that this is easy fo me to say, and that it may be very difficult to procure permission. I don't see any other solution, It is unlikely that Playboy will reissue the DVD commercially through usual channels (amzon, barnes and noble, etc.).

Albert
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Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

February 10th, 2011, 10:44 pm #5

Does anyone out there have a connection to Hugh Hefner? If he's as much of a Bix fan as he is reputed to be, maybe he could put in a word for the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society to market this video.

How about a DVD release of the film? DVDs are probably faster and cheaper to produce. <em>I'd</em> buy a DVD at full price as a replacement for the used VHS I got from a third seller on Amazon; VHS players are going to be harder to find before long.
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Jim Petersen
Jim Petersen

February 11th, 2011, 3:38 am #6

The Berman video did come out in DVD format, I have one. I'll follow upon the suggestions, we have a BBMS board meeting Saturday and I will find out what attempts have been made so far.

I wrote an article that appeared in the Fest program in 2009 encouraging people to read the Bix books and to view the Berman video. I didn't realize the Society was down to just a few copies of the video and have since sold out. Like membership in the BBMS, I think all Bix fans should have this DVD also.

Best regards,
Jim Petersen
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David Logue
David Logue

February 11th, 2011, 11:46 am #7

Does anyone out there have a connection to Hugh Hefner? If he's as much of a Bix fan as he is reputed to be, maybe he could put in a word for the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society to market this video.

How about a DVD release of the film? DVDs are probably faster and cheaper to produce. <em>I'd</em> buy a DVD at full price as a replacement for the used VHS I got from a third seller on Amazon; VHS players are going to be harder to find before long.
My copy is a DVD. I believe I bought a brand new copy on ebay a few years back for less than $20.

It is a legitimate copy (it still has the broken security seal on the top) and appears to be distributed by Universal Music and Video.
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Tomas Palm
Tomas Palm

February 15th, 2011, 12:28 am #8

As far as I know the Beiderbecke film is just produced for DVD Region 1. As if we Europeans aren´t a target group concerning Bix. Or am I Wrong? Big hands to the distributer of Region 2.
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Glenda Childress
Glenda Childress

February 17th, 2011, 1:28 pm #9

The Berman video did come out in DVD format, I have one. I'll follow upon the suggestions, we have a BBMS board meeting Saturday and I will find out what attempts have been made so far.

I wrote an article that appeared in the Fest program in 2009 encouraging people to read the Bix books and to view the Berman video. I didn't realize the Society was down to just a few copies of the video and have since sold out. Like membership in the BBMS, I think all Bix fans should have this DVD also.

Best regards,
Jim Petersen
Great! Thanks. I'll take one.
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