Film Explores Relationship Between Jewish And Black Music

Louis Armstrong is credited with bringing "Body and Soul" into the jazz canon, according to a documentary from filmmaker Robert Philipson
Credit Wikimedia Commons
Audio version of this story here.

The song “Body and Soul” has been recorded more than 3,000 times. Originally a popular song by Jewish composer Johnny Green, it’s now one of the most performed jazz standards. 

Filmmaker Robert Philipson has dug deeper into the song. His documentary “Body and Soul: An American Bridge” examines the complicated relationship between Jewish and African-American culture by way of music.  

“’Body and Soul’ was a gold standard for jazz improvisation,” said Philipson said in a conversation with Lois Reitzes. “But there was a whole 20 years beforehand in which the song had a very interesting history which brought out the complex interrelations between African Americans and Jews.”

“Body and Soul: An American Bridge” is one of the selections of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. It plays tonight at Tara Theatre at 7 p.m. Philipson will be at that event for a Q&A after the screening. The film also shows as part of the festival on Feb. 10 at Lefont Sandy Springs at 12:25 p.m. 

Like us on Facebook