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November 23, 2010


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Michael Steinman

Yes, it's an edited version of a clip from a low-budget 1947 film, BOY! WHAT A GIRL -- an African-American spectacular. What you don't see here is that the band is Sidney Catlett's -- with Dick Vance, Benny Morton, and Don Stovall among others -- playing in a fake "clubhouse" before gene spies through the peephole in the door, engages in some terribly "hip" scripted dialogue -- Sidney slides off the drum stool and lets his buddy have some "tricks with the sticks." The tune, incidentally, is JUST A RIFF -- which Sidney and Ben Webster recorded for Commodore in 1944. The whole clip is accessible on YouTube, by the way. Always nice to see Gene at work!

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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