2 items from 2013
Yusef Lateef, who died on Monday after a bout with prostate cancer, was a devout Muslim who did not like his music to be called jazz because of the supposed indecent origins and connotations of the word (although those origins are still debated). He preferred the self-coined phrase "autophysiopsychic music." Furthermore, his music encompassed an impressively broad range of styles, and the only Grammy he won was in the New Age category -- for a recording of a symphony. Think about those things amid the flood of Lateef obituaries with "jazz" in the headline.
That said, certainly Lateef's own musical origins indisputably revolved around jazz. Growing up in Detroit, a highly fertile musical environment in the 1930s and beyond, Lateef got his first instrument, an $80 Martin alto sax, at age 18. Within a year he was on the road with the 13 Spirits of Swing (arrangements by Milt Buckner).
A Detroit friend, »
The following documentaries from the 21st century were chosen for their abiding influence and/or “Wow!” factor. Most of them—not all—we also happen to love. But we did leave out some more obscure personal favorites to make room for the penguins, etc.1. Spellbound (2002)Jeffrey Blitz’s portrait of eight National Spelling Bee contestants and their families has a deep resonance: Among other things, mastery of the English language becomes a means of affirming one’s Americanness. The second half—in which the characters are knocked off one by one, as in an Agatha Christie thriller—has the audience hanging on every letter. The downside: Its massive success ushered in an age of similarly structured competition docs. (D.E.) 2. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)After Roger & Me, the Michael Moore doc with the most impact: part prosecutorial brief, part rabid editorial cartoon—a blend of insight, outrage, and innuendo. It’s not a documentary for the ages, »
- David Edelstein,Bilge Ebiri,Miranda Siegel
2 items from 2013
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