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ICON

OCTOBER 2013

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OCTOBER ~ 2013

Filling the hunger since 1992

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS The media giant is the same in life as she is on television—articulate, empathetic, formidable, humane, and, yes, god-like. Yet she’s still somehow able to vanish into her groundbreaking role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which is poised to put an Oscar on her mantle.

WESLEY STACE | 24 Twenty-five years after the release of his debut album, celebrated author, NPR personality and singer/songwriter Wesley Stace, formerly known by his stage name John Wesley Harding, returns with Self-Titled, his first ever record under his given name.

COLUMNS Handsome Drinks, 1916. Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) Oil on composition board, 24 x 20 inches. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal, 72.3

City Beat | 5 Backstage | 5 About Life | 41 Sally Friedman | 40

A THOUSAND WORDS Seahorse | 7

EXHIBITIONS | 8 NOW at the Cigar Factory New Hope Arts Covered Bridge Artisans ART Auguste Rodin: The Human Experience | 9 American Masters | 10

FILM CINEMATTERS | 12 Gravity

KERESMAN ON DISC | 30 Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune; S.O.S.; Missy Raines & The New Hip; Eleanor Friedberger; Gary Peacock / Marilyn Crispell; Iverson / Konitz / Grenadier / Rossy NICK’S PICKS | 32 Tierney Sutton; Orrin Evans; Lund / Vinson / le Fleming Ahmad Jamal; Gregory Porter; Steve Gadd Band JAZZ LIBRARY | 33 Kenny Burrell

FOOD Bisou | 34 Golden Pheasant Inn | 36

ETCETERA L.A. Times Crossword | 42 Agenda | 43

KERESMAN ON FILM | 14 Prisoners BAD MOVIE | 16 Passion

Wesley Stace.

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REEL NEWS | 18 Before Midnight; A Highjacking; The Wall; We Steal Secrets

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Assistant to the Publisher

Trina McKenna trina@icondv.com Raina Filipiak filipiakr@comcast.net

ADVERTISING 800-354-8776 Entertainment Editor Bruce H. Klauber / drumalive@aol.com City Beat Editor Thom Nickels / thomnickels1@aol.com Fine Arts Editors Edward Higgins Burton Wasserman Classical Music Editor Peter H. Gistelinck Music Editors Nick Bewsey Mark Keresman / shemp@hotmail.com Bob Perkins Tom Wilk Food Editor Robert Gordon / rgordon33@verizon.net Wine Editor Patricia Savoie Contributing Writers A. D. Amorosi Robert Beck Jack Byer Peter Croatto James P. Delpino Sally Friedman Geoff Gehman Mark Keresman George Oxford Miller R. Kurt Osenlund T. J. Reese

ICON is published twelve times per year. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. ICON welcomes letters to the editor, editorial ideas and submissions, but assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material. ICON is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. Subscriptions are available for $40 (shipping & handling).

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Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

PO Box 120 • New Hope, PA 18938 (800) 354-8776 Fax (215) 862-9845

MUSIC

Tierney Sutton.

fax: 215-862-9845

IT / Audio Consultant Andy Kahn

FILM ROUNDUP | 20 Don Jon; Inequality for All; Blue Caprice; Salinger

SINGER / SONGWRITER | 28 Sam Phillips; Bob Dylan; Mark Knopfler; Ry Cooder; Rick Shea

1-800-354-8776 • 215-862-9558

www.icondv.com

OPRAH WINFREY | 22

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The intersection of art, entertainment, culture, opinion and mad genius

ON THE COVER: Oprah Winfrey. Courtesy: Harpo, Inc. / Art Streiber.

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Copyright 2013 Prime Time Publishing Co., Inc.


city beat

THOM NIICKELS

ThomNickels1@aol.com

LIVE POETS’ SOCIETY The applications are in for the City of Philadelphia’s next Poet Laureate. The two-year term of Sonia Sanchez, the city’s inaugural Poet Laureate, ends in January. The appointment of the next Poet Laureate is being processed by the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (with final approval by Mayor Nutter) and the choice will be telling. What kind of poet is the City looking for? In Philadelphia there’s not only a poet on every street corner but there are readings, as well as larger poetry events like Larry Robin’s annual Poetry Ink. At any of these venues you’d see the wide diversity of poets in the city. There are “Come to Jesus” poets; the girlfriendboyfriend poets who write about their love for one another; female poets (dressed in black) who write about how they evened the score with cruel exboyfriends, while spurned boyfriend poets write about their “Medusa ex-girlfriend” who is “still on the loose.” There are the sexual poets who go right to the G-spot with words and images meant to shock; poets stuck in an f-word vortex; jazz poets who try to sound like Ella Fitzgerald; first-time poets who blush and stutter and who are afraid to make audience eye contact; black activist poets who remind us of the evils of slavery; academic poets who do their best to ape Virgil’s The Aeneid or the lyricism of Horace, but who more often than not cause the audience yawn; Sonia Sanchez. slam poets who combine their words with body motions—a wiggle or twerk here, a twisted palsy arm spasm there, before they end it all with throw back “operatic” head motions. Let’s not forget the retro San Francisco style Beat male poets with goatees who scream louder than they should as the cocked fedora on their head falls to the floor. Then there are the poets who take fifteen minutes to explain the poem they are about to read. As Poet Laureate, Sanchez was able to work with mainstream audiences through the Mural Arts Project—but will other city poets be so easily homogenized? How much will politics play in the appointment? Would a Democratic Machine Poet Laureate with a penchant for Parking Authority metaphors be a safer bet than, say, a latter-day Paul Goodman? Would a gay/feminist Laureate be deemed too risky, or a Wasp W.H. Auden/Robert Lowell-type be dismissed as “too white bread?” Whoever is appointed, we hope they never forget that a poet ceases to be vital the minute he or she become a City Hall bureaucrat. A LITTLE CHARM IS PERFECT Jeffrey Little and Stephen R. Saymon’s idea for a 9/11 memorial sculpture in Franklin Park was a design of a small Liberty Bell on a suspension bar placed between replicas of the twin towers. As reported by the Inquirer, Little, who is a building contractor, drew the initial idea on a napkin then showed it to police and firefighter friends who told him they liked the idea. He even got a boost from Mayor Nutter, who suggested that the sculpture be built in Franklin Square. The Philadelphia Art Commission rejected Little’s proposal and called it “cartoonish with an amateurish design.” “There’s a mismatch between the memorial’s main imagery and its subject matter,” the Commission stated. The Art Commission’s rejection reminded us of the Rocky statue debate in the 1980s. At that time, the Commission decided that the Rocky statue was not art but something alien produced by the commercial world. Little’s design has a miniaturized doll house charm that blends well with the park’s carousel and with the larger Independence Hall area. It even “speaks” to tourists in a much

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backstage

BRUCE KLAUBER

drumalive@aol.com

BALLET HIGH The Pennsylvania Ballet is preparing to celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year with the season opener, George Balanchine’s “Jewels”—subtitled “Dance that Sparkles”—a ballet in three acts, appropriately named “Emeralds,” “Rubies” and “Diamonds.” This runs at the Academy of Music from October 17 to October 27. For ticketing information, PaBallet.org. UNTOUCHABLE When the venerable Please Touch Museum moved five years ago from their long time digs in center city Philadelphia—PTM had been there since 1976—to Memorial Hall, there were some in the business who doubted the viability of the shift, as Memorial Hall has always been something of a white elephant, with maintenance and accessibility issues, among other things. Sadly, it does look like some of the naysayers may have been correct. The museum has stopped making payments on its bond debt—the board decided not to pay the $2 million they currently owe—putting the facility in default, which may lead to bankruptcy. THE ART OF EATING The Mural Arts Program was and is one of the greatest things ever to happen artistically within the city of Philadelphia. This year marks the program’s 30th anniversary, and there are lots of events and activities happening during October. Just one of the highlights is something called “What We Sow,” spearheaded by renowned Paris-based artists Lucy and Jorge Orta. Highlight of “What We Sow” is “The Meal,” which will take place on October 5 at Independence Mall. “The Meal” can best be described as a visual and performance arts piece that gathers people around a communal table to engage in conversation about the issues of heirloom foods and their role in creating a healthier food system for people and the environment. For information on this event and Mural Arts 30th anniversary events, visit MuralArts.org. STILL UGLIER IN COLOR Some fans of The Three Stooges are now rejoicing. Others are not, as even some diehard Stooges’ fans wince at the thought of “The New Three Stooges,” a combination live action/animated series in color, broadcast circa 1965-1966, which was the last major thing the boys did as a trio before Larry Fine’s 1967 stroke. The animation was sub-par, even for the time, and the live action sequences, cut in at random as cartoon introductions, were often uncomfortable to watch, unless jollies were obtained via the viewing of elderly gentleman beating up on each other. Still, they were and are the Stooges, and the entire series will be available via the usual web outlets on October 15. DINKY INKY Though the Philadelphia Inquirer has followed through on their decision to ax their daily “Op-Ed” page and also has no plans to increase its currently-bare bones coverage of arts and entertainment, not all the news at the award-winning daily is bad. The paper has breathlessly announced plans to increase coverage of high school sports, and—get this—will be adding a new Sunday comic strip called “Tundra.” You betcha: This is really essential stuff. The Inquirer’s gaming coverage, however, continues to be incisive. Atlantic City recently hosted the Miss America Pageant for the first time in years, with hopes that $45 million in tourism dollars would come into the city. There was some concern, however, as to how the pageant’s “beauty” would co-exist alongside the resorts’ seedier locales. In that regard, someone in charge wasn’t watching the store, according to the Inquirer’s Amy S. Rosenberg. A prepageant motorcade, from Boardwalk Hall to the Tropicana was organized, with the cars traveling on Pacific Avenue. Not a good idea. “People were standing on the street waving,” said Miss Indiana. “That was so cool.” Rosenberg reported on that “coolness,” saying, “Okay, so what if the people waving were the drunks on the porches and other miscreants hanging outside at that particular hour on a notorious stretch of Pacific Avenue anchored by a liquor store, lowrent strip club and a lot of people drinking out of paper bags.”

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Journalist Thom Nickels’ books include Philadelphia Architecture, Tropic of Libra, Out in History and Spore. He is the recipient of the 2005 Philadelphia AIA Lewis Mumford Architecture Journalism Award. thomnickels.blogspot.com

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Bruce Klauber is a published author/biographer, producer of DVDs for Warner Bros., CD producer for Fresh Sound Records, and a working jazz drummer. He graduated from Temple University and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Combs College of Music.

