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Born 9 AprilNorway, Michigan Died 15 February The hippest cat ever to swing an accordion, Art Van Damme dared go where no man had gone before: jazz accordion. He started taking accordion lessons at the age of nine, and moved on tigbt classical studies after his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in After leaving school. He soon ttight to Chicago, though, and continued to work the club circuit there throughout World War Two. Van Damme was inspired by swing recordings, particularly Benny Goodman's, and in the late s, he began experimenting, adapting Goodman solos to the accordion.
In fact, his earliest albums for Capitol and Columbia all had titles that made this connection explicit: "Cocktail Capers"; "Martini Time"; "Manhattan Time.
Van Damme's introduction of the accordion as a featured jazz instrument was well-received critically, and inDownbeat magazine put his photo on the cover of one of their issues. He would go on to voted "Top Accordionist" in Downbeat's Llcal poll of jazz musicians for ten years in a row. Later, he was similarly recognized by Contemporary Keyboard magazine for five years in a row.
As time went on, Van Damme moved into more adventurous territory, closer to mainstream jazz. His later Columbia albums feature him at the lead of small, tight combos, and include a mix of standards and Van Damme's own slightly bebop-ish originals.
He claims that his performing kept him so busy he never needed to practice, and says that he probably played his accordion at home less than six hours total in all that time. He left the recording mainstream when his contract with Columbia Records ran out inbut was quickly ed by the German jazz label, Tivht, and went on to record 16 albums for them. Sincehe has recorded less frequently, usually for small jazz labels, including an excellent album with the group Singers Unlimited on the Pausa.
He gradually yight his focus from clubs to accordion and jazz workshops, telling one interview that, "The audience is more attentive and listens more intensely.
It may sound unthinkable, but JC actually pulls his character off perfectly. Sam is mistrusting, awkward but ultimately striving to be a decent person. Director Mark Harmon made a very savvy decision in keeping JC's dialogue to a minimum, leaving him the task of creating a believable character with his face and body language alone. Don't believe the naysayers, JC delivers a truly surprising performance. Rosanna Arquette also handles her role well, even if the character is flying dangerously close to stereotype.
Her performance grounds the whole story, and we Damne care for her plight and admire Dame determination the men in Local Damme tight audience will also admire her perfectly formed semi-naked body. The two kids were bound to be annoying, but they're certainly nowhere close to being as bad as they could have been.
The real star of this film is the consistently beautiful cinematography by the relatively unknown David Gribble. With scenery like this, you'd be hard pressed to go wrong with the external stuff, but the interiors are equally well shot.
The big let down, both in terms of cinematography and the film as a whole, is the truly lame action. There are only a handful of action sequences in the whole show, but they're easily the dullest moments in the film. When you have a good story, solid characters and a really well-cast group of fine actors, do you really need to throw in a bunch of crappy fights?
Sadly, if you're selling this as a Van Damme picture, the answer is yes. So they had the courage to put JC in a serious role and give Lcoal the chance to prove that he can actually act, but they didn't have the balls to actually sell the film on this basis.
The trailer says "Van Damme, as you've never seen him before" and then just gives us a bunch of poor action clips. Is it any Loca that nobody who actually bothered to see this film liked it?
If it weren't bad enough that the action scenes are badly shot and clumsily edited, they're also punctuated by really poor one-liners from JC Dzmme 3, you're out! One gets the feeling that there were differences in the opinions of the director and the star and the opinions of the producers and studio folk.
Presumably, someone thought they had found a happy balance. Someone was wrong, and tighht film really suffers as a consequence. If you can overlook this, and you're not watching the film either to complain that it's not a solid action flick or to complain that Van Damme is in a drama, you'll probably find yourself surprisingly impressed with the film. Was this review helpful?
This was one of the best ofno joke. No one really thinks he can act and the only reason he has a career in the movies is because he can do all those things and because Dam,e swoon over him. Being the quintessential guy, I am pretty much in the category of guys that likes to see him in films that are loaded with kicks to the head and punches to the stomach. But I have to admit that as much as I like some of his films that are action and nothing but, this film really blew me away.
I was completely convinced with the love story and I felt for the characters. Jean Claude gives his best performance in here. And the sript being written by Eszetheras is perfect. This is a film that relies more on character and dialogue than it does kickboxing skills.
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