Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jazztime Tale-Pt 1: Fats Waller

from an amazon reviewer Ruby Dee narrates this story

I have shown this wonderful little movie to my k-2nd grade students for the past 17 years. Even though the animation technique is fairly primitive, these XBox kids find it highly engaging. The movie does a good job of showing the early days of Fats' career, when he was skipping school to play music for the silent films, before he became the great ragtime pianist we all know him as. It also brings out his minister-father's objections to jazz without dwelling on them. There is a delightful section that shows what silent films were like, complete with dialogue boxes and a heroine tied to an ominous logging saw! The main story, which acts as a vehicle to introduce us to Thomas "Fats" Waller is a sweet, fairly believable story of two girls, one black, one white, who meet and become friends in Harlem, NY. I highly recommend this video for anyone interested in Waller or NY in the 1920's, and especially other Music teachers out there.


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