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better way than the skeletal design of the Presidents House, which is really a huge mismatch between the main imagery and the subject matter, since it’s not about George Washington at all but about the slaves Washington owned. Claes Oldenburg’s “Clothespin” in Center Square is also an urban mismatch. It relates to nothing in the environment except obscure Tide television commercials from the 1960s. In 2004, Susan Sontag described the Oldenburg’s sculpture in less than glowing terms: “Philadelphia is weird. What other city would put a sculpture of a clothespin in the center of downtown?” Consider also the iron sculpture in front of the Municipal Services Building. It’s an iron without an ironing board (or spray starch), a virtual toy, the same word used to describe Little’s design. And what about the Robert Venturi-designed Benjamin Franklin House, which in dire circumstances could double as a children’s swing and gymnasium set? SOME ART IS A CRIME Arcadia University in Glenside has so much to offer these days it’s only a matter of time before it is annexed by UPenn. We attended No Person May Carry a Fish into a Bar—An exhibition of Crime in Art. This was no serenade in the park, but a panel discussion on the bloody link between crime and art featuring three out-of-town speakers. The only Philadelphian involved, albeit by default, was the work of forensic sculptor Frank Bender, whose death in 2011 resulted in a New York Times obit that described him as “An elfin man whose bald head, fierce gaze and Vandyke made him look like a pocket Mephistopheles.” Mr. Bender’s work (his clay contoured faces of murder victims, created mainly through intuition, helped police solve crimes), formed the bulk of the discussion. The accompanying slide show of mutilated corpses in public places had us reexamining how crime can generate art and then give us a better understanding of both. We are not sure we understand violent crime any more now than we did before the show, but we did enjoy the company of the Bender family, Ania Manicka and Sami Nakishbendi of Bendi Jewelers in Manayunk, and Judith and Jonathan Stein of Center City. A NO-WYNN SITUATION The last time Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn tried to put his footprint on Philadelphia was his cash-and-carry attempt to take the Maxfield Parrish Tiffany mural, “Dream Garden,” out of the Curtis Center and install it in a Las Vegas casino. This time he wants to build a 150,000 square foot casino and entertainment complex in the city’s Fishtown-Richmond neighborhood, but there appears to be another glitch: the ghosts of civilizations past. The property, apparently, is also a treasure trove of archeological finds, including glassware from the Dyott Glassworks and Native artifacts dating back thousands of years. While WynnResorts Ltd. will almost certainly get the okay from the city to build, it will have to work alongside armies of yellow-vested, hard hat dirt sifters who will dig for the goodies. Must we dig for every artifact in history? There are thousands of artifacts underneath most buildings in the city, including City Hall’s basement, which rivals the catacombs in ancient Rome. City Hall basement was a favorite stomping ground of ours in the 1970s, years before the arrival of the national security state when one could travel anywhere as long as one was escorted by a city employee. Though our subterranean adventures didn’t yield any artifacts, we did observe antique mayoral desks, tables and chairs. And while our curiosity did tempt us to sift—would we find poems by Richardson Dilworth or a Frank Rizzo love journal?—in the end, we kept our hands to ourselves, which is what we wish these professional PennDOT sifters would do instead of spending months sorting through shards of glass. We think we’d all a lot better off if we just accepted the fact that older civilizations will always be resting comfortably under ours, and that old artifacts—like the stars in the sky—are everywhere. DITCH THE PEOPLE IN WHITE We were content to miss this year’s Diner en Blanc, that pop-up (and hyped) picnic where diners dress in white and carry their own table, chairs, food and drink to a designated place, eat, and then disassemble everything and head home. After all, Diner en Blanc isn’t so grand if you bring lousy food and your table is wobbly. The City of Boston tried it for one year, but then ditched a follow up, proving that everything that begins in Paris isn’t necessarily awesome, despite what a friend of ours said who saw the spectacle of Diner en Blanc diners under the bright lights of the JFK Bridge at 30th Street: “It’s really something to see so many people in white!” “No it’s not,” we told him, “Go to a Dominican convent. You’ll see lots of white and you won’t have to bring your own food.” We felt similarly while making our way to a friend’s house in the Art Museum area during the “Made in America” concert, where Beyonce’s music shook the life out of the Rocky statue. Around town that day we heard refrains like, “Give us the old days with a drunk, falling down Lizi Minnelli, or even Barbra Streisand!” Instead of “Made in America,” we made plans to attend the James Oliver Gallery (JOG) opening exhibition for A Koenitzer Affair (on till October 7) where New Yorkers Gary, and daughters Nicole and Dana Koenitzer would be available to talk about their art. Dana (who’s also an architect) and Nicole, were both dressed to the nines, had us wondering if JOG has the most dressed up openings in the city. n 6

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SLEAZE WILL PLEASE The “men’s clubs” dotting Pacific Avenue noted above, Atlantic Avenue and on the outskirts of A.C.—some upscale, some of questionable scale—are mobbed nightly, often doing more business than the casinos. So it had to happen. Though several of the broadwalk hotel/casinos do offer revues of the risqué/bawdy variety, the troubled Trump Taj Mahal is taking things one step beyond via the opening of a “Scores” franchise, the famed strip club, within the hotel. But never fear, New Jersey laws prohibit total nudity. G-strings and pasties are the rule on the premises. For now. BOOKINGS Those with little else to do may be amused by a couple of rather loopy, just-published celebrity bios. Lucky Me: My Life With—and Without—My Mom, Shirley MacLaine, is the autobiography of MacClaine’s daughter, Sachi Parker. This semi-crazed and sometimes unbelievable read portrays MacClaine as a cruel, jealous, sadistic, penny-pinching and gullible excuse for a human being. And what about Sachi’s father and MacLanie’s long-time husband, Steve Parker? Turns out, says the daughter, he convinced mom he was a clone traveling in space, to the tune of a $65,000 stipend per month. Mommy, by the way, will be one of those receiving a Kennedy Center Honor later this year. Never fear—those behind the honors have a contingency plan lined up in case their star doesn’t show. They’ve called Neptune and have lined up Shirley’s clone. Songwriter Burt Bachrach’s new autobio, Anyone Who Had a Heart, may have a typo in the title via inclusion of the word “heart.” According to the writings of the aging Maestro, he had no such thing, as he variously describes the body parts of one of his ex-wives, bad-mouths still-living artists who helped start him in the business, explains how he blew doing an album with Sinatra and sabotaged one of the most successful songwriting teams—that being with Hal David—in history. The book makes it clear that Burt Bachrach has absolutely no class. But he sure can write a nice tune. On the positive side of publishing is a charming work by area writer James Rosin, called Philly Pop, Rock Rhythm & Blues: A Look Back at the Musical History of Philadelphia. Rosin has a tremendous amount of knowledge and love for the subject. And he gives credit where credit is due to those who deserve it, from broadcaster Ed Hurst to early producers and hit makers like Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann. For information, visit ClassicTVSeriesBooks.com. POP TO THE TOP “PopsterX” is a Bethlehem, PA start-up geared toward helping musicians and singers with no label backing make it to the top. President Eric Todd believes that technology is not the issue. The issue, he says—with which we wholeheartedly agree—is obscurity. “We fuse technology to common sense music marketing, and add a heavy does of imagination to solve the problem. And we are there to help artists all the way,” says Todd. Sounds good, but how does it work? There’s actually a lot going on within PopsterX in terms of artist-orientation, including opportunities for social media promo campaigns, rewards for same, the ability to pitch for corporate sponsorships and media song placement, inclusion on websites and on the Popster radio station and a lot more. For details, and there are plenty, visit www.PopsterX.com. DELUXE BUCKS The Bucks County Playhouse continues to surprise. Particularly welcomed and impressive this season at BCP is their “Lambertville Music Hall Concert Series.” Shows this month include country star Travis Tritt on October 3, Joan Osborne with Lily Mae on October 6, the one and only madman of the drums himself, Ginger Baker and His Jazz Confusion on October 8; Jefferson Starship with Howie Day October 10; Eddie Money October 12. The folks behind “Backstage” are particularly proud of the October 9 film premiere of “Music on Magic Mountain,” the documentary about the famed Lambertville Music Circus first detailed in this space last month. AUTUMN LEAVES Fall is a beautiful time of year for the family in Center City Philadelphia, and a number of organizations are taking advantage of it. “Fall Fun in Franklin Square” at 6th and Race Street will host activities like “Spooky Mini Golf ” and the annual “Pumpkin Fest.” Info: HistoricPhiladelphia.org. Other programs include a “Moonviewing Weekend” at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, running from October 18 to 20 (Shofuso.com). BEACHED FOR CHRISTMAS The holiday season seems to begin earlier and earlier each year. Next year, “Backstage” is told, merchants will begin promoting their Christmas wares in July. And record companies, such as they are now days, are already gearing up for the holiday season. Announced thus far for Christmas release are deluxe boxed CD sets celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys, a four-disc set devoted to the influential Sly and the Family Stone, and a 10-CD box of Bob Dylan’s bootleg sessions—10th in a series—focusing on the years 1969-1972. n Be a part of “Backstage.” Mail items to DrumAlive@aol.com

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a thousand words

STORY AND PAINTING BY ROBERT BECK

Seahorse I PASSED THIS BOAT a dozen times before I saw her. My attention was always on the other side of the road—probably the sign at the sand lane that comes out of the scrub. But on my last day heading home from Jonesport she caught my eye, resting on jackstands just over a slight rise. I was drawn to her lines and colors so I stopped and got out to look. It is quiet on the northern coastal expanses of Maine. Beyond the boat was a tidal estuary that has been fed by Western Bay in twice-a-day tidal cycles for millennia. A breeze gently combed the tall grass around my feet while a distant gull entertained his friends, impersonating a baby’s cry, then an old man clearing his throat. There is a lot of heroic left in a good boat whose working days are done and I suppose that’s why it’s not uncommon for them to be put up in full view, like a model on a shelf, rather than be left to rot in some hidden corner. At rest on supports in still fields of granite and blueberries, they echo burial platforms of the plains Indians. The boat sat just a few miles from where Will Frost built the first “Jonesport” style lobster boat on Beal Island in the 1920s. Other builders in New England adopted the design and more than a dozen shops operated on the island alone. They produced so many of the boats that they were sometimes referred to as “Beals.” With the slight drop in the sheer this one is not a classic Jonesport, but still quite beautiful. Removed from the water and without the cabin you can best see the clean, sensuous lines of the hull. The contours begin as the designer’s vision of how the vessel will move through the water. That idea is made real in a half-hull model that is hand-carved to scale. It has to look right before timbers are cut. Measurements taken from the model are used to make the working drawings. Constructing a wooden boat is a laborious process requiring a woodworker with great skill and a customer with a stout wallet. There is only one wood lobster boat under construction now on Beal, and possibly in the whole state (the others are fiberglass).

