The Commercial Appeal

‘Sopranos’ creator eulogizes star


The creator of “The Sopranos” said at James Gandolfini’s funeral that the actor brought the traits of a sad boy, “amazed and confused,” to the role of Tony Soprano.

“You were a good boy,” David Chase said Thursday at the ceremony at New York’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.

One of four speakers at the funeral, Chase gave his remarks in the form of a letter to Gandolfini. The actor’s widow, Deborah Lin Gandolfini, and two family friends were also speakers at the ceremony.

Chase remembered that Gandolfini once told him that “you know what I want to be? A man. That’s all. I want to be a man.” Chase said he marveled upon hearing that, since Gandolfini was a man so many others looked up to.

The 51-year-old actor best known for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano in the HBO series died of a heart attack last week while vacationin­g with his son in Italy.

Braff to star in ‘Bullets’

but next year in a musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s crime caper “Bullets Over Broadway.” The only person who might be more excited than Braff is his dad.

“If my father loved two things most, it was Woody Allen movies and Broadway musicals,” Braff said. “When I called my father, I said, ‘Are you sitting down?”’

Written by Allen and Douglas McGrath, the story follows a struggling young playwright who is forced to cast a mobster’s talentless girlfriend in his latest drama. Braff will play the hero, portrayed by John Cusack in the 1994 film.

Pianist Keith Jarrett says “only music excites me, and awards and ceremonies do not.” But the pianist says he feels honored to receive the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award, joining many past recipients who have influenced him.

The NEA announced Thursday that its 2014 Jazz Masters — the nation’s highest jazz honor — also include avantgarde saxophonis­t-composer Anthony

Braxton, bassist-educator Richard Davis, and educator Jamey Aebersold.

Jarrett was cited for his work in both the jazz and classical fields. His latest release, Somewhere, marks the 30th anniversar­y of his trio with bassist Gary

Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette.

“It’s thrilling,” Braff says. “I keep waking up expecting it to be a dream.”

Jarrett among jazz honorees

 ??  ?? David Chase
David Chase
 ??  ?? Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
 ??  ?? Zach Braff
Zach Braff

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