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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:25 pm
by wich2
(OOPS - double-dutch!)

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:43 pm
by bigshot
Hopefully when it's released younger people will learn about the importance of 1920s dance band music to the development of jazz and American popular music. Most people under 50 just think of 20s music as "cartoon music" because that's the only place they've heard it- in the early sound cartoons. But dance band music developed rapidly out of ragtime and tin pan alley, and it set the stage for jazz and big band swing. Dance band was just as much of a bridge between ragtime and swing as dixieland and trad jazz was.

As a collector of antique phonographs and 78s, I can attest to the cultural riches this film represents. There are thousands of great recordings by incredible musicians that are virtually unknown today (Fletcher Henderson, Abe Lyman, the Lombardo brothers, Isham Jones, Nat Shilkret, Bennie Krueger, etc, etc, etc.) Surprisingly, there is very little research in this area outside of 78 collector circles. I suppose that's because many of these records never made it to LP, much less CD.

The King of Jazz is the ultimate representation of this era of music, primarily because it includes a juggernaut of important figures in the history of popular music (Paul Whiteman, Bing Crosby), American classical music (George Gershwin, Ferde Grofe) and jazz (Venuti & Lang, Frankie Trumbauer). It's a powerhouse line up of talent, but it's really more of an elaborate filmed vaudeville show than it is a film musical. The brilliant animation by Bill Nolan is the icing on the cake.

Personally, I think King of Jazz is one of the most important films in the history of American music, right up there with Stormy Weather and West Side Story. In fact, add High School Confidential and the T.A.M.I. Show to those three films and you've pretty neatly covered all sides of American music. I can't wait to screen King of Jazz in my home theater.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:00 pm
by Donald Binks
You've summed it up pretty well and very nicely Bigshot. Full marks!

Paul Whiteman's orchestra was the top orchestra of it's day and his arrangements and musicians were superb. Pity not so many people are aware of this today. Without Paul Whiteman there would would not have been a Bing Crosby,

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:37 am
by AbZeroNow
I'll admit that I had never heard of Whiteman before yesterday when I was looking through 1967 deaths to add to the 2018 in public domain Wikipedia page (I'll probably add him to that today).

I suppose I really ought to see King of Jazz one of these days.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:07 pm
by Scott Eckhardt
AbZeroNow wrote:I'll admit that I had never heard of Whiteman before yesterday when I was looking through 1967 deaths to add to the 2018 in public domain Wikipedia page (I'll probably add him to that today).

I suppose I really ought to see King of Jazz one of these days.

If you want to sample his music, YouTube has many of his recordings available. They also have many clips from KING OF JAZZ available for viewing, mostly from the older vhs version.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:39 pm
by David Alp
Danny Burk wrote:TCM runs quite a few Universal (and Universal-owned) films.


Ok Danny.

Just to point out -- I hope it DOES NOT merely go "straight-to-TV" on the TCM channel, because there is NO WAY any TCM channel in Europe/UK will show "King Of Jazz" on their schedules -- and this will mean there will be zero business for Universal [or means of bringing this title to audiences] in the UK or Europe. In other words it will be major lost opportunity.

It HAS to be blu-ray! Otherwise there will be NO market for the product over here.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:24 pm
by Thad Komorowski
It could be both, doesn't have to be exclusively one or the other.

That or they could run it on NBC and have them cut the hell out of it, fading out in the middle of songs, etc.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:14 am
by vitaphone
Not sure where the TCM idea came from but that was never a possibility. This is a Universal film with no connection to TCM or its owner Warner Bros. Also there is no likelihood a brand new release from another company would go on TCM.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:55 pm
by bigshot
Scott Eckhardt wrote:If you want to sample his music, YouTube has many of his recordings available.


A few to start with...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rYSOeAS0cI" target="_blank
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j32OiN2uTeA" target="_blank
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s1r3B_lOvE" target="_blank
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro8qyX4BeTw" target="_blank

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:53 pm
by Scott Eckhardt
Thad Komorowski wrote:It could be both, doesn't have to be exclusively one or the other.

That or they could run it on NBC and have them cut the hell out of it, fading out in the middle of songs, etc.

