4 posts categorized "Jazz"

February 02, 2022

RONNIE'S

ColeSmithey.comGroupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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Thanks a lot acorns!

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ColeSmithey.comEloquent character study of legendary saxophonist/Jazz club owner Ronnie Scott.

The world needs more inspired music club owners like Ronnie Scott.

You know who you are; get busy.

Jimi Hendrix played his last live performance at Ronnie's on his last night on Earth.

Ella, Dizzy, Sarah, Miles, Rahsaan, and Nina Simone show up in classic clips from gigs at Ronnie's.

Screen Shot 2022-02-02 at 2.02.13 PM

Nice.

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Book a flight to London, and get thee to Ronnie's.

Sure bet.

Screen Shot 2022-02-02 at 2.16.27 PM

Cheers to Ronnie Scott!

Thanks for the memories yet to be made.

Not Rated. 103 mins. 

5 StarsModern Cole

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

June 01, 2015

AMY — CANNES 2015

 ColeSmithey.com

Welcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

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Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com The must-see-documentary at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was Asif Kapadia’s ambitious biography of Amy Winehouse. It’s a devastating look at how some of the people closest to the singer/songwriter contributed to her untimely demise.

By sticking with his voiceover-only narration (rather than taking the standard talking-head approach) Kapadia stays out of the way of his fascinating subject. The method is so much the better for rapt audiences to absorb Winehouse’s raw talent and sophisticated mastery of melody, songcraft, and delivery.

ColeSmithey.com

Early videotape clips of Amy singing and playing guitar exhibit her natural musical gifts when she was barely a teenager. A teenaged Amy singing “Happy Birthday” for her longtime friend Lauren Gilbert is as entrancing as Marilyn Monroe’s famous rendition of the song for President Kennedy.

ColeSmithey.com

The filmmaker’s tireless interview of more than 80 of Amy Winehouse’s friends, family members, associates, and fellow musicians provides a wealth of details about who Amy Winehouse was, and her reasons for living life as she did. Kapadia provides private glimpses into Amy’s songwriting process that contributes to the film’s many memorable facets.

ColeSmithey.comMost captivating are studio-recording sessions in which Winehouse delivers her unique voice and phrasing with a stark honesty that charms all. Watching her record her famous song “Back to Black” is nothing short of stunning.

A duet recording session with her hero Tony Bennett reveals much about Winehouse’s craftsmanship as a singer and about the high standards to which she held herself. The instant rapport that she shares with a glowing Tony Bennett is a dreamlike moment of musical delight.

ColeSmithey.com

“Amy” is an essential document toward understanding the social climate and personal relations that snuffed out a troubled but gifted woman whose success proved too much to endure without drugs, booze, and dysfunctional relationships. Amy’s bulimia comes up as a contributing factor to her depleted physical state before her death at the age of 27. That neither of her parents saw fit to address the issue although they knew about it speaks to the kind of people they are.

Rated R. 127 mins.

4 Stars ColeSmithey.com

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon





August 02, 2008

ANITA O'DAY: THE LIFE OF A JAZZ SINGER

COLE SMITHEYWelcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

 

ColeSmithey.comAnita O’Day’s lasting influence as a performer and jazz musician is revealed in a fearless documentary that displays O’Day’s famed beauty and gutsy no-nonsense attitude that enabled her to survive against terrible odds.

A wealth of archive footage from Anita O’Day’s performances with such jazz greats as Gene Krupa, Stan Kenton and Hoagy Carmichael, and candid television interviews, are intercut with interviews of friends and musicians to give added dimension to the woman who best represents herself in front of the camera.

ColeSmithey.com

It’s no accident that Anita O’Day belongs to an elite group of jazz singers that include Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald. O’Day’s free-spirited nature that allowed her to fall into a 20-year heroin addiction also allowed her to pull herself out of it and continue to pursue her lifelong passion for singing.

ColeSmithey.com

You come away from the documentary impressed by a fiercely individualistic and beautiful woman who lived by her own rules with a fluid mastery of music that few musicians ever attain.

ColeSmithey.com

O’Day’s version of "A Nightingale Sang In Barkley Square" is the most lovely and moving rendition I’ve ever heard.

Check it out.

Not Rated. 92 mins.

5 Stars

ColeSmithey.com

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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