Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Woody Allen & His New Orleans Jazz Band: Wild Man Blues

Woody Allen’s New Orleans jazz is a combination of mournful blues and lively syncopation played with raw spontaneity. His clarinet tone is downright edgy in the treble clef, although his low-register work is more soulful. He affects a decorative style with a vibrato frequently wide enough to drive a Mack truck through.

Five of the 15 tracks are from the books of past greats. Louis Armstrong’s “Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya” is a languid lament, Lillian Hardin Armstrong’s “Lonesome Blues” is delivered in an upbeat stop-tempo, and King Oliver’s “Dippermouth Blues” is rendered slow and easy. There’s musical breadth and depth to charts like Fats Waller’s “Come On and Stomp, Stomp, Stomp,” the prayer-like “Lead Me Savior,” and the title track. Eddie Davis (“The Manhattan Minstrel”) is the musical director, vocalist, and banjo player with the seven-piece band and pull-out trio.

Part of a tandem production, this CD features re-recorded selections from the video documentary of the same name. The session was played without rehearsal in a Manhattan church, the documentary’s music supplemented by additional tracks.

Originally Published