6.1/10
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Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake (1923)

Sissle and Blake perform their 1918 composition "Affectionate Dan" and jazzy spiritual rendition.
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Noble Sissle ...
Himself
Eubie Blake ...
Himself
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Sissle and Blake perform their 1918 composition "Affectionate Dan" and jazzy spiritual rendition.

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african american | See All (1) »


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15 April 1923 (USA)  »

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Super-hard to rate, but worth seeing
17 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

This isn't exactly a movie, but is really a very, very early music video. I was absolutely amazed to see that it was made way back in 1923--four years before the famous "talkie", THE JAZZ SINGER. It shows that there were indeed experimental films that tried to incorporate talking AND they were actually done with Black performers. This probably is because although Black-Americans were in an underclass, they were, relatively speaking, doing much better as a group in the 1920s--as reflected in this film as well as the Harlem Renaissance. It was obvious that someone with money and influence was able to finance such an expensive and novel film.

As for the song itself, it was not particularly great, as the film seemed to be played too fast on the videotape (THE African American CINEMA II)--as Mr. Sissel sounded kind of like he'd ingested helium. Perhaps he REALLY did sound that way, but I doubt it. I also did enjoy seeing Hubie Blake at the piano--every other time I have seen him he was very old and bald. Here, he looked so young and heavier--but still bald! This is a very important and historically significant film not to be lost--it is in many ways an American treasure.


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