Jeff Simon, Author at Gusto
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Saturday, February 6, 2016

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Stories by Jeff Simon

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, February 4, 2016

Eddie Mannix (1891-1963) was very real. The last time a Hollywood film tried to tell us about the most famous “fixer” in its history was “Hollywoodland,” an investigation into the suicide of George Reeves who played Superman on 1950’s TV. Among the commonplace speculations from a town where stories and scenarios... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, February 4, 2016

My favorite Janis Joplin moment on record is silly really – just a tiny sliver of her personality captured in a couple of seconds of recording time. It’s on her best record by far, the posthumous “Pearl.” She sings a little joke song she and a couple poet friends wrote after first announcing it sarcastically as... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Sunday, January 31, 2016

JAZZ Stacey Kent, “Tenderly” (Okeh) Among the prouder acclaims of jazz as a music these days (and, in fact, since the age of radio) is its joyful protection of the “little” voice in a world of pop, rock and classical music devoted to making the voices and settings larger than they are (and, often enough,... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sure, sure. Everyone knows the trouble with jazz – too archaic, too arcane, too smart, too artsy, too free, too little involved with the body’s viscera or waggling behinds, among other body parts. True or not true (got six months? the debate will take that long), something happening in jazz to counter all that is... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jazz/New Music Ches Smith with Craig Taborn and Mat Maneri, “The Bell” (ECM) One of the great jazz events of the past three decades in Buffalo was jazz saxophonist James Carter’s 1995 gig at the Calumet Cafe on Chippewa Street. Carter’s gig was such a hit that the club had to turn away a large spillover... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Monday, January 25, 2016

Easy: Change one Oscar nomination and the whole “boycott” brushfire over racial diversity would never have happened.If Will Smith had been nominated for “Concussion” instead of Michael Fassbender for “Steve Jobs,” all would have been quiet – more or less. That’s what... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dr. Lonnie Smith, "Evolution" (Blue Note) Sadly, the publicity people at Blue Note are under the impression that Dr. Lonnie Smith -- 73-year old Red-Turbanned organ maestro--is a "native of Detroit" rather than the Lackawanna-born stalwart who developed his "foot-tapping grooves" and "sophisticated harmonic voicings" in... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, January 23, 2016

John Lunn, "Downton Abbey: The Ultimate Collection," featuring musical highlights from all six seasons (Carnival Master/Universal-2-discs) Now that "Downton Abbey" is out of business and the Dowager Countess of Grantham can no longer treat hungry and masochistic Americans on PBS to the weekly British joys of upper... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, January 21, 2016

Something is a little off in Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s “Anomalisa.” Of course it is, you say. It’s a movie written by Charlie Kaufman for pity’s sake. But in this case – a movie about a one-night stand filmed in stop-motion animation using puppets – it takes 10 or 15 minutes to catch on to what’s... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, January 21, 2016

Michael Caine is the whole point of Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth.” His is not the only stellar name in the cast, but his role is the biggest and most important. Harvey Keitel isn’t even close to Caine’s equal in on-screen wit and savvy. Jane Fonda is certainly Caine’s equal, but her part is a very small one –... Read More

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