Jeff Simon, Author at Gusto
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

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Stories by Jeff Simon

By Jeff Simon » 5:05 PM

Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, "The Essentials" (Concord). God bless the Internet. We owe this delightful and hilariously hallucinatory record to its sudden  ability to propagate viral nuttiness to millions of online ironists everywhere. What pianist Scott Bradlee said about his Postmodern Jukebox is that it's a... Read More

By Jeff Simon » 6:00 AM

There is no way Nanni Moretti's "Mia Madre" ("My Mother") could have been made in this country. It is, for one thing, not about a 70-something former film siren a la Catherine Deneuve but a 50-something intellectual film director named Margherita afflicted with self-doubt. Her film specialty is social consciousness; how... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Tuesday, September 27, 2016

She doesn't have the look of a president, quoted Lester Holt. She doesn't have the stamina. That, he told Donald Trump, is what Trump had said about Hillary Clinton. So what did Trump mean by saying those things? Trump tried to answer. He dropped the "look" observation as quickly as possible and went for the stamina... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 24, 2016

JAZZ Billy Hart & The WDR Big Band, “The Broader Picture” (Enja, out next week) The key name here is in small type on the front of the insert: “Arranged and conducted by Christopher Schweizer.” He is “Swiss-born, Hamburg-based” and was a student of drummer Billy Hart’s back in New York in 1992.... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Friday, September 23, 2016

Here’s a scene from the remake of “The Magnificent Seven” that you haven’t seen in every other Western: The Good Guys ride into town knowing they’re going to have to get into a quick shooting match with the slobby, nasty Bad Guys. The Good Guys are led by Denzel Washington in his first Western, playing a dude... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, September 22, 2016

RockZZ Top, “Live: Greatest Hits from Around the World” (Suretone). Can’t bury the lede here: this is the great band’s first full-length live album in 46 years. And, furthermore, on the two cuts recorded in concert in London – “Rough Boy” and “Sixteen Tons” (on disc for the first time) – the guest star... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, September 22, 2016

There’s an OMG moment in John Krasinski’s affecting dramedy “The Hollars.” What you’re watching is director and star Krasinski shave the head of Margo Martindale, the 65-year-old actress who plays his mother in the film.Krasinski plays an aspiring graphic novelist in New York who returns to his small town home... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 17, 2016

JAZZ Steve Gadd Band, Way Back Home: Live from Rochester, N.Y. (BFM Jazz, disc plus two DVDs) Ever since jazz and rock decided to keep intimate company and go electric together (in other words, early Ramsey Lewis trio stuff doesn’t really count), Rochester-bred drummer Steve Gadd has been as busy as the proverbial... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Saturday, September 17, 2016

JAZZ Denny Zeitlin, Early Wayne: Solo Piano performances of Early Wayne Shorter Compositions (Sunnyside) Very little in this world is easier for deep-dish jazz fans than selling them on a solo piano disc of Denny Zeitlin playing early compositions by Wayne Shorter, the great jazz composer who was the co-leader of... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, September 15, 2016

CLASSICAL Alexandra Vrebalov, “The Sea Ranch Songs” performed by the Kronos Quartet (Canteloupe, disc plus DVD) It’s the DVD by Andrew Lyndon that is of more interest here, really, than the music. The Kronos is one of the world’s greatest chamber ensembles. I’ve always thought that if there were a Nobel... Read More

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