Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz

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Although his perfectionism, his propensity to worry, his shyness, and his self-doubt could make him difficult, even exasperating, to work with, he was an efficient planner and worker. His courtesy, enormous professionalism, and tireless struggle for improvement earned him the admiration of his co-workers.

Fred Astaire - Music Makes Me (From "Flying Down To Rio")

Astaire's legacy continues to be revisited, sometimes with controversy. In January , Astaire's image returned to television through special effects editing when Dirt Devil grafted their vacuum cleaners into dance scenes from Astaire's films for three of their commercials. The advertisements were completed and run with Robyn Astaire's blessing.

Music Makes Me : Fred Astaire and Jazz by Todd Decker (2011, Paperback)

The commercials, which aired during the Super Bowl, were panned by the press, the general feeling being that replacing Ginger Rogers with a vacuum cleaner was in poor taste. Fred Astaire's autobiography which, shattering Hollywood tradition, he wrote himself in longhand is Steps in Time Astaire can also be found on the World Wide Web.

Fred Astaire was a famous dancer and choreographer one who creates and arranges dance performances who worked in vaudeville traveling variety entertainment acts , musical comedy, television, radio, and Hollywood musicals. His parents, Frederic E. The two Austerlitz children proved extraordinarily talented and the family moved to New York , where the children continued their training in singing, dancing, and acting.

Música - Fred Astaire - Kboing Músicas Para Você Ouvir

In Fred and Adele began performing in vaudeville. By they had changed their last name to Astaire and began performing in musicals. When Adele retired from show business in to marry, Astaire sought to reshape his career. He took the featured role in the musical Gay Divorce. This show proved Astaire could succeed without his sister and helped establish the pattern of most of his film musicals: it was a light comedy, built around a love story for Astaire and his partner that was amusing, but basically serious — and featuring some great dancing, including routines Astaire was beginning to develop himself.

He had a featured part in Flying Down to Rio The film was a hit, and it was obvious that Astaire was a major factor in the success. The Gay Divorcee , a film version of Gay Divorce, was the first of Astaire's major pictures with Ginger Rogers — and an even bigger hit. With seven more films in the s the most popular of which was Top Hat in , Astaire and Rogers became one of the legendary partnerships in the history of dance, featuring high spirits, bubbling comedy, and romantic chemistry. By the end of the s the profits from the Astaire-Rogers films were beginning to decline.

Over the next few years Astaire made nine films at four different studios and continued to create splendid dances, appearing with a variety of partners. In Astaire retired from motion pictures to create a chain of successful dancing schools. Astaire's success was marred in , however, when his beloved wife died from cancer. By the mids the era of the Hollywood musical was coming to an end, and Astaire moved into other fields.

On television he produced four award-winning musical specials with Barrie Chase as his partner. Over the years he played a number of characters on television in dramatic specials and series.

In , as he entered his eighties, Astaire married Robyn Smith, a successful jockey in her mid-thirties. Ginger Rogers , Astaire's longtime dance partner, passed away in Fred Astaire appeared in musical numbers, of which contain fully developed dance routines, many of which are of great artistic value. And, because he worked mainly in film, the vast majority of Astaire's works are preserved in their original form.

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Astaire's dances are a blend of tap and ballroom dancing with bits from other dance forms thrown in. What holds everything together is Astaire's class, wit, and apparent ease of execution. Astaire spent weeks working out his choreography. He also created an approach to filming dance that was often copied in Hollywood musicals: both camerawork and editing are used to support the flow of the dancing, not to overshadow it. Although his shyness and self-doubt could make him difficult to work with, Astaire was an efficient planner and worker. His courtesy, professionalism, and struggle for improvement earned him the admiration of his coworkers.

In January , with Robyn Astaire's blessing, Astaire's image returned to television through special effects editing — Dirt Devil inserted its vacuum cleaners into dance scenes from Astaire's films for three of its commercials.

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The press criticized the commercials. The general feeling was that replacing Ginger Rogers with a vacuum cleaner was in poor taste. Adler, Bill. Fred Astaire: A Wonderful Life. Gallafent, Edward. New York : Columbia University Press, Omaha, Nebr. After he and his sister Adele — , b. Adele Marie Austerlitz, formed a successful Broadway vaudeville team. After his sister retired , Astaire became a film actor He became known as a debonair song-and-dance man, particularly in the films he made with Ginger Rogers , which elevated the tap dance to an elegant, disciplined art.

Robert B. Ray

A number of classical dancers, notably Nureyev and Baryshnikov , have acknowledged an artistic debt to him. See his autobiography, Steps in Time ; biographies by B. Thomas , B.

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Adler , and J. Epstein ; J. Gallafent, Astaire and Rogers ; T. Riley, The Astaires: Fred and Adele Octavio Solis: American Enough 0 comment. In this bold, fresh, and endlessly insightful study, Decker takes us inside the creative process, describing how Hollywood provided Astaire with the resources to reinvent the musical genre in his own inimitable styleand ;a jazz-infused, dance-obsessed style that found expression when, and only when, Astaire and ;let it swing. With perceptive readings of films, songs, and and ;routinesand ; informed by an impressive array of archival material, he is able to analyze and describe Astaireand ;s artistry with unprecedented precision across his entire career.

This is an outstanding book marking an important and unique intersection of music, dance, film, and race.

  • Notes on Fred Astaire.
  • Fred Astaire |
  • Citations per year.
  • His deep research and authoritative writing aimed at fans of jazz and Astaire as well as musicians and musicologists elucidate the underpinnings of Astaireand ;s bond with jazz over a half-century. Add to the iconic songs Astaire performed and that his career was song-driven , the perfect timing of his career, ability to adapt in film and later television and Deckerand ;s thesis stands on Astaireand ;s magical feet and transcendent feat.

    It applies first rate scholarship informed by a warm and well informed but not uncritical empathy for its subject. A valuable contribution not only to studies of Fred Astaire and of the musical film, but of jazz and of twentieth-century American musical culture. But the technological transition was slow.

    After the first feature-length sound movie, The Jazz Singer , which starred Al Jolson, it was six years before the advent of the Jazz Dancer proved that talking and even singing mouths were not nearly as expressive in the new medium as dancing feet, especially and almost exclusively the feet of Fred Astaire. Astaire and the difference he made to the film musical add up to more than the story of one career.

    Earlier in the movie, Ginger Rogers sang it:. His timing, as usual, was impeccable.