Music Articles

Why Woody Allen Is Good For Jazz

Woody Allen i

Woody Allen has long moonlighted as a clarinet player. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images
Woody Allen

Woody Allen has long moonlighted as a clarinet player.

Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

There's a lot to think about in Stacey Anderson's massive article in today's Village Voice about the famed actor-director Woody Allen's passion for jazz. More specifically, it's about Woody Allen's passion for traditional jazz in 2010, already underheard even in his beloved New York City, and further threatened by the diminishing and aging jazz audience.

Allen may not be a great clarinet player by his own admission, but the intended takeaway from all this — if you allow yourself not to be taken in by the invocation of the Incredible Disappearing Jazz Audience — is that he's good for the music. And why not? He may not represent a savior of jazz, as if the music needed one of those. But he is famous, and he makes a point of publicly playing New Orleans jazz respectably, and is thus exposing it to others who otherwise wouldn't care. That's important, right? [Village Voice: The Jazz Evangelism Of Woody Allen]

UPDATE: Read Ethan Iverson on the article's missing subtext of race. "There's a lot to think about," indeed.

P.S. I am posting a clip of the remarkable near-final scene from Manhattan because I can (its relevance to this post at 1:05).



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