Friday, April 15, 2011

Today in cute: Mix your own cartoon jazz band

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 11:05 AM

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It's cute, it's fun, and it's damn near educational.

Yesterday, Smithsonian Folkways launched a jazz education website that has some pretty swell features, including a multi-media timeline and interactive map.

But the best part is an interactive music mixer that lets you remix such contemporary hits as "Bill Bailey," "St. Louis Blues," and "When the Saints Go Marching In." With just five instrumental tracks (piano, drums, bass, sax and trumpet), it's decidedly primitive, yet strangely fun, to mess with the mix and watch ’50s-style animated musicians respond in kind.

Meanwhile, if you're an iPad devotee, I can also recommend History of Jazz, which you can read about here. A feature-rich app with tons of videos, it spans a century of jazz, from Eubie Blake to Dr. Lonnie Smith, Nils Petter Molvaer to the Bad Plus. Even hardcore jazz aficionados are likely to discover new favorites.

Okay, enough with education. Here's a 1929 video of Mickey Mouse in "The Jazz Fool." Somebody give that horse a record deal!

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