Doug Dodge, a descendant of Will Frost, is building it. Doug went to Pennsylvania to select the oak trees for the keel and ribs, and he found the cedar for the planks in another part of Maine. Doug did the final milling in his shop. Some of his friends stop by to help him with the two- and three-man tasks such as bending planks into position, but he is building the 38-foot boat of his own design, by himself, by hand. The actual construction will take two years, but from first phone call to clearing the harbor will be more than three. I admire the men who construct these beautiful vessels, as well as those who go to sea in them to make their living. I’m at an age when my own successes, failures, and heartbreaks have given me an appreciation for those of others. When I look at a boat that has been pulled out of service it’s the history that matters to me. I see through the peeling paint to the functional form, and I listen to the stories of life and purpose under the surface, growing faint as seasons pass and wood goes gray. Before I got back on the road I took a photograph of the boat in the field, which I later referred to in combination with an imagined sky to create this studio painting. Two trees by themselves and the approaching sunset help place the mind. I added the figure to keep it alive. What drove me to create this image was the name painted on the boat’s bow. It stuck in my head the whole trip home, poking at me for weeks until I had the painting done. The name wasn’t lettered by a professional sign painter, rather it was done crudely by hand—possibly after the boat had been put up. One word: Hippocampus. It’s an unusual name. I knew the hippocampus is part of the brain but that was all. The dictionary says it is responsible for memory and navigation. The word is derived from the Latin for “seahorse,” which is how the hippocampus is shaped. Seahorse. Navigation. Memories. Could there be a better name for a boat? ■ Robert Beck’s Fall Exhibition, Witness, runs through November 17 at the Gallery of Robert Beck in Lambertville. Hs guest artist is Katherine Hackl. Visit robertbeck.net W W W. FA C E B O O K . C O M / I C O N D V

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Vessel by Katherine Hackl.

Miguel Osorio, “Life Cycle.”

Abstraction Revisited New Hope Arts 2 Stockton Avenue, New Hope, PA Fridays & Saturday 1-6; Sunday Noon-5 215-862-9606 newhopearts.org October 5-20

Steven Condra, “Rohrbaum," Aluminum, 2013. Photo Credit: Aeh Jay Hollenbeck.

Fuse presents NOW at the Cigar Factory 707 N. 4th St., Allentown, PA www.allentownfuse.org October 17-November 2 Opening Oct. 17, 5:30-8:30

New Hope Arts strives to examine the diverse regional expressions of abstract art past and present with Abstraction Revisited opening Saturday October 5, in the main gallery in New Hope, PA. The invitational event includes six contemporary artists living and working in our community: Derek Bernstein, Lee Kaloidis, Anthony Kulish, Pat Martin, Miguel Osorio and Nancy Shill. Retrospective works by Vincent Ceglia are included in the show anchoring the connection with the history of abstract style in New Hope going back to the 1930s. A lecture and discussion series on Wednesday evenings during the exhibition addresses New Hope Modernism and Contemporary Abstraction in the evolution of American art, Oct. 9 and 16, by reservation, from 6:30-8.

FUSE art infrastructure presents NOW at the Cigar Factory. Third Thursdays NOW is a series of exhibitions and open studios at the Cigar Factory Artists Studio building, a joint mission to bring artists together and celebrate innovation and invention in the visual arts. The NOW series emphasizes snapshots of the artists’ production at a point in time. An opportunity, for the artists to “mark time,” whether it is a personal artistic statement, a reflection on current events, or a revisited old idea and presented “now,” thus giving new meaning. It is a broad approach to presenting art. Each artist’s “marker” derives from highly individual concerns and is presented in separate studios at the Cigar Factory Artists Studio building. This is the second in the 3rd Thursday NOW series curated by Gregory Coates.

Christine Soccio, "Allentown," Paper, string, nails, 2013

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Painting by Lee Kaloidis.

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Spiral Square, by Annelies van Dommelen.

Covered Bridge Artisans 19th Annual Holiday Studio Tour November 29 & 30 and December 1, 10–5 Self-guided tour to visit five open studios in Lambertville, Stockton and Sergeantsville with seven guest artists at the Cultural Arts Center in Sergeantsville. Artworks: pottery, stained and fused glass, oil paintings, metal sculpture, silver and beaded jewelry, hand-spun wool, hand-made paper boxes, tapestry bags, woven scarves, wooden bowls, carved birds, blown glass. For map visit coveredbridgeartisans.com or call 609-397-1535.

“Topiary Maze,” by Tim Martin.


art

EDWARD HIGGINS

Auguste Rodin:

The Human Experience If the idea of bringing an exhibition of Rodin to Philadelphia seems like sending coals to Newcastle or like sending cheese steaks to South Philadelphia, then you haven’t seen the Rodin show at the Arthur Ross Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania. Auguste Rodin: The Human Experience, on exhibit through December 22, comprises some 20 pieces from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collection, and most of the work is less than monumental. There is no comparison with the work at the Rodin Museum—this show complements rather than contrasts with that collection. The show is intelligently hung with helpful labels, a description of what is “original” and what is not according to French law and the conventions of the sculptural arts. There is also a short video and the Gallery will sponsor a number of public programs. Influenced by ancient sculpture, Rodin believed that a piece of the body would make a complete work of art and what one might call fragments, Rodin would call a finished work. He noted that if one attempted to “finish” a work after the art had been satisfied he could work forever on it and not be completed. Thus the black figures fit nicely into the space and allow visitors to completely circle them. As is usual with Rodin, who did numerous versions of the same image, many of the pieces appear in other forms in larger works such as the “Gates of Hell” and “The Burghers of Calais,” both of which are across town in the Mastbaum collection at the Rodin Museum. This show also includes a Rodin from the Penn collection, a bronze of Jean d’Aire, one of the doomed burghers. The man who assembled the collection is Bernie Cantor, of Cantor, Fitzgerald, the financial services firm that lost many lives in the World Trade Tower disaster. Cantor, who died in 1996, began his career selling hot dogs in Yankee Stadium. He said he only worked Sunday double-headers to maximize his market. He fell in love with Rodin while still living modestly in Brooklyn. His first buy was “The Hand of God,” purchased in the 1970s, which cost twice his monthly rent. Later, he spent as much energy giving away his treasures as he did collecting them. By the time he had finished collecting, Cantor had more than 750 Rodin works. He has gifted many schools and institutions with those works. The current show is a traveling exhibition put together by his foundation. Some of the works in the show were astounding for their time. There is a powerful John the Baptist walking nude, a lesbian couple embracing, a man’s torso with legs spread open, and a female nude dancer standing on one leg en pointe. No matter the subject matter, the Rodin work is incredibly powerful, emotional and sensual and despite its size, none the less massive in volume. The experience of the show is decidedly more user friendly than a number of other sculpture shows, and the statues are less intimidating than the huge works at the Rodin Museum. This Gallery show allows for Rodin’s intimate genius to connect more closely with the viewer. Even during his lifetime Rodin was compared with Michelangelo as one of the greatest sculptors, especially since Rodin had traveled to Italy, studied the latter’s work and admitted that Michelangelo freed him from the academic. The pair share the muscular physicality of their work. Rodin, after a slow beginning, was celebrated and honored. His acquaintances were vast and he enjoyed the company of writers. The sensual nature of his work was in line with his own nature, in that he had a number of mistresses. The Gallery has planned a concert, a film screening, and a symposium on Rodin in the coming months. ■ Edward Higgins is a member of The Association Internationale Des Critiques d’Art.

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art

BURTON WASSERMAN

American Masters

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THE DELAWARE ART MUSEUM has long enjoyed a respected reputation for its holdings in the area of 20th century American art. Complementing this favorable circumstance, the Museum will soon play host to an outstanding traveling exhibition of painting and sculpture from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection of American art dating from 1910 to 1960. The show, titled American Moderns, 1910 – 1960: From O’Keeffe to Rockwell, is scheduled to be on public view from October 12, 2013 to January 5, 2014. The 50-year span covered by these works witnessed such globe-shaking events as two massive world wars, a devastating economic depression and phenomenal advances in the fields of science and technology. Understandably, many examples in the exhibition, partly reflecting on these developments, give expression to resultant changes that took place in art and life. At the same time, other approaches to making art held fast, perpetuating mannerisms of style that have become tradition-bound. Various pieces of work in the exhibition demonstrate both of these facts. Typically, they mirror the invention of modernism, the concentrated pursuit of expressionist form and a variety of approaches that cling to naturalistic representation. The cubist style, initially formulated by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in France early in the 1900s, impacted the avant garde with great intensity. The influence of what is called their “synthetic” manner, is evident in a 1936 composition by George L. K. Morris, titled “Wall Painting.” Consisting of a group of flat shapes in bright hues and lively patterns, the overall arrangement is elegantly balanced and harmoniously unified. However, most of all, the painting is aesthetically vibrant with the pulse-beat of a highly creative approach, one that rejected making expressive form with obsolete mannerisms inherited from yesteryear. For many years Morris had lived in Paris. Because he was very much in touch with the new progressive developments, he was no longer willing to make art that he felt was devoted to looking backwards. Stanton MacDonald-Wright is represented in the show by a different variety of cubist inspired abstraction. Called “Synchromy Number 3,” it is a striking organization of bright reds, yellow, brown and green. With an integrity very much its own, it projects a rhythmic purity and depth of tone, one might just as well find in a selection of profoundly serious, modern music. Some of the most interesting pieces in the exhibition are still-life compositions. Sensitively stylized interpretations of fruit, flowers and other silent subjects, they generate feelings in colors that come together with a character and an identity, distinctly their own. The combined existence of Mother Nature and Father Time deeply affected the perceptive awareness and creative drive of Georgia O’Keeffe. To date, no other artist has given expression more successfully to the rich organic essence of all living form than this mother of American modernism. Her picture titled “2 Yellow Leaves,” captures the reality of the passing seasons and the brilliance of color that takes place in biological transformations that are ever ongoing in the natural scheme of things. Artistically, moving along even further, in an entirely pure, abstract configuration titled “Green, Yellow and Orange,” O’Keeffe illuminates a universal sense of eternal being with the spirit of kinetic energies in flux. Bathed in bright hues, it has been endowed with a presence that is unique in both its mystical and physical existence. A fourth source of inspiration for several artworks in the show is the conspicuous appearance of urban structures that have been erected in the contemporary era. They include representations of apartment towers, factories and office buildings by such painters as George Ault and Glenn Coleman. For example, Ault’s “Manhattan Mosaic,” is somewhat akin to a checkerboard pattern of city forms. In their own special way, they describe a group of rectangleshaped architectural structures rising in space. It must surely have been inevitable for such surroundings to have deeply affected the lives of the people who were destined to move about within their midst. Visitors who are especially partial to art that is easily accessible, will delight in the pictures by Norman Rockwell and Newell Converse Wyeth. Today, of course, their pictures of people

