Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend
Kernfeld, Barry, Notes
Fantasy has been the overriding theme in jazz film biographies. The Fabulous Dorseys (1947), Young Man with a Horn (1949), The Glenn Miller Story (1953), The Benny Goodman Story (1955), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), and New York, New York (1977) are representative. Our age of the docudrama has recently brought forth a few efforts to lend a sense of authenticity to this tiny subgenre of film: witness 'Round Midnight (1986), Bird (1989), and now, the best yet, Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend (1994). Although Bix does not quite match Amadeus in conveying the wonderment of music -- that God, truth, and profound beauty could come forth from such a crass and childish man (a point utterly missed in Bird, which focuses on saxophonist Charlie Parker's depravity without offering any understanding of his genius) -- Bix convincingly portrays cornetist Bix Beiderbecke's demonic and irreconcilable struggle between upper middle-class proprieties (his upbringing) and the pleasures and pitfalls of the jazz life in the 1920s (his calling). Bix rivals Amadeus in the quality of the acting and the consequent emotional …
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Publication information: Article title: Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend. Contributors: Kernfeld, Barry - Author. Journal title: Notes. Volume: 52. Issue: 1 Publication date: September 1995. Page number: 156+. © 2009 Music Library Association, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1995 Gale Group.
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