Bix Beiderbecke was one the brightest innovators of the early jazz scene. He was a brilliant improviser on the level of Louis Armstrong, but his cornet had a completely different, almost wistful tone -- one of the reasons he is sometimes thought of as a Cool Jazz missing link. He came to fame through his association with the square -- by today's standards -- Paul Whiteman Orchestra, then had more opportunity to sparkle with Frankie Trumbauer and the Chicago Loopers. He became one of the first counter-cultural musical stars by drinking himself to death at an early age. Kirk Douglas played a sanitized variation of Bix in the melodrama Young Man With a Horn.