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“2 Yellow Leaves,” 1928. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 1/8” Brooklyn Museum.

seem stiffly frozen to viewers accustomed to the dynamic appearance of figures in motion on TV and in the movies. There is also an absorbing study of a lady, alone at a table in a café, by the social realist, Raphael Soyer and a bronze sculpture of two boxers fighting with each other titled “Right to the Jaw,” by Mahonri Young. Sadly, it’s fascinating to realize that many of the artists represented in the show once had reputations that have since lapsed into near-obscurity. This provides an interesting reminder for the connoisseur that many big names that once may have stood tall in the art world, have not managed to successfully stand the test of time. Consequently, we are lead to wonder how many of today’s hot properties in the exhibition scene will eventually fall by the wayside. Maybe, even more important, is the question, “Who will survive?” ■

Dr. Burton Wasserman is a professor emeritus of Art at Rowan University, and a serious artist of long standing. His program, Art From Near and Far, is on WWFM in NJ and Bucks County and WGLS in South Jersey.

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Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

cinematters

PETE CROATTO

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Gravity

WITH GRAVITY, DIRECTOR ALFONSO Cuarón has made a masterpiece via a simple, frequently forgotten fact: the best movies in any genre are built on emotions. Stars come and go. Budgets increase. The technology gets better and faster. But the need for audiences to feel something is an unquenchable desire, and Gravity satisfies it better than any movie I’ve seen in years. Far above the earth, a five-person crew repairs a satellite, which slowly drifts into view from right to left. We pick up snippets of conversation between the crew and mission control. That’s the extent of the set-up. It’s a humdrum stretch during another workday where the routine lulls everyone into a complacent efficiency. The announcement of oncoming debris doesn’t come with much urgency. What’s supposed to be nothing turns into a catastrophe; the satellite and ship are destroyed, leaving astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) and Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) tumbling through the vast blackness, their chances of survival evaporating with each second. No one can hear them. Help is not coming. They are truly alone. Doom creeps in, slowly and assuredly. I saw the 3-D version of Gravity in the newly renovated Prince Music Theater, which is now equipped with all the digital trimmings that will make movies better and cure cancer or whatever. Cuarón uses the technology afforded him for what is: a complement. Gravity grabs you through traditional mastery: the reflection of the earth spinning in Stone’s helmet as she goes topsy-turvy; the shot of a family photo next to the poor bastard whose head looks like a hollowed out pumpkin. A Marvin the Martian figurine floats into the frame, and then—oh my God! Wait, was that a piece of debris? Move your ass, Stone! You can count the number of cuts on two hands in the film’s first 45 minutes. Frequently, all we hear is the whirring of machines or a heartbeat as the soundtrack. Cuarón establishes an intolerable and never-ending loneliness. Stone keeps talking to mission control, almost out of habit. Kowalsky, essentially Clooney’s Danny Ocean in a spacesuit, is smooth-talking calm. He

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guides her. Through their clipped conversation, we learn a bit about Stone. She’s a workaholic. Her child died unexpectedly. She listens to anything on the radio when she drives home from the hospital. Bullock, to her credit, holsters the charisma and sports a borderline mom haircut that dampens the glamour. That she and Clooney don’t always take roles equipped with halos helps immeasurably. If Julia Roberts or Will Smith were the stars, their agents would have demanded that they ride back to Earth on a comet. With Clooney and Bullock on board, not trying to triumph over the material, we honestly don’t know if Stone and Kowalsky are going to make it. Especially Stone. Space is where she can stay comfortably numb. Now that her paradise is lost, how badly does she want to live? How many obstacles can she summon the strength to overcome? Cuarón uses Stone as his social commentary. We’ve grown so reliant on things—technology, religion, outside forces—to guide our lives that we’ve stopped believing in the abilities of the human race. Stone represents a different kind of change, which is why we believe in her even when she’s stopped doing that herself. We need her to survive. Gravity folds its allegory into the horror of Stone and Kowalsky’s predicament. The excitement never dims the message and vice versa. One of the great thrills is watching Cuarón keep this balance throughout—catching us off-guard with the special effects, letting Stone battle to find her resolve, knowing when to whisper and when to shout. Everything about Gravity is seamless and assured yet brimming with the soul of an optimist. Cuarón has captured and amplified the human experience without isolating us from it. We lose and find ourselves all at once. ■

Pete Croatto also reviews movies for The Weekender (Scranton, PA) and blogs about pop culture daily at EntertainmenTell.com. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Grantland, Philadelphia, Publishers Weekly, New Jersey Monthly, MAD, and The Christian Science Monitor. You can reach him at petecroatto@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter, @PeteCroatto.

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keresman on film

Hugh Jackman and Paul Dano.

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HE FIRST MAINSTREAM EFFORT by Quebec director Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners is what critics and wags of yore called an edge-of-seat thriller. It’s also an overly convoluted mystery with more red herrings than a fish market, emotionally manipulative, with more unlikely happenstances than Mitt Romney empathizing with anyone making under 200K p/year. The setup: We see two working-class families celebrating Thanksgiving when their youngest daughters go missing. The police grab a suspect, Alex, a Strange Young Man with no communication skills (Paul Dano), but release him for lack of evidence. One of the fathers, Keller (Hugh Jackman) feels in his gut that This is the Guy What Done It, so he kidnaps and tries to torture a confession out of him. Meanwhile, a tenacious cop, Loki, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, tries tried-and-true legal means to get at the truth and find the missing girls. Like some Hitchcock and David Lynch films, we learn that small town/semi-rural life can hide some pretty hefty and horrific baggage beneath its seemingly pleasant surface. The good: Most of the acting is superb. Jackman plays a character that is at once sympathetic—how far would you go to save your child?—and abominable—he seems to be driven by pride as much as love and never seems to consider even the slimmest possibility that he might be wrong. (Keller is also something of a macho survivalist type, his

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basement a storehouse against some kind of Apocalypse.) Maria Bello is surely one of the best American actresses working, convincingly portraying a mother driven to the edge of sanity. Dano, too, is equally creepy—he looks like the classic stereotype of the young-ish child molester— while being pathetic, a man-child who’s a virtual prisoner of his own body, yet evoking sympathy. He’s clearly a damaged s.o.b that could be guilty, but what if he’s not? Gyllenhaal’s Loki is, frankly, almost as creepy as Alex—a twitchy mass of tattoos and blinks, a crooked smile, and Columbo-like smarts hidden beneath a just-plain-folks small-town cop exterior. Terrence Howard and Viola Davis play the other set of parents, and they palpably convey lots of ambiguity when they learn of Keller’s “efforts” on their collective behalf. The direction and cinematography puts the viewer RIGHT THERE. I grew up in Pennsylvania and got major déjà vu watching this movie. You can almost feel autumn giving way to winter herein. This movie is a bit over two and one-half hours long but never drags. The bad: There are so many clues and red herrings (“obvious” clues to lead the viewer astray), so many in fact that it gets grossly heavy-handed. Also, Prisoners begins to resemble TV’s Dexter in that—and I like Dexter, btw—jeez, how many (missing) murderers and serial killers can there be in one city. This small town seems to have a virtual legacy of missing children, so many in fact that it doesn’t seem to, uh, arouse suspicion, as in, OH GOD, NOT AGAIN. (It’s kind of ■

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like when the family in Pet Cemetery—you know, the one with a SMALL CHILD and a CAT—moves into a house RIGHT NEXT TO A ROAD where tractor-trailers ZOOM along every six minutes or so, and then they’re shocked and shattered when child and cat are killed by traffic. Why not just build a house atop a toxic waste dump? But I digress.) A seemingly “unrelated” murder is uncovered: A dead guy is found in the basement of a pedophile priest, and priest said the dead guy was a child-killer…and the cops treat it like it’s not so much of a big deal. The “other” family—the African-American family that suffered as well—seemed to get slighted a bit focuswise. Finally, the ending was a bit Scooby-Doo-ish: It was old man Perkins all along! AND…[MAJOR spoiler ahead...] The movie cops out on a major point: Keller brutally tortured the wrong guy, but we never get to see the consequences of his actions. How did Keller feel about what he’d done? Did he feel guilty, seeing himself become the monster he’d accused Alex of being? Would he shrug it off the way many people do with their mistakes (“We’ll be greeted as liberators”) and feel justified—or would he turn himself in to the police for punishment? One of the things that made Reservoir Dogs the milestone it is: It shows what happens when someone gets shot. It’s not like most movies and TV—Bang, ow, falls over, the end or gets better quickly. One bleeds a great deal and screams in pain. For a movie that relishes in exploring mysteries and moral ambiguity, Prisoners pulls the worst kind of evasion. ■


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bad movie

Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams

MARK KERESMAN

Passion DIRECTOR BRIAN DEPALMA HAS made some fine and decent movies, such as Carrie, Obsession, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, The Untouchables and Carlito’s Way. But he seems to have taken the career path of Francis Ford Coppola, churning out mediocre or forgettable films that leave many a viewer with that “how the mighty have fallen” feeling. Passion (2012) is the kind of movie that if it had perhaps come out in the 1980s or ‘90s it might’ve been kind of OK—remember the “erotic thriller” genre from those eras? (Nope, me either. Good reason: Some were scripted by the once-fine writer Joe Esterhas, who is now best known as a guy who smokes too many cigarettes and needs to shave.) The setup: Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls, Midnight in Paris) is Christine, corporate honcho at a German international advertising company; Noomi Rapace (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus) is Isabel, her underling/protégé. They are working on an ad campaign, and by gum, they are stumped for a good idea. Isabel comes up with a fine idea for which Christine takes credit, propelling her up the ladder. Isabel is hurt, Christine is kindly, sweetly Machiavellian about it—nothing personal, just business. Even more complicating is Isabel gets to have carnal knowledge of Christine’s lover Dirk (Paul Anderson) during a business

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trip. Faster than you can say A Shock to the System or “Alfred Hitchcock,” each gal backstabs each other in increasingly creative ways, leading to and including…murder. DePalma still has style, all right…unfortunately, much of the time it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s. Even the opening theme music evokes that of the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Hour. That in and of itself is not a bad thing—I mean, if you’re going to, um, imitate someone, imitate the best, right? But in the past DePalma would actually do something neat and compelling with that Hitchcock influence/inspiration—Passion is well-directed and shot but seems completely uninspired. For one thing, I have my doubt whether DePalma— who wrote the script based on the French film Crime d’Amour—has any familiarity with the corporate milieu. I’ve had my wee tastes of it, and—apart from the credit-stealing, which I’ve heard happens a lot—if any corporate type pulled half the crap Christine did, she would be out on her hiney (for the simple reason of this era’s corporate “sensitivity” to lawsuits). Plus, Christine tries a bit of blackmail which would not even come close to working on anyone with half a brain because—slight spoiler—e-mails are time-stamped. You can’t e-threaten someone with revenge before the revengeable event even occurred…that’s what we film critics/geeks call a “plot hole.” Another major stretch is these ladies’

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squabbling over the prize that is Dirk. (Dirk? Aw, c’mon.) Anderson is not “ugly” but he’s hardly the hottie that a blonde corporate goddess that is Christine would have in her speed-dial. While it’s nice to see McAdams stretching beyond romcoms, there are some moments of lame acting. Rapace is very pretty, but at times wooden and inexpressive, other times she’s over-the-top. Some of the movie—without giving too much away—makes very little sense. Isabel awakens with a start from “nightmares” way too many times, and that is an over-used plot device (as in, “Was what we saw just a dream?!?”), especially when, again, it makes no sense in accordance with the film’s plot. The lesbian sub-plot/subtext herein might have seemed “edgy” in the ‘80s, but here it comes across as a slightly more up-market version of movies you might see on Cinemax or the Direct-to-Cable Erotic Thrillers Network at 3 am. (Jeez, doesn’t DePalma have basic cable? He’s never seen The L Word?) Sadly, Passion is so not good I kept expecting Val Kilmer and Linda Fiorentino to appear on screen. ■ In addition to ICON, Mark Keresman is a contributing writer for SF Weekly, East Bay Express, Pittsburgh City Paper, Paste, Jazz Review, downBeat, and the Manhattan Resident.


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reel news

REVIEWS OF RECENTLY RELEASED DVDS BY GEORGE OXFORD MILLER

Julian Assange.

★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

Before Midnight (2013) ★★★★ Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy Genre: Drama Rated R In Before Sunrise (1995), director Richard Linklater introduced us to Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy). The 20-somethings meet on a train and spend the night exploring Venice and falling in love. They go their separate ways, but the flame of a life-changing romance never really cools. In Before Sunset (2004), they reunite in Paris and affirm that given the second chance, they cannot live apart. In the latest episode, we catch up with the live-in couple nine years later on a vacation in Greece. The unique power of this real-time trilogy is that it captures and defines the emotional experiences of the generation it portrays. We fall in love, make mistakes, try again, and now in the second half of life, we struggle with the consequences, and often guilt, of our decisions. Unlike Hollywood feel-good romances, in Before Midnight Jessie and Celine face the hard choices of a mature relationship based on partnership rather than flaming romance and night-long sex. With all three stories, as in life, we’re left guessing what the next day, or night, will bring. A Hijacking (2012) ★★★★ Cast: Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling Genre: Thriller Rated R (In Danish, English and Somali with subtitles). Unlike Hollywood’s fast-and-furious action thrillers, this psychological drama grips the brain first, then the gut. Somali pirates capture a Danish tanker in the Indian Ocean and demand $15 million for the ship and seven crew. The very act of

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negotiation assumes both sides share a common value system. To a desperate third-world pirate, the worth of the crew is based on the ransom-value in dollars, yet a multi-national shipping corporation balances the crew’s lives against the profit line. Negotiations between the pirates’ point man and the CEO drag on for four months while the brutalized crew increasingly unravels in the hold of the ship. The production achieves stunning realism by filming with hand-held cameras on a ship actually in the Indian Ocean, and using four non-actors who were once captured by pirates. The onboard actors use a real satellite phone link to the office set in Denmark. As tensions build, viewers realize we, too, are in it for the long haul. No daring naval rescue or heroic mutiny against the pirates will save the day. The Wall (2012) ★★★ Cast: Martina Gedeck Genre: Drama Based on the novel by Marlen Haushofer (1963). Unrated The symbolic notion of walled-off isolation, first dramatized in a 1960 Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode, appeared in Marlen Haushofer’s 1963 novel, Stephen King’s recent novel and mini-series Under the Dome, and even The Simpsons Movie. This treatment follows the shipwrecked-sailor scenario and focuses on a single person, not a group. The Woman (Gedeck) visits a friend with a cabin in the mountains in Austria. When an invisible wall mysteriously and with no explanation appears, she finds herself alone, imprisoned, in untamed nature. The story progresses as a slice of life without plot as she adapts to a new life and new identity. She and her dog add a stray cat and cow to the family and she learns to ■

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farm, hunt, and subsist in a challenging but not particularly threatening landscape. Fortunately for the viewer, she’s surrounded by a 360-view of spectacular mountain scenery. With no cars, phones, or human interaction, the existentialist questions of life occupy her mind, and the voiceover of her thoughts narrate the film. We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks (2013) ★★★★ Genre: Documentary Rated R. With a half-dozen TV exposés about Julian Assange and his WikiLeak website and a sensationalized Hollywood version soon out, this documentary still stands out in a crowded field. The Wikileak bombshell rocked the world in 2010 when U.S. Army private Bradley Manning gave WikiLeaks thousands of classified pages describing the dirty secrets of the Iraqi war: torture, drone attacks, military mishaps, civilian casualties, and generally dysfunctional leadership. Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney follows the seismic shocks that reverberated globally. More revealing though, he contrasts the personalities and motives of Assange and Manning, both charged with criminal offenses. Assange originally championed truth and transparency as a safeguard for democracy, but succumbed to his own self-destructive demons. Manning, the whistleblowing hero, struggled to live an alternative lifestyle in a masculinedominated military culture, then became Chelsea after his/her conviction and 35-year sentence. ■ George Miller is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and believes that travel is a product of the heart, not the itinerary. See his webmagazine at www.travelsdujour.com.


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film roundup

PETE CROATTO

J. D. Salinger

★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

Don Jon (Dir: Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headley, Brie Larson, Rob Brown, Jeremy Luc. What matters to twentysomething Jersey bartender Jon (Gordon-Levitt) can fit on a postage stamp. Topping the list is online porn, a pursuit he prefers to the sex he regularly gets. Jon’s priorities shift when his desire to hook up with a “dime” (Johansson) turns into an actual relationship. Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut starts with lots of energy and smarts—Jon doesn’t realize that his dream girl is playing him like a fiddle— before running out of ideas. A working-class cartoon, complete with dem-dese-dose accents and greasy leering, then emerges. The worst part of this quest for “authenticity” is whenever Jon and his father (Danza) meet for Sunday dinner. Donning wife-beaters, they compete in a Stanley Kowalski-off while the TV blares football and Jon’s mom (Headley) wails about not having grandkids. By the time Moore’s pointless character arrives, Gordon-Levitt is so consumed with establishing his blue-collar bona fides—and spoon-feeding us emotions a la David O. Russell—that he obscures his main character’s soul. We can’t root for a caricature. Don Jon is not only hopelessly disconnected to anything resembling real life, writer-director Gordon-Levitt embraces the Hollywood nonsense his main character openly disdains. ★★ [R] Inequality for All (Dir: Jacob Kornbluth). With this and last year’s pandering Bully, The Weinstein Company, this time as RADiUS-TWC, must stop releasing documentaries urging us to change at gunpoint (or at least via Website). Fortunately, Robert Reich, the Secretary of Labor under Clinton, is elo20

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quent and intelligent in explaining why we have constant class warfare. Very simply put, America’s wealth is hoarded by a small number of people who don’t pay enough in taxes. That burden falls to the members of the vast middle class, a faulty plan considering those people spend the most money. Spending, of course, helps revive a sagging economy. Investing in the middle class—for example, higher education—is one way to straighten things out. The movie veers from Reich’s graphicsassisted rhetoric to his life story to profiles of real people. The last part is when the movie breaks the bonds of ideology and marketing slickness to become something audiences can appreciate. ★★1/2 [PG] Blue Caprice (Dir: Alexandre Moors). Starring: Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams, Cassandra Freeman. Quiet, unsettling debut feature from Moors examines the relationship between John Allen Muhammad (Washington) and Lee Boyd Malvo (Richmond), the man and teenager behind the Beltway sniper attacks in 2002. They first meet in Antigua, where an abandoned Malvo, flocks to the charismatic Muhammad, who gives him work and food. Later, the pair heads to Muhammad’s old home in Tacoma, Washington. In America, Muhammad is just another disaffected, unemployable loser. Desperate for any adult influence, Malvo latches onto Muhammad and his anger at the world. Muhammad, finally, has someone who takes him seriously who is also in his debt. Moors and screenwriter Ronnie Porto show how easy it was for this tragedy to come together without offering much insight into how the killers’ minds operated. “You’re not going to figure it out, even if I tell you,” Malvo says ■

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to an investigator after he’s caught. The willingness to embrace vagueness gives Blue Caprice a coiled, cold menace— even if you wish it would boil over instead of simmer. ★★★ [R] Salinger (Dir: Shane Salerno). From our friends at TWC comes A Current Affair meets American Masters. Highly anticipated documentary of author J.D. Salinger (1919-2010) contains a stunning announcement that fans of The Catcher in the Rye scribe’s catalogue will relish. Other than that, things bottom out after Salinger reaches the crest of his literary success and morphs into a shut-in with a fondness for young women. Information gives way to distractions—whether it’s pundits offering theories or journalists recalling brusque encounters with Salinger. And, Lord help us, there are breathless, almost laughable reenactments such as Salinger feverishly typing on a stage bathed in atmospheric lighting, like he’s opening for Jethro Tull. The first half is solid because we actually learn something about Salinger the person and the writer. (The insights of his former paramour, Jean Miller, are particularly revealing.) Salinger was so good at being inscrutable—tightening his inner circle, isolating his family and friends—that his mysteriousness is practically impregnable. For all of Salerno’s urgency and energy, not unexpected from someone who helped write Armageddon, we leave not understanding Salinger. I almost expect the late author would be pleased with this film. He’d be in a slim minority. [Note: This review does not refer to the “special edition” of Salinger, which features new material, that was released nationally on 9/20. ★★ [PG-13] ■


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The media giant is the same in life as she is on television—articulate, empathetic, formidable, humane, and, yes, god-like. Yet she’s still somehow able to vanish into her groundbreaking role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which is poised to put an Oscar on her mantle. I DIDN’T GET THE Oprah handshake. You know the one: Where she and a guest lock fingers in a grippy highten, then turn a reverse tug-of-war into a kind of pushpull joy-gasm. But I did shake hands with Oprah, which is almost as surreal to type as it was to do. Meeting with Oprah Winfrey is the sort of thing that, as a friend told me shortly afterward, completes your day. “You can go home now and sleep,” he said, and I totally got what he meant. No two celebri“I don’t have one face that I ty interviews are ever the same, but a fairly present to the white world and reliable constant one I present to the black among them is that, by world,” she says. “And I never the end, you feel as though—surprise!— have. I talk to my dogs the you’ve gabbed with an same way I’m speaking right actual person as opposed to some unnow. It’s always been the same knowable alien who for me, and I say that with only exists within a great pride and honor and homscreen. At the risk of making the “Queen of age to the people who were of All Media” sound inhuthe generations before me.” man (she’s anything but), this isn’t the case with Oprah. There are some people—very few, most likely—whose level of fame and, more importantly, respectability, leaves their god-like personae fully intact when they’re seen in the flesh, as their very mortal selves. You walk away from a chat with Oprah with the same feeling induced by any given episode of her 25-yearlong talk show—that you’ve just spent time with a peerless possessor of tremendous power, insight, and empathy. As it turns out, there’s a greater reason for this. While Oprah’s virtues do indeed dwarf those of many others, a sit-down with her is unique because unlike, say, a movie star, or even a musician, whose profession requires varying degrees of performance, and who suddenly startles when seen out of character, this woman is steadfastly, uncannily the same, no matter the venue in which she’s encountered. There’s none of that typical diminishment of grandness, or proverbial yanking down to Earth, because down to Earth is where Oprah’s always been, and that

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grandness, it seems, is an innate part of her character. Such utter transparency is a very rare gift, and it’s one Oprah says she was lauded for, by legends, long before she became one herself. “When I was 19 years old, I interviewed Jesse Jackson as a young reporter in Nashville, Tenn.,” Oprah says, “and he said to me then, ‘One of your gifts is being able to be yourself on TV.’ So, when I moved to Chicago, and I was up against the then “King of Talk” [Phil Donahue], my boss at the time called me into his office and said, ‘Listen, we know you’ll never be able to beat him. So just go on the air and be yourself.’ So I have made a career out of my own authenticity. I feel that I have made a living being myself.” Oprah did, of course, “beat” Phil Donahue on the talk-show front, and just about everyone else in the wide world of media, and the utter inability to imagine a boss imposing limits on Oprah Winfrey is a testament to how far she, and by extension, black Americans, have come in terms of racial equality in our country. Oprah and I are meeting at New York’s Waldorf Astoria as part of her promotion of Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a film that traces the black experience in America in unprecedented ways, and features Oprah in her first on-screen film role since 1998, when she played Sethe in the underrated adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Beloved. In The Butler, she plays Gloria Gaines, the wife of Forest Whitaker’s titular White House aide, Cecil Gaines, whose story is based on that of Eugene Allen, a real-life butler who served eight presidents during his tenure at 1600 Penn (in the film, the butler’s employment is condensed to cover Eisenhower’s reign on through to the Reagan era). Oprah didn’t initially want to do the film, but director Daniels, a friend and colleague with whom she’d worked as a producer on his 2009 sensation Precious, wouldn’t take no for an answer, and she was ultimately sold on the film’s historical vitality. “Lee was relentless,” Oprah says. “And I told him, ‘Lee, I got this [OWN] network thing going on,’ but he wouldn’t listen. And I finally said yes, and I’m glad I said yes. We’d been talking about the story and about Gloria for quite some time. I’m a student of my own history, of African-American history, and I believe that when you know who you are, you are able to move forward not just with the strength of yourself, but with the strength of

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your entire ancestry. So I embraced the ability to tell that story in an entertaining way that would offer an opportunity for the rest of the world to experience a part of our history. It’s a part that made our nation who and what we are, and I also wanted to demonstrate the love story of African-American family in a way that exposes its tenderness to the world. The film allows people to see that we are all more alike than different. When you see [Gloria and Cecil] at the bus station sending their son off to college, it’s how every parent, regardless of race, regardless of economic background, feels when you have to let go of your son. When you see us sitting at the breakfast table in the morning, I wanted to communicate that sense of love, and connection, and tenderness.” If you ask any Oscar pundit, the end result of Oprah’s efforts, beyond whatever horizon-broadening wisdom the film will—and should—impart on viewers, will be an allbut-certain Supporting Actress nomination, and, quite possibly, a win. The truly amazing thing is that despite all of that transparency, and all of that lack of disconnect between Oprah’s in-the-media and in-person demeanors, she proves in The Butler that, when called upon, she can still vanish within a character. It’s such a cliché to describe a performance in that way, but Oprah embodies Gloria as if she’s been appearing in films for years, when she really only has three notable film roles to her name (beyond Beloved, she played Sofia in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film The Color Purple, which led her to her first Supporting Actress nod). Her work in the film genuinely suggests that, had she wanted to, she could have successfully pursued an entirely different career. What’s more, she gives life to a woman who is both specific and representative of a throng of African-American women, who struggled, like anyone else, with the balance of personal identity and familial responsibility. “I wanted to convey the spirit and integrity of all of the women—colored, negro—of the time,” Oprah says, “who stood by their men and held their families together R. Kurt Osenlund is the managing editor of Slant Magazine. He is also the film critic for South Philly Review, and a contributing writer for ICON, Esquire, Slant, Details, Filmmaker Magazine and IndieWire. Follow him on Twitter @AddisonDeTwitt. Email: rkurtosenlund@gmail.com.


with their grit and their determination, and allowed their own dreams to be repressed. I thought a lot about what it means to be a woman in the ‘50s and ‘60s—a woman like Gloria, or even a woman like myself. All of us got a little fire inside. Gloria had a little fire inside of herself. I thought a lot about what it’s like to be someone who...you have that fire, but what do you do with it? You can’t just watch Edge of Night all day long, or make tuna fish sandwiches or drink a beer. So that’s why you tiptoe with the next door neighbor. [Gloria has a subtly implied affair with her neighbor, played by Terrence Howard.] Gloria, for me, is not just herself, but a composite of the women of that era, who sacrificed and also were the stabilizing forces of their families. Because the butler couldn’t have been who he was and still have a family had it not been for her. So I loved all of that.” Oprah’s performance continues what seems to have become a trend in the films of Lee Daniels: knockout supporting turns from actresses who go places, dramatically, that no one ever thought possible. In Precious, Daniels drew a scarily great performance from comedienne Mo’Nique, who collected virtually every industry trophy—including an Oscar—for her role as a horrifyingly abusive mother. In The Paperboy, the vanguard filmmaker showed us an uncommonly daring and shocking side of superstar Nicole Kidman, who braved a jaw-droppingly sexualized performance as a bombshell with a thing for murderous inmates. And now, in The Butler, the director heroically coaches Oprah, arguably the most recognizable woman on the planet, in an alternately wrenching and spirited disappearing act, parlaying her real-life credibility as a beacon of hope for colored women into a bold expression of their forebears. “After working with Lee on Precious behind the scenes, I wanted to just be in his hands, really,” Oprah says. “What’s exciting about Lee is he is a truth-seeker. He will literally not let any of his actors get away with a breath that’s a false moment. And I can testify to that, because he pulled me over to the monitor one day [during production], and he said, ‘You see how you’re leaning in there? You see how Gloria’s leaning in there? And you took that breath? Drop the breath. I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to see it.’ In every moment, he doesn’t allow you, as an actor, to get away with anything that even remotely appears to be fake. And if he does, he’ll start yelling, ‘Fake!’” The way Oprah shouts that last word is a manner of excited speech that’s become so familiar to the masses, that it need only be casually imitated to be instantly recognizable. (For instance, the first thing I said to friends and family after this interview? “I...met...Opraaaahhhhh!!!”) But through much of our encounter, such singular boisterousness is curbed for Oprah’s more sobering and deeply articulate observational side, which she largely employs to look back on the women who came before—the women represented in this film. Oprah is now part of a landmark year for black cinema, wherein there isn’t just an abundance of black-themed films, but an abundance of black-themed films created by black artists (see also: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, and Andrew Dosumnu’s Mother of George). It’s a year in which we’re being gifted movies, popular movies that people are actually going to see (The Butler has proved itself a box-office juggernaut), that take an unflinching look at the racist atrocities that have stained our

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nation’s past, and dig deep into a culture that’s never gotten its proper due. The phenomenon is something of which Oprah is highly aware, and one she undoubtedly helped to foster, but one she’s keen to credit to those illustrated on screen. There’s a quote in The Butler that, while addressing Cecil’s role as an attendant to elite white men, observes that blacks wear two faces: the private one and the one they show to whites. While hers is, of course, a very atypical case, Oprah looks to her parents, and their parents, and people like Gloria, as the collective reason why she’s never had to resort to a mask. “I don’t have one face that I present to the white world and one I present to the black world,” she says. “And I never have. I talk to my dogs the same way I’m speaking right now. W W W. FA C E B O O K . C O M / I C O N D V

It’s always been the same for me, and I say that with great pride and honor and homage to the people who were of the generations before me. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this movie. You know, I am the daughter of a maid, and my grandmother was a maid, and her mother was a maid, and her mother was a slave. I feel validated by their courage, and I feel validated by the war that the butler and his entire generation fought in their own way. And then there was another generation of Freedom Riders [also depicted in the film] who, because of growth and change, decided, ‘We’re not going to do that anymore.’ And I think that was also necessary. Both wars were necessary for the time. Because of the courage, and because of the conviction of generations whose shoulders we all stand on, I never had to do it.” n

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A. D. AMOROSI

WESLEY

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WESLEY STACE IS CERTAINLY never one for lack of a good story or an interesting twist. As a lyricist and melody maker, the British-born Stace borrowed a stage name from Bob Dylan— John Wesley Harding—and, in 1988 commenced to creating a series of albums that were wryly dry humored, cynically (flawed) character-driven and equal parts swift-kicking power pop/pub rock and earnest but complex folk. By 2006, however, Harding began penning equally imaginative and doubly literate novels under his given name, Wesley Stace—books such as Misfortune: A Novel, then George: A Novel, then Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer all within five years. Yet it wasn’t until last year when he began writing new songs—blunt, autobiographical tunes with simpler, unadorned arrangements than usual—that featured a sense of self-address (or redress) that Harding began to think it was time to return, fully and formidably, to the idea of being Wesley Stace. So he recorded an album in his new hometown—Philadelphia— changed his name back to Wesley Stace, and this month releases the first fruits of that labor under his Christian name—titled Self-Titled—whose debut he’ll make at World Café Live on October 3. The only story that’s as good as that one, is the tale of what brought him to Philly in the first place. “I’ve hopped around America for various reasons, with long stays in San Francisco where I made Why We Fight and New Deal, then Seattle where I recorded Trad Arr Jones and Confessions of St. Ace, then Brooklyn where I did The Sound of His Own Voice,” says Stace in quick succession, connecting one-time former homesteads to specific John Wesley Harding albums. It was Stace’s new wife, a Philadelphian then and now, who convinced the lodger to move to this area after finding a lovely house with a decent school for their children. “It was a very spur-of-the-moment decision then that I was happy I made as this is a great place to be.” Yes, he knows that Philadelphia schools have a lousy reputation, but he and his missus still managed to get their children enrolled in his wife’s alma matter, Germantown Friends—which makes for a funny morning commute as of late. “WXPN has been playing several songs off my new Self-Titled album during drive time, so I keep hearing it in-between kid stuff like their Scooby Doo soundtracks.” Like he’s done with his past records, Stace recorded where he lives, in Philadelphia, this time with local drummer Patrick Berkery (War on Drugs, Danielson), cellist/string arranger Larry Gold, and the studio peeps at Milkboy in Philly’s Northern Liberties section. “It’s lovely to record where you live, and this is a total Philly record. In fact, this album couldn’t have happened anywhere else.” Stace wanted a much more intimate sound on Self-Titled than he ever had previously, this time to go with the blunter lyrical éclat and, on one occasion (“When I Leave”) even found a looser, groovier vibe to which he asked Gold to create a Sound of Philadelphia-like string arrangement in accordance with those that Gold had done for Gamble & Huff in the past. “So that is my tribute to your city—now my city,” says Stace. As for the return to his Christian name, Stace didn’t have a conclusion or a finale with a flourish planned for John Wesley Harding. When he recorded The Sound of His Own Voice, he didn’t realize that it would be the last he’d see JWH on a CD sleeve or record jacket. In 2012, he had a chance to put out a 12-inch single, “Making Love to Bob Dylan.” With that, he decided to hit his old name in the head. “Since the JWH name comes from Dylan to begin with, I thought this was a way to bring that name, that career choice, full circle,” says Stace. “I didn’t tell anyone about the move because agents, you know, they’d gripe about the idea of making it harder on them to book me, or record labels to file me. It’s not even as if anyone had ever compared me to Dylan, but still, you know, he’s Dylan. So I made that record and the curtain came down on it.” It was about time, in Stace’s estimate, that he return to the name his parents gave him. “It’s not like anyone ever actually called me ‘John,’ you know.” He had been tinkering with the idea of changing his name for ages. As the novels written as Wesley Stace became “more of a

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If A.D. Amorosi can’t be found writing features for ICON, the Philadelphia Inquirer or doing Icepacks and Icecubes (amongst other stories) for Philadelphia City Paper, he’s probably hitting restaurants like Stephen Starr’s or running his greyhound

Wesley Stace. Photo: Ebet Roberts.

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the jazz scene

BRUCE KLAUBER

QUEST FOR A FEST Those who hope to lure a major, multi-day, corporatelysponsored jazz festival back to Philadelphia may well look at The Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival in Sussex Country, Delaware, as a good model. This fest, soon to celebrate its 25th anniversary, runs from October 17 through October 20 with around 14 shows being presented on five area stages. There are national acts, to be sure, mostly in the commercial/smooth jazz vein, including Shelia E., Jeff Lorber, Steve Cole, Will Downing, Marion Meadows and Najee. There are, however, no outright “gigantic stars,” which keeps the budget down and allows for a good variety of music (though it’s hoped that future fests will include some “straight ahead” acts), jam sessions and spots for regional artists. Rehoboth does things gently, without fuss and hysterical hype, and well. For tickets and details, visit RehobothJazz.com. STILL WILD ABOUT HARRY In these pages not long ago, the jazz renaissance man known as Harry Connick, Jr. spoke of how much he enjoyed his stint as “guest judge” on television’s American Idol, despite having raised a few eyebrows with his strong mentoring of one or two contestants who, to his ears, butchered several classic, American pop songs. He had fully expected, he said, that the guest stint was a one-off appearance. However, it has been recently announced that Connick will be a permanent celebrity judge on American Idol this season, the program’s 13th. “I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show,” Connick told Variety. “I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to ‘American Idol and to help emerging performers find their way.” Harry Connick Jr. is the first performer with any jazz background whatsoever to be a part of this program, or for that matter, any televised “reality music talent competition.” This is big news, important news and great news for jazz. Note to contestants: Don’t mess with ol’ Har. Contestants had best learn, in advance, the melody as written, the song’s chord changes, the meaning of the lyrics, and the concept of letting the lyrics speak for themselves. Above all, remember that “My Funny Valentine” is not a funk or a rap tune. Or face the consequences. JOEL DORN: WALK OF FAME HONOREE There was a time, just about when WRTI radio first hit the airwaves, when this region had a real, full-time, commercial jazz radio station. That was WHAT-FM radio, 96.5 on the FM dial, and featured hosts like the still-going strong Sid Mark, the late Stu Chase and several others. Joel Dorn was one of those WHAT personalities, and he is being posthumously honored by The Philadelphia Musical Alliance with a bronze plaque on Broad Street’s musical “Walk of Fame.” The ceremony will be October 24. Dorn, who ultimately was completely absorbed by pop music as an Atlantic Records’ producer for Bette Midler, Roberta Flack and the Neville Brothers, passed away at the age of 65 in 2007. His stint at WHAT took place in the early 1960s, and his knowledge and tastes were impressive enough that he was lured into the record production arena by Atlantic’s Nesugi Ertegun to produce soon-to-be crossover jazz artists like Herbie Mann and Hubert Laws. In those days—much like Bob Perkins, Sid Mark and

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Bob Craig today—jazz radio hosts had instantly identifiable voices, instantly identifiable tastes, and instantly identifiable theme songs. If memory serves, Mark’s theme was Maynard Ferguson’s “At the Sound of the Trumpet,” and Joel Dorn’s was David “Fathead” Newman’s “Hard Times.” Those who knew Joel Dorn say that, despite his lucrative forays into commercial pop, his heart always remained in jazz. CDS ARE ALIVE AND WELL The concept of a CD, i.e., the little round disc held in one’s hand, is on the soon-to-be-extinct list, say some purported musical experts. No one is listening to these reports, at least in this area, as the new and impressive, “hard” CDs just keep on coming. New and notable is something called Whose Life is This? by the exquisitely swinging songstress Keli Vale, a mix of originals and standards(wait until you hear the very faithful remake of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross’ “In a Mellowtone”) recorded, as Vale explained, “the old-fashioned way,” and featuring the finest players in the area. Go to KeliVale.com for ordering info. Another jazz singer, this one long a part of the Atlantic City scene, is Melanie Rice, an elegant and stylish, jazz-oriented interpreter of American popular song. Rice, in collaboration with the multi-talented keyboardist Dean Schneider and other area greats, is putting the finishing touches on a CD standards collection called This Love of Mine. A November 2nd release party at Atlantic City’s Resorts International is in the works. For information and tickets, visit MyCommunityTickets.net. GOOD VIBES The vibraphone as a jazz instrument is still a relative rarity in jazz. Up until World War II, in fact, only Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo were on the national map as vibes players. Then, with the advent of bop, Milt Jackson and Terry Gibbs entered the fold. There were several more good players who came along in the 1950s and early 1960s—including Teddy Charles, Bobby Hutcherson, Johnny Lytle, Lem Winchester and Cal Tjader—but when Gary Burton first came on the scene in the late 1960s, he changed the entire nature of the instrument. After stints with Stan Gary Burton. Getz and several others, Burton pioneered jazz/rock/fusion, and he virtually invented what is called the “four-mallet technique” of vibes playing. This means that with four mallets—two mallets in each hand instead of one—full chords could be played just like a piano, and if a player were adept enough, could actually accompany himself. Burton has never made a lousy record, and several of the great ones include his solo works, duos with Chick Corea, and the still very much played collaboration with Stephane Grapelli.

