Sweet and Lowdown and Howard Alden have a very special place in my guitar playing life.
I had studied guitar for years, become a jazz guitar player, and was studying at the USC Studio/Jazz guitar department. I was into 50's/60's hard-bop, blue note type stuff, Grant Green/Kenny Burell, etc. But I was really not enjoying the program. It made me hate playing guitar. After my freshman year I had so much contempt for guitar playing...I never wanted to play again. Ever.
Then I rented Sweet and Lowdown.
I was and am a hard-core swing dancer, and was listening to music from the 30's-40's every night practically, without any conscious effort.
Seeing Sweet and Lowdown made everything click. I realized I'm supposed to be a swing guitar player. After seeing the movie, I went upstairs and started jamming with my friend on "Daphne", and realized the phrasing of Django and Swing in general was so natural - and the bebop I'd tried to play always felt a bit forced, like somebody with a bad faked accent.
Four years later (ie this weekend), my band (Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, featuring Hilary Alexander)
was playing at the Sweet and Hot Jazz Festival. Howard Alden was another of the featured performers at the Festival.
I got to hand him a copy of my CD and said "This is all your fault." He really appreciated that.