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The Last of the Blue Devils (1979)

90 min | Documentary, Music

During Prohibition, Kansas City was wide open, and jazz was its music. Late in the 1970s, musicians of the Pendergast era gather at the union hall to play, sing, and talk. Some were part of Walter Page's Blue Devils, joined Bennie Moten's ...See moreDuring Prohibition, Kansas City was wide open, and jazz was its music. Late in the 1970s, musicians of the Pendergast era gather at the union hall to play, sing, and talk. Some were part of Walter Page's Blue Devils, joined Bennie Moten's band, and stayed with Count Basie's Orchestra. Basie is on hand, as are Big Joe Turner, Jay McShann, and some of his big band. Highlights include Turner's vocals, McShann's sly piano playing, a drum clinic from Jo Jones and Baby Lovett, Jimmy Forrest solos, and remembrances of Lester Young and of how Charlie Parker got his nickname. Throughout is the Kansas City sound: cool and relaxed, blues meeting swing, an afterbeat that calls for dancing. Written by See less
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Updated Oct 31, 1979

Release date
Oct 1979 (United States)

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25 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Buddy Anderson
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Count Basie
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Eddie Durham
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Jimmy Forrest
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Curtis Foster
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Dizzy Gillespie
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Paul Gunther
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Budd Johnson
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Jo Jones
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Sonny Kenner
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Baby Lovett
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Jay McShann
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Milton Morris
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Charlie Parker
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Jesse Price
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Paul Quinichette
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Gene Ramey
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Buster Smith
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Richard Smith
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Big Joe Turner
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Herman Walder
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Ernie Williams
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Lester Young
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Max Roach
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Ratings Breakdown

7.7 / 10 | 54 votes