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Clint Eastwood

Piano Blues

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Director and piano player Clint Eastwood (Play Misty for Me, Bird, Unforgiven) explores his life-long passion for piano blues, using a treasure trove of rare historical footage in addition to interviews and performances by such living legends as Pinetop Perkins and Jay McShann, as well as Dave Brubeck and Marcia Ball.

Says Eastwood: The blues has always been part of my musical life and the piano has a special place, beginning when my mother brought home all of Fats Waller's records. Also, the music has always played a part in my movies. A piano blues documentary gives me a chance to make a film that is more directly connected to the subject of the music than the features that I have been doing throughout my career.

I think I liked playing the piano. Eastwood found a certain comfort at the piano, the one thing his family always took with them. His mother, who is 96-years-old, nurtured her son’s love of music.

Well, Eastwood recalled, when I was 11-years old, I used to imitate records and try to bang 'em out on the piano. I drove my mother crazy, I think. ‘Cause I'd be sitting there working a riff over 20 times in a row.

You taught yourself?

My mother knew how to read music and everything. But I just kinda learned off of records. And so, I was listening to records and I'd play 'em over and over. And in those days, they were ‘78s’ and vinyl. So they'd get sort of gray after a while.

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