Posted inArts & Culture

Five Blind Boys of Alabama

Last summer, Clarence Fountain and his gospel group roused audiences out of their seats in the Goodman Theatre’s The Gospel at Colonus, in which ancient Greek myth was reset as an African American church pageant. Fountain’s gritty lead vocals, propelled by the vibrant harmonies of the rest of the group, proclaimed a decidedly earthy brand […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Roy Nathanson Quartet

Ever wonder what it might have been like if Eric Dolphy met, say, Harold Pinter–at Sun Ra’s house? Then try these guys on for size. First famous as a member of New York darlings the Lounge Lizards, saxophonist Nathanson is also cofounder of and guiding force behind the Jazz Passengers, the sophisticated, roisterous, witty, rough-hewn […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Don Cherry & Multikulti

By calling Don Cherry a father of “world music,” I don’t mean to slight either his trumpet playing or his vital niche in the history of jazz. His expertise on the instrument–which might be seen as a logical (if bold) extension of Dizzy Gillespie’s playing–made it possible for him to learn and execute the early […]

Posted inFilm

Stage, Screen and Television

PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS: ON THE SET OF DEATH OF A SALESMAN *** (A must-see) Directed by Christian Blackwood. I’ve never seen Volker Schlondorff’s 150-minute made-for-TV film of Death of a Salesman (1985), which Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies awards high marks: “Stunning though stylistic remounting of [Dustin] Hoffman’s Broadway revival of the classic Arthur Miller play with […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT You goofed again. Better crank up the insults to mask your incompetence–or enlist the aid of a real physicist. Aluminum does contain tiny magnets [September 7]. The reason it doesn’t stick to a magnet is that the tiny magnets are jiggling around too much due to thermal motions. If the temperature were low […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Final Touch

“Hello, Willie?” The man had to yell into the phone, shouting over the wind blasting between the billboards on the el platform. “It’s Benjamin,” he said. “What? No. No. I’ve got good news. I got a job today. I’m so excited.” He had an Irish accent and spoke with the breathless hurry of a telephone […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Probably because the floors are really strong. Lead question from a review of a self-help tape in Executive Edge (January 1991): “If dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years, why do so many work in your office?” How TV promotes racism, according to Ted Cox’s summary of Robert Entman’s survey of tube crime reporting […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eric Hochberg Quintet

For a nearly 20-year veteran of the local jazz scene, Eric Hochberg has seemed sort of invisible of late, probably because he hasn’t been leading his own groups (and possibly because he blends so well into any project he takes part in). This tough, terrific band–which addresses the first point and proves the second–is long […]