Film: 837

Music | 1940 | Sound | B/W


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An excerpt from a short film featuring British jazz / swing group Harry Parry and his Band, with a guest appearance by singer Shirley Lenner. See 8153 and possibly 684 for other extracts.

The band are seen finishing a tune. The double bass player, Sam Lounow (Sam L), laughs as he spins his instrument.

The girlish Shirley Lenner is standing behind a large leather-bound tome, which is open with its spine facing towards us and bears the title 'Higher Mathematics'; the silhouette of an imposing stone or wooden bust can be seen to the left, suggesting that she is in a library; she begins singing to a piano accompaniment, gesturing with her pen, as the band join the music; after the music ends, we hear the voice of her father asking if she has finished her homework, to which she replies, 'Yes, Daddy, I've finished my Swing-o-nometry', before she falls helplessly beneath the leather-bound volume towards the left of the screen. As the band start up, SL is leaning on the top of the open volume once again, glancing towards the band beyond the left of the screen.

A close-up view of Harry Parry (HP) (in a white tuxedo, in contrast to the dark tuxedos worn by the other band members) playing clarinet. A more inclusive view of the group as they play, showing HP slightly in the foreground, with from left to right behind, Sam L, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Skidmore (JS) seated, trumpeter Dave Wilkins (DW), and the unoccupied singer Johnny Green (JG) seated; behind them are the two unoccupied female vocalists Primrose Hayes and Rita Marlowe, both seated. A close-up view of HP taking a brief clarinet solo. A view of HP, with JS to the left, DW to the right, and the drummer visible behind. A brief close-up of HP, before the camera swings leftwards to the hands of the pianist York de Souza (YdS), as he takes a solo; we move up to his face, then back down to his hands upon the keyboard. JS and DW are seen looking leftwards to the pianist, as is HP whose back is turned towards us as he faces the drummer Sid Raymond (SR); the camera moves slightly to the right, as DW, increasingly animated, stands up to contribute a trumpet solo, with HP visible to the left, still facing the drummer and keeping time, JG seated to the right, and the two female vocalists visible in the background; HP momentarily turns round a little, as DW improvises. A close-up view of DW playing.

We see HP taking another clarinet solo at close view, before the camera moves leftwards and the tall figure of JS stands to offer a tenor saxophone solo, with HP showing evident delight in the background, turning to the other band members, then examining JS's playing closely just before he himself joins the chorus; the camera shifts to the right slightly to include both players. A striking view of JS, HP and DW playing in a row, with SR on drums in the background; as Sam L starts his bass solo, they all glance to the left of the screen; the camera drifts across to concentrate on SL, who plays with a characteristic rocking motion. A view of the whole group, except for YdS, as they bring the tune to a close.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 837.