Watching the first episode of The Eddy as the bar tender flings ice into an ice bucket in the Parisian club, a female singer backed by a hard bop band just about keeping our attention as the camera unveils an authentic looking place, the label guy who came to check out the band not fussed as it turns out, musicians unhappy in the dressing room as pianist-owner Elliot (André Holland, above left) looks on even more miserably given the low turn-out and how badly the band are playing he thinks, before moving bad to worse getting beaten up by Serbian heavies who arrive after-hours looking for money (he'e even more miserable by then), this really contemporary good looking French and English dialogue drama ironically could do the jazz club scene a lot of good given that loads of new people will watch it on Netflix and I'm already getting decent wannabe Bertrand Tavernier vibes (Tavernier made one of the best ever evocations of jazz in recent decades on Round Midnight also set in Paris). That irony is it might do if we had a jazz scene any more given that everything's closed. Bummer eh? But maybe people will somehow post-Lockdown think hey that Eddy thing was a bit corny but OK: let's find a jazz club for the first time.
It doesn't escape me that if a new jazz album rather than a drama got half as much hype as this series has got in the media in the build-up to today's premiere then we could be living in a more savvy world where jazz actually gets exposure rather than as is the reality is instead habitually ignored by the dumb culture pages who prefer to laud some piece of braindead trivia with a backbeat that disappears oh two seconds after you hear it but happens to be pushed by big companies who flog it to death as if it were a tube of, what they don't realise, much more interesting toothpaste. The whole Eddy thing trades on updating the mystique and that invisible magic is just one of the elements we are all missing about not hearing jazz in a club at the moment and which makes it so important from a social point of view as well a musicial point of view place of creation, and for ideas crossing boundaries to stir the imagination. Everyone gets ideas and inspiration in a jazz club whatever your background is and I think this drama tries to make sense of all that but keeps it human amid all the dreaming and however much it gets it right or wrong. SG
Photo Lou Faulon/Netflix
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