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OT: Woody Allen/Jazz/Klezmer

Chad Thorne

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Does anybody have any insight on this? Just watched Wild Man Blues, the 1996 documentary of Woody Allen's European tour with his jazz band.


I'd never heard as much of his playing before. It seemed that some of his licks sounded very klezmer-ish. I wonder if that's unique to him as a player; if those swooping, crying licks are part of the style of jazz he plays, or...In other words, did that style inform klezmer? Or vice versa? Or is is just Woody's style?



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Klezmer music from the old world arrived in New York city and morphed into Yiddish theater music. There was a scene which was parallel to the Broadway music scene. There were lots of shows, lots of composed music (which had its roots in Klezmer of the Shtetl (Eastern Europe ghettos and small Jewish towns)), and big stars.


Some of the musicians and music crossed over to the Broadway and jazz scene.


So, yes, there are similarities and relationships, especially in the trad jazz that Woody plays. And there are way better clarinetists than Woody playing this stuff.


Does that help?

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I was waiting for you to weigh in, JC!


I guess my question is really, "Would there be resonances of klezmer in trad New Orleans jazz played by a goy clarinetist who grew up in New Orleans, or Chicago, or Houston?"


And there are way better bassists than me playing the stuff I play, too.



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