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July 05, 2009


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Matt Rubin

In defense of Cameron Crowe, I can't think of a single "bad jazz" joke in his other movies, aside from the one mentioned. Granted, I haven't watched "Elizabethtown," but I know that "Vanilla Sky" features a hologram of John Coltrane playing "My Favorite Things," with nary a negative comment. Crowe's mentor was Lester Bangs, who certainly had an interest in jazz. And Crowe seems to have legitimate respect for Charles Mingus in this interview with Joni Mitchell (see below). Perhaps the "Jerry Maguire" jazz-nerd character is simply his way of taking the hot air out of the many jazz lovers who go on and on about "America's Classical Music," "America's Most Valuable Contribution to the Arts," etc. I imagine that must get quite annoying to American artists working in other fields.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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