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Woody Allen and all that jazz

December 27, 2011 |  9:00 am
Woody Allen

When Woody Allen brings his love of New Orleans jazz to the Royce Hall stage at UCLA Thursday night, he may have a music stand in front of him, but he won't be bringing a pulpit, too.
The 76-year old Allen, who has been playing clarinet in a combo for nigh on half a century now, has thrown in the towel as a proselytizer for his favorite form of jazz.

"You know," Allen said in a recent phone interview in advance of this event, "there is nothing more boring than grabbing people by the shoulders and telling them to listen to these great musicians or that great record.

"I used to be that guy. I was always doing it with people, I’d stop them and say 'just listen to this' and they’d look at me like I was nuts. It would be like if I cornered you now and forced you to listen to a Gregorian chant and, well, if you happened to know about Gregorian chants and loved them, maybe you would appreciate it.

"But probably you'd just wish I'd go away. So while I'm not a great player -- in fact, I believe I'm a terrible player -- I just play New Orleans jazz on stage with the band and leave it at that."

Click here to read the interview with Woody Allen, on a life spent listening to and playing the New Orleans sound.

And listen below to the New Orleans jazz band that Allen said he would most like to have performed with.

-- Christopher Smith

Photo credit: Victor Puig