Well, some people think that because they have a bluray, everyone does. I have bluray, but I still buy both formats. I'm sure there are classic movie lovers in the UK who still have standard dvd players.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:36 pm
by bigshot
It won't be long when everyone has a blu-ray player. They're just as cheap as DVD players now. When the old DVD players break down in the next few years, they'll be replaced by blu-ray players for sure.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:37 pm
by Donald Binks
bigshot wrote:It won't be long when everyone has a blu-ray player. They're just as cheap as DVD players now. When the old DVD players break down in the next few years, they'll be replaced by blu-ray players for sure.


I hope they continue to make DVD players as all my collection is on DVD's and I would hate not being able to play them in case my machines break down.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:03 pm
by CoffeeDan
Donald Binks wrote:
bigshot wrote:It won't be long when everyone has a blu-ray player. They're just as cheap as DVD players now. When the old DVD players break down in the next few years, they'll be replaced by blu-ray players for sure.


I hope they continue to make DVD players as all my collection is on DVD's and I would hate not being able to play them in case my machines break down.


Don't worry, Donald. All Blu-ray players will play DVDs, and make them look even better.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:08 pm
by Paul Penna
Donald Binks wrote:I hope they continue to make DVD players as all my collection is on DVD's and I would hate not being able to play them in case my machines break down.


All Blu-Ray players play DVDs as well. Also CD.

But you may have to replace your TV or display if it doesn't have an HDMI input. If it doesn't have one, it's time to replace it with a fully-HD one anyway. Then your DVDs will really look better when played back on your new Blu-Ray player

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:40 pm
by Donald Binks
Paul Penna wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:I hope they continue to make DVD players as all my collection is on DVD's and I would hate not being able to play them in case my machines break down.


All Blu-Ray players play DVDs as well. Also CD.

But you may have to replace your TV or display if it doesn't have an HDMI input. If it doesn't have one, it's time to replace it with a fully-HD one anyway. Then your DVDs will really look better when played back on your new Blu-Ray player


Thanks Paul. I didn't know that. I do hope though that the 2 DVD players I have will see me out.

Yes I do have HDMI whatzits connecting the douvres. My DVD players tell me also that they "upscale to 1080" thingys (which I think means I get a better picture?)

(Give me the days when there were only two knobs on things).

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:42 pm
by Paul Penna
Donald Binks wrote:Yes I do have HDMI whatzits connecting the douvres. My DVD players tell me also that they "upscale to 1080" thingys (which I think means I get a better picture?)


Assuming you mean that the players themselves (in some settings menu screen) are telling you they're doing that rather than it merely being mentioned as an option in their user manuals, yes; a DVD upscaled like that and viewed on a HDTV display looks better than it would on an older, pre-high definition TV like we all used to have.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:38 am
by drednm
Paul Penna wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:Yes I do have HDMI whatzits connecting the douvres. My DVD players tell me also that they "upscale to 1080" thingys (which I think means I get a better picture?)


Assuming you mean that the players themselves (in some settings menu screen) are telling you they're doing that rather than it merely being mentioned as an option in their user manuals, yes; a DVD upscaled like that and viewed on a HDTV display looks better than it would on an older, pre-high definition TV like we all used to have.


I've heard too many stories about DVDs not playing on Blu-ray players. Of course it could be that the users don't have the right settings turned on. my TV does not have the HDMI connectors so it's all meaningless to me.....

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:59 am
by s.w.a.c.
Although Criterion doesn't often license titles from Universal Pictures for its collectors' series of DVDs and blu-rays, there's at least a precedent with their release of Paul Fejos' Lonesome (1928) (with the additional Fejos feature Broadway to boot). Universal doesn't seem to know what to do with its older properties that aren't All Quiet on the Western Front or featuring a monster of some kind, so we could hope that maybe Criterion will get its mitts on King of Jazz and give it the full court press in terms of bonus features (Bing Crosby shorts or early Walter Lantz cartoons would be welcome).

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:24 am
by BixB
s.w.a.c. wrote:Although Criterion doesn't often license titles from Universal Pictures for its collectors' series of DVDs and blu-rays, there's at least a precedent with their release of Paul Fejos' Lonesome (1928) (with the additional Fejos feature Broadway to boot). Universal doesn't seem to know what to do with its older properties that aren't All Quiet on the Western Front or featuring a monster of some kind, so we could hope that maybe Criterion will get its mitts on King of Jazz and give it the full court press in terms of bonus features (Bing Crosby shorts or early Walter Lantz cartoons would be welcome).


