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The Original Rompin' Stompin' Hot and Heavy, Cool and Groovy All Star Jazz Show1977

  • 4.0
The birth of jazz is traced from spirituals all the way to the wild sounds of the '70s via live performance, dance and narration. , Hosted by Dionne Warwick, THE ORIGINAL ROMPIN' STOMPIN'... contains performances from Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Max Roach, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan and Joe Williams. The made-for-television program won a Daytime Emmy in 1977.

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So here's the paradox: It's 1977, and the glory days of Jazz are fading into a long slow twilight. What better time to gather some of the legends of Jazz and bring them together to capture them performing in their prime, right? What's both fascinating and distracting here is the format of the program. What we are presented with is that dinosaur of the cathode-age, the Network musical variety show. It's a bit of a gas to see this forgotten spectacle: minimalist sets, gaudy lighting, over-the-top dance routines and (apparently) canned applause. In fact, the whole production comes off as a bit surreal by our viewing standards today. The problem is all the glitz seems to shroud the artists. Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Herbie Hancock and others seem to get lost amid the big musical production numbers and outrageous 70's costuming. Still, this is a fascinating archival record that captures a place and time far that now seems far removed from our world today.

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