Hollywood Rediscovers Jazz, From Billie Holliday to Ma Rainey to ‘Soul’ (Guest Blog)

  • The Wrap
Hollywood Rediscovers Jazz, From Billie Holliday to Ma Rainey to ‘Soul’ (Guest Blog)
“It’s just that jazz ain’t cool anymore,” the sexy saxophonist is told in the new Amazon Prime dramatic feature “Sylvie’s Love.”

But Viola Davis’ title character in Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” disagrees: “Blues helps you get out of bed in the morning.”

Who would have thought that one of the notable trends in filmed entertainment at this time would be an American art form born more than 120 years ago? Amid the stalled and rearranged film landscape of 2020, just as the Black Lives Matter movement re-emerged as a cultural force, numerous film and TV projects are celebrating jazz, blues and other music associated with the Black experience, and its historically challenging path to full respect.

“Sadly, these projects remain timelessly relevant,” said James Erskine, director of the new documentary, “Billie,” about legendary jazz and blues singer Billie Holiday.

Besides those “Sylvie’s Love” and “Ma Rainey,” consider “The Eddy,
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