"Art of Jazz" Cinema Series: "The Last of the Blue Devils"

The Last of the Blue Devils

1980
1 hour 30 mins
Directed by: Bruce Ricker

Kansas City jazz is a style of jazz that developed in Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding Kansas City Metropolitan Area during the 1930s and marked the transition from the structured big band style to the musical improvisation style
of Bebop. The hard-swinging, bluesy transition style is bracketed by Count Basie who in 1929 signed with the Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra and Kansas City native Charlie Parker who was to usher in the Bebop style in the 1940s.

Director Bruce Ricker's 90-minute The Last of the Blue Devils chronicles the 1979 reunion of many of the legendary players, combining interviews, vintage film footage, photos, and some inimitably swinging performances by Basie, Turner, pianist Jay McShann. “The Last of the Blue Devils is an absolute delight.” --Sam Graham