The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, December 8, 2021

'Bix' review: A jazz legend fondly remembered
Bix Beiderbecke, center with cornet, in “Bix: ‘Ain’t None of Them Play Like Him Yet,’” a documentary directed by Brigitte Berman. Photo: via Film Forum.

by Glenn Kenny

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Although this iteration of this 1981 documentary is a restoration, one ought not go to see “Bix: ‘Ain’t None of Them Play Like Him Yet’ ” expecting a shiny cinematographic object. The movie looks like a 40-year-old mix of talking-head and archival footage. What makes it extraordinary is the story it tells of an uncanny musician and his beautiful playing and songs.

Born in 1903, Bix Beiderbecke didn’t live to be 30, but he made an impression on jazz that is still felt today. He was raised in Davenport, Iowa, in a straight-laced German American household. A child prodigy, Beiderbecke first fell in love with jazz via the frenetically bouncy tune “Tiger Rag.” But he was also devoted to the work of Debussy and Ravel, and he brought their dreamy impressionism to his music. That influence persisted in jazz for decades. (It’s said that before recording “Kind of Blue” in 1959, Miles Davis and pianist and composer Bill Evans did some serious listening to a rendition of Ravel’s Piano Concerto.)

Among the luminaries contributing reminiscences are Hoagy Carmichael, Artie Shaw and Doc Cheatham. Louis Armstrong, in an audio recording, coins the phrase that gives the movie its subtitle. That the director, Brigitte Berman, doesn’t give more weight to the racial segregation that defined the jazz milieu of the 1920s speaks to a blind spot that was all too present when she made the picture. But the film does cite Beiderbecke’s devotion to Bessie Smith, as well as his playing in integrated jam sessions.

The accounts of Beiderbecke’s tremendous ear — a protean soloist on the cornet, he composed on piano — and shyness are moving. The exhaustion and tedium of life on the road got Beiderbecke tripped up by alcoholism, which led to other health problems. Conventional wisdom in some circles considers the existence of a gigging musician to be somehow leisurely; this movie painstakingly lays out the way it can be practically deadly.

Bix: ‘Ain’t None of Them Play Like Him Yet’

Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes. In theaters.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

August 7, 2021

Final days of the exhibition "Keith Haring Posters" at the Tampere Talo, Finland

National Gallery of Australia opens an exhibition of recent work by Sarah Lucas

Hamburger Kunsthalle receives gift of David Novros' largest portable mural

Philadelphia Museum of Art displays Thomas Cole masterpiece "The Arch of Nero" in American Galleries

Phillips opens the Southampton exhibition 'Abstract by Nature: Paintings from the 1950s to the Present'

Dutch dike threatens muddy Roman ruins

Djibouti's hidden rock art offers window to the past

Lalibela: Ethiopia's UNESCO heritage site overrun by rebels

Galerie Scheffel opens an exhibition of works by Israeli artist Arik Levy

In Sweden, a patriarchal 'remnant' jars with image of equality

Bonhams achieves outstanding results in two-day series of Western & California Art sales

Exhibition of new works by Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha opens at Brighton CCA

Push to return 116,000 Native American remains is long-awaited

Patricia Wilde, ballerina showcased by Balanchine, dies at 93

Steidl announces U.S. release of 'Property Rights' by Mitch Epstein

Fine minerals from China to shimmer in spotlight at Heritage Auctions

Herbert Schlosser, a force behind 'SNL' and 'Laugh-In,' dies at 95

Speed Art Museum opens new exhibition: Ralph Eugene Meatyard's "The Unforeseen Wilderness"

Missoula Art Museum exhibits new works by Anne Appleby

'Bix' review: A jazz legend fondly remembered

'The Threepenny Opera,' without the 'Cabaret' clichés

'The Future Isn't What It Used To Be' by Esiri Erheriene-Essi opens at Maruani Mercier

Pavlov's Dog opens 'Luzia Simons & Anton Hofreiter: Watching Flowers'

Tel Aviv Museum of Art opens a solo exhibition of photography by Aenne Biermann

Electric Bike Riding Tips For Seniors

4 reasons to start painting your first masterpiece

3 Tips for Promoting your Own Art Exhibition

Pangea Localization Services

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful