Jeff Simon, Author at Gusto
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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Stories by Jeff Simon

By Jeff Simon » Friday, August 19, 2016

“Ben-Hur” set the record for 11 Oscars in 1959. “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” caught up, but 11 is still the record number. Almost every critic who could write and breathe at the time seemed to line up to shout hosannas at the four hour “Ben-Hur.” The one significant holdout –... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Fred Hersch Trio “Sunday Night at the Vanguard” (Palmetto). Pianist Hersch tells us in the simple but revealing notes to this disc “I could tell from the first notes of ‘A Cockeyed Optimist’ that we were in the zone.” And so he was for this evening at the Village Vanguard, when he performed his fourth... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, August 18, 2016

John Beasley Presents Monk’estra, Volume One (Mack Avenue) John Beasley has this to say about arranging classic tunes by Thelonious Monk: “Jimmy Heath once told me that all the good stuff is already built into Monk. The tunes are built to swing ... The sign of a great composer – like Gershwin, Ellington, Wayne... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, August 18, 2016

It turns out that the modern American West is a country for old men, no matter what Cormac McCarthy, the Coen Brothers and the Oscars think. The “old man” who is, far and away, the making of “Hell or High Water” is 66-year-old Jeff Bridges, who plays retiring Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton in the much-acclaimed... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Sunday, August 7, 2016

JAZZ Peter Erskine Trio with John Taylor and Palle Danielsson “As It Was” (ECM Old and New Series, three discs). It almost goes without saying that pianist John Taylor was not on the same level as Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau and Michel Petrucciani. But among the... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Sunday, August 7, 2016

My life changed forever on May 9, 1958. That was when my 13-year-old self stood in line at the long-gone downtown Paramount Theater to catch the first showing in town of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” Truth to tell, it was Saul Bass’ poster and ad logos that hooked me. I had no idea what it was going to be when I... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Sunday, August 7, 2016

It’s easy to understand the privileged place “Hitchcock/Truffaut” in book form has occupied in the minds of people who love movies, right from the first. Here was one indisputably great film artist – who had already made “The 400 Blows,” “Shoot the Pianist” and “Jules and Jim” – treating an elder... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, August 4, 2016

CLASSICAL Various Composers, Overtures to Bach performed by cellist Matt Haimovitz (Pentatone/Oxingale) Almost all cellists have personal relationships to Bach’s magnificent Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. Matt Haimovitz, though, had the idea to commission six contemporary composers “to engage with his music.... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, August 4, 2016

Harley Quinn is her name. You’ll remember her. She’s the winner and brand new loonybird heavyweight champion of DC Extended Comics courtesy of David Ayer’s new movie “Suicide Squad.” Superman? Batman? Old hat. We’ve been there, done that – rather depressingly in fact, in last year’s “Batman v... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Sunday, July 31, 2016

SOUTHERN ROCK The Cadillac Three, “Bury Me In My Boots (Big Machine) “Bury me in my boots and don’t forget the whiskey/ Light a cigarette girl, lean on in and kiss me/Send me on my way with some black roses/ This is the path I’ve chosen and you can’t go with me.” That’s the actual chorus of the... Read More

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