The Jazz Video Cafe

Earliest Example Of Jazz On Film: (c. late 1924 – early 1925).


About The Video

The earliest example of a jazz band on film is this experimental sound footage directed by Lee DeForest of the “old maestro”, Ben Bernie and his orchestra.

At the time of the filming, Bernie had an exclusive engagement at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and was recording for the Vocalion and Brunswick label.

The Deforest Phonofilm Corporation was considered by many to be the beginning of sound films. With the invention of a sound-on-film process for talking pictures, several years before the release of the 1927 Warner Brothers-Vitaphone film "The Jazz Singer”, DeForest produced a series of Phonofilms to be distributed in theaters. However, due to the loyalty of theaters to the major film producers and the expense of wiring a theater for sound, his attempts only met with limited success.

“Sweet Georgia Brown" features Jack Pettis on C-melody sax. Also in the band is a very young Oscar Levant at the piano.

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