Then & Now
● By Style
Dinah Jams – Dinah Washington
There’s Ella and Billy and Etta…and somewhere, somehow, further down the list of the big names is Dinah Washington. Maybe history has a short memory, but just a spin of Dinah Jams tells you that Dinah had the spark, the passion, the grace and the playfulness of all the big names; and her greatness has in no way diminished with the passing of time. As one of the best jazz voices of the last century, she’s simply a joy.
Lioness: Hidden Treasures – Amy Winehouse
Behind the endless photographs documenting Winehouse’s heavily made-up eyes and disheveled beehives, there was a voice. There was always a voice. A Dinah Washington soul, never hidden but perhaps not truly seen while all were distracted by the tumult of her short life. If you care to listen now, you will hear what was lost.
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Decades after they first appeared in print, Nick and Nora Charles are two of Hammett’s most lingering creations. But it’s not just Nick and Nora’s clipped, witty banter. It’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, How the Other Half Lives, a portrayal of the high life behind the martinis…yet deliciously, curiously unreliable. Hammett shines with this classic treat.
Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard’s natural ear for dialogue and penchant for the wilier ways of human nature has always made his work a mainstay of the silver and small screens; TV’s Justified, based on Leonard’s creation of the trigger-happy Marshal Raylan Givens, is a prime example. At age 86, Leonard’s new novel Raylan shows that he’s still got the magic touch. There’s life in the old dog yet.
In what was one of the biggest travesties in TV history, the critic’s darling but ratings-suffering Sports Night (a late-night riff of SportsCenter) was cancelled after only two seasons. But few shows – then, now, or ever – can rival its smarts. Written by Aaron Sorkin, each episode benefits from a fast-moving script with sharply delivered dialogue by an equally fantastic cast.
In the autobiographical sports drama Moneyball, Brad Pitt stars as general manager of the Oakland Athletics whose partnership with a number-crunching ivy leaguer revolutionizes recruiting and turns an on-paper club of cast-offs into a winning team. The film – as much about business as it is about baseball – scores with another incredible script by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
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