Gene Krupa: Swing, Swing, Swing
This program presents Gene in fourteen complete, rarely seen performances spanning over 60 years, along with Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Ventura, Anita O’Day, and an interview with the legend himself.
A video tribute to the man who made the drums a solo instrument and is a certifiable legend of swing.
This program presents Gene in fourteen complete, rarely seen performances spanning over 60 years, along with Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Ventura, Anita O’Day and an interview with the legend himself, Gene Krupa!
1. Gene Krupa Drum Solo, 1947: Gene’s solo in this 55-year-old piece of film was his featured spot in the Gene Krupa Jazz Trio’s rendition of “Stompin’ At The Savoy.” This solo became something of a “set piece” for him over the years and was repeated as his solo on this number, with some modifications, for the next 26 years. While Gene explores the timbres of the various cymbals, this routine also served as an “audience tease” who were really wanted Gene to “take off,” as well as something of an “energy saver” and a great chance to display his matinee idol showmanship.
2. I’ve Got A Secret, 1958: Movie stars were using every means to promote their upcoming pictures long before there was a Letterman, Leno or MTV. Here’s a baby-faced Sal Mineo literally and figuratively beating the drum for the soon-to-be-released “Gene Krupa Story.” Mineo, playing on a pristine set of White Marine Pearl Gretsch drums was a pretty decent drummer who had been a fan of Gene’s for years. Krupa himself doesn’t look thrilled to be there. Either he was already embarrassed about the shoddiness of the film, and/or was bugged about having to miss a night’s gig at Chicago’s London House.
3. The Benny Goodman Quartet, 1967: One of the rarest pieces of Krupa film to ever surface, this was actually a half-hour documentary about the city of Chicago. What makes this so rare is that Gene was actually retired during this period (having become dissatisfied with his own playing) and came out to do this only for Benny, plus the fact that “Original Goodman Quartet reunions” were quite infrequent but always special. The next series of reunions didn’t take place for another five years.
Special DVD Features: Includes three rare film clips of Gene: an incredible solo from 1947, a 1958 appearance on Ive Got A Secret with Sal Mineo, and one of the rarest pieces of Krupa film to ever surface, a performance with the Benny Goodman Quartet circa 1967. Also includes a photo gallery of classic Krupa photos.