Sunday, October 28, 2007

TV: Viewing Tip

One of the damnedest movies I’ve ever seen makes a rare TV appearance this week. Deadline at Dawn (1946) screened at this year’s Noir City festival. It marks a wild confluence of talent – Clifford Odets adapting Cornell Woolrich for Harold Clurman, the founder of the Group Theater directing his only film. It airs this Tuesday, October 30, on Turner Classic Movies at 11:45 PM Eastern. It’s worth setting the DVR for.

Music: Terrasson/Vasandani

Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival is in full swing, and this year I’m finally making good on my annual promise to take in some shows. Not that I’m going to write about them at length. When it comes to jazz, I’m still a neophyte who doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I’ll just tell you who I saw and leave it at that.

I’m all about piano, so Jacky Terrasson was at the top of my list. His solo set was the second such show I’ve seen this month after Martial Solal at the Village Vanguard in New York. (Oddly, each offered an idiosyncratic version of ‘Take The A Train.’) Terrasson is an intense performer who attacks the piano from a variety of angles, using it as a percussion instrument or reaching inside for a harp-like pluck of the strings. The sound that results is incredible. His ‘America The Beautiful’ is a haunting reverie, while his impassioned take on ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ wrings powerful emotion from a song that I’ve previously never liked. Both tracks are available on his fine new album Mirror.

The opening act, singer Sachal Vasandani, has a warm, supple voice and a way with standards (‘Baby, Don’t You Go Away Mad’) and original material (‘Storybook Fiction,’ a charmer you can hear at his website). A good night all around.

Miscellaneous: Links

A new member of the Writers Guild learns that David Mamet loves her house.

Nerve has a three part series on the best fictional presidents in film. How they could overlook Richard Belzer in Species II and Roy Scheider in Chain of Command is beyond me.