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The Last of the Blue Devils

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Rhapsody Films

Director Bruce Ricker's 90-minute the Last of the Blue Devils chronicles the 1979 reunion of many of these legendary players, combining interviews, vintage film footage, photos, and some inimitably swinging performances by Basie, Turner, pianist Jay McShann, and many others to create an intimate, good- natured portrait of what one old-timer calls the "cool, relaxed sound" of the city. The camaraderie among these men, all of whom are colorful raconteurs (drummer Ernie William's harangues to some bemused local kids are especially entertaining), is palpable. But it's the music, unsurprisingly, that's the main attraction; performances include some familiar tunes, like Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and a Basie big band version of "Night Train" (featuring tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, the tune's composer) that's as greasy as the local barbecue. The Last of the Blue Devils is an absolute delight.

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Director: Bruce Ricker
Producer: Allison Thomas
Producer: Bruce Ricker
Producer: Ed Beyer
Producer: Gary Ross
Actor: Big Joe Turner
Actor: Buddy Anderson
Actor: Count Basie
Actor: Count Basie and His Orchestra
Actor: Curtis Foster
Actor: Jimmy Forrest
Actor: Budd Johnson
Actor: Charles McPherson
Actor: Eddie Durham
Actor: Gene Ramey
Actor: Jay McShann
Actor: Joe Jones

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Keyword Index
The Last of the Blue Devils | Big Joe Turner