Kino Lorber has set a June 7 DVD-only release date of Bix: Ain’t None of Them Play Like Him Yet, a 1981 documentary on Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke, considered to be the greatest jazz cornet player ever.
Bix, along with Louis Armstrong, pioneered the playing of jazz solos. He was born in 1903 in Davenport, Iowa, into an upper middle-class family. After a bout with alcoholism, Bix died in Sunnyside, Queens on Aug. 6, 1931. The cause of death was lobar pneumonia. He was 28.
The 1981 documentary uses archival photographs and rare footage (including the three sole momentary fragments capturing Bix on film) as well as interviews with friends and colleagues, including jazz greats Hoagy Carmichael, Doc Cheatham, and Artie Shaw.
The film, from Oscar winner Brigitte Berman, won the Bronze Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. It paints a vivid portrait of a vanished era and brings to life the only cornetist Armstrong regarded as an equal (the quotation in the film’s title was once spoken by Armstrong). The film has been restored by Oren Edenson with a fully remastered soundtrack by Daniel Pellerin.