Friday, April 20, 2012

Cab Calloway: Sketches

Cab Calloway was a charismatic jazz musician in the big band era who, compared to his contemporaries such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, you could call a self-invented man with his wild and fluid body movements and his unique singing voice. With his hit song "Minnie the Moocher" and its largely infectious hi-de-hi-de-hi chorus, Calloway was the hit of Harlem nightclubs and helped bring black music to a larger audience. "Cab Calloway: Sketches" is a fascinating and highly entertaining entry in the American Masters Series. Calloway, who is now familiar to most through "The Blues Brothers", was a truly engaging personality and is wonderfully captured here in rare and exciting footage (I really dug a clip that showed him dancing side by side a cartoon walrus he was the model for). "Cab Calloway: Sketches" is a wonderful profile of a great talent and a great way to be introduced to the sadly forgotten artist.