Paris Blues/Anatomy Of A Murder

Duke Ellington

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Paris Blues/Anatomy Of A Murder Review

by Scott Yanow

Paris Blues had the potential for being an important Hollywood movie. Originally, it was supposed to be about a pair of interracial romances involving American jazz musicians who were living in Paris. Instead, the producers chickened out at the last minute and made the plot a bit more conventional. However, the movie, starring Paul Newman (as a trombonist whose playing was ghosted by Murray McEachern), Sidney Poitier (on tenor, sounding an awful lot like Guy Lafitte), Joanne Woodward, and Diahann Carroll, still has its moments and deals with the jazz life to an extent. Duke Ellington wrote the music for its score; his orchestra, McEachern, Lafitte, and lots of extra musicians are heard throughout, and Louis Armstrong has a small part and plays two numbers. Originally; the soundtrack was put out by United Artists. Although not a classic, Paris Blues (both the film and the soundtrack) is worth owning by jazz collectors.