Sunday, September 20, 2015

Shout, Sister, Shout! "Close Harmony" Documentary Spotlights The Boswell Sisters

Wrote about The Boswell Sisters, three gals linked in sweet harmony, back in 2011 upon hearing about a documentary covering their illustrious career. To some degree, nobody has quite accomplished what the vocal trio did before or since - although many have tried!

High on the long list of New Orleans' finest musical talent, the fabulous Boswell Sisters, Martha (1905 - 1958), Connee (1907 - 1976) and Vet (1911 - 1988) were a truly groundbreaking act.

With Glenn Miller charts and the skilled backing of New York session musicians Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan, Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey, Carl Kress, Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti, The Boswell Sisters recorded numerous sprightly tunes for Okeh and Brunswick.

They waxed great song after great song, as did their early 1930's contemporaries - Satchmo, Duke, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Coleman Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra and Don Redman.

They were certainly among the advance guard in their early career on radio and recordings, possibly were the first vocalists to tackle the songs of Duke Ellington.

Back to the documentary, the Kickstarter fundraiser for Close Harmony was successful and recent rumblings indicate that production is on a roll. It's highly likely to include at least one clip of the Bozzies singing Rock And Roll!

From the Facebook page by the documentary filmmakers, Joshua Tree Productions: "It's been too long since we've updated anyone here, but we've been very busy and are progressing steadily, even rapidly now."

"There's a lot of exciting things happening, some of which we can't yet talk about in a public forum yet. But, today we were making a presentation to a group of fans at the Historic New Orleans Collection as a part of the "Boswell Sisters, Their Music Goes Round and Round" symposium. We will now be spending the next two days recording material HNOC has graciously allowed us to use. It's a huge accomplishment for us, and we are enormously grateful to them."

We wish the filmmakers well and thank them for the following still of Bing and the Bozzies, posted on their website.

Music fans around the world await the completed film. Here's "The Boswell Sisters: Close Harmony" trailer on Vimeo.

For more info on The Bozzies, check out:

The Boswell Legacy: The Story of the Boswell Sisters of New Orleans and the New Music They Gave to the World by Kyla Titus and Chica Boswell Minnerly. Introduction by David W. McCain

A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers by Will Friedwald

Jazz Singing: America's Great Voices From Bessie Smith To Bebop And Beyond by Will Friedwald

And, last but certainly not least, The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 (phone - 504-523-4662).

Think there's a good bet material on other New Orleans greats - Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Henry "Red" Allen, Irma Thomas, Fats Domino, Guitar Slim, Dr. John, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Harry Connick Jr., all variations on The Meters, Radiators and The Wild Tchoupitoulas, Allen Toussaint, Ed Blackwell, The Marsalis Family, The Batistes, The Nevilles, Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard and Nicolas Payton, to name a few - will be found there.

No comments: