Matthew Goldwasser

Jazz on Film: La La Land - We are the ones who dream

Jan 20, 2017

The film begins with an opening scene familiar to L.A. residents. A gridlocked freeway on a bright sunny day has motorists stepping out of their cars, but in “La La Land,” they burst into a song and dance number in celebration of the day. There we meet the soon-to-be lovers, Mia and Sebs (Sebastian). But at this moment Mia is rehearsing for an audition and Sebs honks in frustration and pulls ahead while she gives him the finger.

Jazz on Film: Bayou Maharajah - The Tragic Genius of James Booker

Jan 1, 2017

There are some instances in his playing that are very unusual and highly complex, but the groove is never sacrificed. Within all the romping and stomping in his music, there were complexities in it that, if one tried to emulate it, what you heard and what excited you on the surface was supported by some extreme technical acrobatics finger-wise that made his music extraordinary as far as I’m concerned. And most of all, it always felt wonderful ... He was an extraordinary musician, both soul wise and groove wise ...

Jazz on Film: Terence Blanchard leads next gen composers

Oct 21, 2016

At one time Hollywood and Television couldn’t get enough of jazz scores in its movies shows. An august generation of composers with serious jazz pedigrees are still around—Johnny Mandel (whom we profiled back in 2014), David Amram, Andre Previn, Lalo Schifrin and Quincy Jones to name a few. With all of these guys now in their 80s, some wonder where is the next generation of composers and arrangers will come from.

Jazz Man for the New World Phil Woods on DVD

Nov 5, 2015

“I love the triumvirate—Benny [Carter], [Johnny] Hodges, and Bird, but Bird spoke of the new world and as a young man I wanted to be involved in the New World.”

I Like It Like That: Favreau's "Chef" offers food, music, heart

Oct 1, 2015

As the film opens, the Wild Magnolias’ version of "Iko Iko/Brother John" is slowly pumping up the volume while the camera zooms in on close-ups of a chef’s hands expertly dicing up fennel fronds, zesting lemons, seasoning pots, and slicing up juicy fruit sections.  It’s mouth watering and it’s funky and you know something tasty is getting ready to happen in “Chef” (2014).

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