Carl Laemmle produced the first lengthy film on jazz, "The King Of Jazz" (1930) featuring Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. Today this film may be considered out of date as the subject of the film isn't jazz, but rather vaudeville acts put together to make up a whole film. Furthermore, the music by Whiteman and his orchestra has often been disputed and neglected the term 'jazz' as an appropiate describing word.
However, as we all know some of the musicians in Whiteman's orchestra were later renowned in the jazz field, i.e. Bix, Tram, Venuti, Lang , Teagarden, etc. Thus, as a historical document of 'The Jazz Age' of the 1920'ies Carl Laemmle's "The King of Jazz" is indispensable. From a jazz history point of view the film is interesting, too, as it features footage of some of the above mentioned stars.
I have picked out a sequence including a rare opportunity to have a short view of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang playing together.
The sequence from "The King Of Jazz" can be reached clicking here
The magnificent website devoted to the history ofjazz before 1930, The Red Hot Jazz Archive has a more detailed article by Dennis Pereyra on "The King Of Jazz" including more film clips
This posting is kindly approved by Hans Koert and made with pleasure by