Criterion has joined forces with Universal on quite a number of releases over time. SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, MY MAN GODFREY, THE BANK DICK and ISLAND OF LOST SOULS to name a few. Criterion does seem the likely choice to handle the KOJ project. There is a plethora of extras that could be accumulated. The Blu-Ray of this film is crying out for a documentary on the restoration as well as the film itself. I would love to hear an audio commentary by authors James Layton and David Pierce.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:20 am
by bigshot
I just want the film. Shorts would be fine too. Personally, I think talking head documentaries, commentary and essays are a waste of time. I'll take Bing and Lantz shorts though. That would be a good idea. Especially My Pal Paul

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:40 am
by BixB
bigshot wrote:I just want the film. Shorts would be fine too. Personally, I think talking head documentaries, commentary and essays are a waste of time. I'll take Bing and Lantz shorts though. That would be a good idea. Especially My Pal Paul


I'd wager those who agree with you are in the minority. Done properly, documentaries and audio commentaries are insightful, educational as well as entertaining. Definitely NOT a waste of time. If you dislike these extras, a simple solution. Don't watch them.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:59 pm
by Scott Eckhardt
While I rarely listen to a commentary track on a film, I do watch featurettes and the various shorts on a dvd or bluray. I'm not about to invest the length of a movie to hear commentary, however interesting, as I want to just enjoy the film for what it is.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:14 pm
by Thad Komorowski
The release of a film as important as King of Jazz should have some historical background bonus features. Not every viewer is going to walk into this with a knowledge of Universal Pictures, early sound film, or dance band music, so many would appreciate the context and education, be it via an essay or short doc. Also, they spent $500,000 restoring this movie, so maybe they would want to explain and justify... why? It's ridiculous to suggest they shouldn't.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:57 pm
by s.w.a.c.
I'm a fan of audio commentaries. Either they're insightful and informative ... or they provide an excellent cure for insomnia.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:21 pm
by bigshot
BixB wrote:If you dislike these extras, a simple solution. Don't watch them.


I'm cheerfully doing that as we speak!

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:58 pm
by Jim Reid
drednm wrote:I've heard too many stories about DVDs not playing on Blu-ray players. Of course it could be that the users don't have the right settings turned on. my TV does not have the HDMI connectors so it's all meaningless to me.....


I've never heard of a DVD not playing on a blu-ray player. You must be conversing with ludites. Never the less, if you have an older tv with no HDMI inputs, a blu-ray player would be worthless to you.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:23 am
by Harlett O'Dowd
Jim Reid wrote:
drednm wrote:I've heard too many stories about DVDs not playing on Blu-ray players. Of course it could be that the users don't have the right settings turned on. my TV does not have the HDMI connectors so it's all meaningless to me.....


I've never heard of a DVD not playing on a blu-ray player. You must be conversing with ludites. Never the less, if you have an older tv with no HDMI inputs, a blu-ray player would be worthless to you.


I've encountered some home-burns that don't play on Blu, but never a commercially pressed DVD.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:04 am
by Scott Eckhardt
I have two bluray players, one six years old, a Panasonic, and one four years old, a Samsung. The manuals of both state that they don't guarantee that every dvd will play in them. That said, I can play every dvd I own in both of them. This includes home made dvd-rs of rare fims and tv shows, old wedding videos converted from vhs, and an Oprah show I was a guest on from 1993 that a friend of mine put on a dvd+r from my old vhs recording using his home dvd recorder in 2005.

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:23 pm
by ClayKing
I have three blu-ray players and have never had a problem playing a DVD on them - unless the DVD itself was defective and wouldn't play in a DVD player either (and yes, I still have two laser/dvd combo players as well as an HD-DVD player and DVD burners in my PCs, so I can easily cross-check a disc). Now about those people who have told you many stories...

Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:07 am
by Phototone
Up to now, every advance in disc technology (with the exception of some laserdisc players) has always allowed the playback of previous discs. DVD players will play back music CD's. BlueRay players will play back DVD's and music CD's. Up until a couple years ago BluRay players had analog HD outputs and analog audio outputs as well as HDMI. If you purchase an older BluRay player you "may" be able to use it on an older analog TV, in fact some older BluRay players will downconvert BluRay to standard definition DVD quality thru the analog outputs. We can only hope that the 4K UltraHD players will continue to allow all older formats to be used.