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Personally, he’s toned down some of his young rhetoric directed to those in jazz who had show biz overtones, and recorded several tribute items to same. And which Gary Burton will be on view October 6 at the Annenberg Center, a celebration of the vibist’s 70th birthday? Who knows. For tickets, log on to AnnenbergCenter.org. JAZZ IN A JAM There’s yet another entry in the jazz jam session sweepstakes, this one at the Penn Tap Room in Doylestown, and the fun begins at 8 p.m. each Sunday. The host is the great guitarist, Larry Tamanini, and regulars include some the area’s finest, including drummer Dan Monaghan, and Glenn McLelland on piano. The Penn Tap Room is on 80 West State Street. Details: PennTapRoom.com THE “ART” OF RHENDA Singer Rhenda Fearrington, a charismatic bundle of jazz energy, is one of the few out there who knows how important the “entertainment aspect” is to the jazz mix. Fearrington will be celebrating her birthday at an “Art After Five” performance at the Philadelphia Art Museum on October 18, along with accompanists Larry McKenna on saxophone, pianist Jim Holton, guitarist Larry Tamanini, bassist Vince Turnball and drummer Anwar Marshall. Show begins at 5:45. Info: PhiladelphiaMuseum.org/ArtAfter5. JAZZ BRIDGE HONORS Congratulations are in order for Jazz Bridge co-founders Suzanne Cloud and Wendy Simon Sinkler. On October 7, Cloud and Sinkler will receive the first ever Humanities Partner Award from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Jazz Bridge will receive this award in recognition of their innovative public humanities programming, community service, and long-standing connection to the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PNC). The ceremony and reception will take place in the Main Capitol Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Statehouse in Harrisburg. THE JAZZ SINGER WHO WOULD BE KING Peggy King is a world-class jazz singer who has worked with everyone from Sinatra and Sammy Davis to Andre Previn and Harry James. Still fondly remembered from her stint on George Gobel’s television program as “pretty, perky Peggy King,” on-stage sightings of this talented artist have been relatively rare of late. But that is now changed. King recently “discovered” area swingsters, The All-Star Jazz Trio— and The All-Stars “discovered” King—and the town has been abuzz since their collaborations at Chris’ Jazz Café’ and at a concert date in Atlantic City. All this has led to “An Afternoon with Peggy King and The All-Star Jazz Trio,” a concert to be held at the Philadelphia Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square, on December 1 and beginning at 3 p.m. Sponsors of what promises be the “jazz concert of the season” are ICON, Fineman Krekstein & Harris PC, AllAboutJazz.com and “Jazz Near You,” and the University of the Arts’ radio station WRTZ. Tickets are $25 and are available in advance via https://icondv.ticketbud.com/peggy-king-and-the-all-star-jazztrio. Look elsewhere in this month’s ICON for more details on this eagerly-anticipated event. n Jam with “The Jazz Scene” and submit items to DrumAlive@aol.com.


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Whoopee! singer / songwriter

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The pop music of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s served as the catalyst for Push Any Button, the first physical album of new music from Sam Phillips in five years. Phillips remains a sharp-eyed observer of the world at large and matters of the heart. “Pretty Time Bomb” in an unflinching look at the corrosive power of celebrity—think of Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes. “It’s easy to change/But harder to change your life,” Phillips tartly sings in her husky baritone. With a string arrangement that conjures up a mixture of wistfulness and melancholy, “See You in Dreams” recalls the work of John Lennon with its self-examination. “When I’m Alone” is an upbeat song about the pleasures of solitude and self-improvement. “Things I Shouldn’t Have Told You” recounts an acerbic breakup propelled by a striking rhythm and melody. At a running time of just over 29 minutes, Push Any Button recalls vinyl albums of the ‘60s, but Phillips is smart enough to make her points without a wasted note. Bob Dylan ★★★1/2 The Bootleg Series Vol. 10–Another Self-Portrait (1969-1971) Columbia Records The 1970 release of Self-Portrait, a double album, stood as Bob Dylan’s most controversial release in his first decade of making music. Its version of traditional material and versions of songs by his contemporaries combined with overdubbed strings and other instruments confounded critics and fans. Another Self-Portrait offers a second look at a misunderstood period of Dylan’s career. Shorn of its overdubs, it’s a case of less is more with the stripped-down version of the folk standards “Little Sadie” and “Belle Isle.” The 35 previously unreleased performances cover a wide territory, from the deeply heartfelt renditions of “Spanish is the Loving Tongue” and “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” featuring just Dylan and his piano, to the lighthearted romp of “Working on a Guru” with George Harrison on guitar. Live versions of “Highway 61 Revisited” and “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” recorded live with The Band at the Isle of Wight in 1969 show a less strident Dylan than his British shows in 1966. Dylan is a relaxed voice throughout, from the calming “Wallflower” to an exhilarating “New Morning,” which gains an added joyfulness, thanks to a horn section. Dylan’s originals from this period are among his quirkiest. “All The Tired Horses” offers a trio of women singing the song, while “Wigwam” features Dylan performing the wordless vocals. It’s all part of Dylan’s “Self-Portrait” mystique. Rick Shea ★★★1/2 Sweet Bernardine Tres Pescadore Records

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Sam Phillips ★★★1/2 Push Any Button Littlebox Recordings

monthly drawing for

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Rick Shea’s skills as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter come to the forefront on Sweet Bernardine, his latest studio CD. The longtime Californian draws inspiration from the Golden State and his family history in crafting the songs. “Mexicali Train” tells the story of a train trip to Mexico and the inability to outrun the past. Shea’s acoustic guitar and Skip Edwards’ accordion capture the rhythm of

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the rails. “Mariachi Hotel” is the evocative tale of an East Los Angeles hotel and its musical inhabitants. The title track is a reflection on his life in San Bernardino and the good and bad memories that linger. Vocally, Shea recalls Tom Russell and Merle Haggard on the mournful ballad “Time to Say Goodby” as Shea’s pedal steel guitar captures a sense of regret. Shea pays tribute to a pair of country music legends: Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues” spotlights Shea’s electric guitar work; Roy Acuff ’s “Streamline Cannonball,” performed as a duet with Mary McCaslin, brings the album full circle with a classic train song. Mark Knopfler ★★★1/2 Privateering Verve Records A burst of songwriting productivity led Mark Knopfer to release Privateering, the first double CD of new music he has released in his 35-year recording career. It’s a release that recalls the Beatles’ White Album in the scope of its ambition and eclecticism. Since the breakup of Dire Straits, Knopfler has mined the worlds of blues, folk, country and Celtic music and Privateering continues in that vein with some new twists. The cinematic feel of “Haul Away” echoes his film soundtrack work for Local Hero and “Cal” with its use of fiddle and whistle. “Don’t Forget Your Hat” is a swaggering blues that features Knopfler and Kim Wilson engaging in a lively interchange on guitar and harmonica, respectively. The title track spotlights Knopfler’s finger-picking skills on acoustic guitar that contrasts nicely with the powerful fiddle work of John McCusker. Over the album’s 20 songs, Knopfler doesn’t rush himself or his band, letting the music unfurl at its own pace. The sweetly sung “Miss You Blues’ is a good match for his easygoing baritone as his guitar playing creates a sense of longing. “Corned Beef City” recalls the uptempo work of his days with Dire Straits, while “Radio City Serenade” has a pre-rock, Tin Pan Alley feel, thanks to Chris Botti’s expressive trumpet work. Ry Cooder and Corridos Famosos ★★★★ Live in San Francisco Nonesuch/Perro Verde Records Ry Cooder has toured sparingly in the 21st century. When he performed two nights at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco in the summer of 2011, he wisely decided to record both shows. The result is Live in San Francisco, which documents Cooder’s abilities as a top-flight guitarist and bandleader. The 12-song CD offers a retrospective of his solo career, from his self-titled 1970 debut to 2011’s Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down. Cooder unselfishly shares the spotlight with his band. Accordionist Flaco Jimenez brings a Tex-Mex feel to Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi,” while backing singers Terry Evans and Arnold McCuller deliver a stirring reading of “The Dark End of the Street,” the classic ‘60s soul ballad. La Banda Juvenil, a 10-piece Mexican brass band, provides a waltzing lift to Lead Belly’s “Good Night, Irene.” Cooder displays his eclectic side in spirited treatments of “School is Out,” a hit for Gary U.S. Bonds, and Sam The Sham and the Pharoah’s “Wooly Bully.” That is balanced out by a stark and dramatic reading of Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man.” Cooder is in high spirits throughout, bantering with the crowd to give the CD a lively atmosphere. n tomwilk@rocketmail.com


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keresman on disc

MARK KERESMAN ★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

S.O.S.: John Surman/Mike Osborne/Alan Skidmore ★★★★1/2 Looking For The Next One Cuneiform

Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune ★★★★ Trip On The Strip Dusty Groove/Real Gone Music

Some know-it-alls maintaining that the 1970s was a notgood decade for jazz will get an argument from this know-itall, let me tell ya. Without going all encyclopedic on you, the

One of the more obscure gems of the substantial Prestige Records catalog has been returned to circulation: Trip On The Strip (1966), by TWO Philadelphians, jazz organist Stan Hunter and alto/tenor saxophonist Sonny Fortune, the latter in his recording debut. Style-wise, it’s a fairly straightahead slice of soul-jazz (think Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff, Joey DeFrancesco) but shouldn’t be dismissed as “just another… .” For one thing, Hunter has a distinctive style, laying down thick cushiony chords but with a very fleet, fluid style recalling slightly the late great Larry Young. Fortune, who went on to play with Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, and Buddy Rich and has a strong, diverse solo career to this day, sounds fantastic. SF is hearty, lean, and (genially) mean, his tone rich with the immediacy of Cannonball Adderley and the steely brightness of Phil Woods. This set, as the hipsters of yesteryear said, cooks on all four burners. So recommended, this is. realgonemusic.com Missy Raines & The New Hip ★★★★ New Frontier Compass Eleanor Friedberger ★★★★1/2 Personal Record Merge

S.O.S. John Surman, Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore.

‘70s was a time when spheres of jazz overlapped, especially in the UK, where there was some “crossover” between the jazz and rock scenes there. (Many King Crimson and Soft Machine platters feature the crème de la crème of the Brit avant-jazz scene.) The UK’s S.O.S. is three saxophonists: John Surman (also keys, synth), best-known to USA audiences via his many fine discs for the ECM label; Alan Skidmore (also drums), whose resume includes Kate Bush, Van Morrison, and Chick Corea; and Mike Osborne (1941-2007), leader and with Kenny Wheeler among many others. The breadth of Looking… (recorded 1974-75, two CDs) is dizzying: free jazz blowouts; shimmering, crackling fusion, and Irish/Scottish folk motifs, often blurring the line betwixt composition and improvisation. Despite such diversity, S.O.S. brings a focus to each piece, balancing the “wild” with the “harmonious,” sidestepping self-absorbed self-indulgence. You don’t have to be a history nerd to appreciate this—just an open mind/heart. cuneiformrecords.com

shemp@hotmail.com

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These platters are examples of performers “redefining” themselves without chucking out their pasts entirely. (Hands: How many remember when Tori Amos was a metallite chick?) Missy Raines is an award-winning bluegrass bassist and Eleanor Friedberger is of the brother-sister indie rock duo Fiery Furnaces, but their latest discs find them as engaging, moody (in the best ways) songsters. On Raines’ second set as a leader, acoustic bluegrass influences domi-

but she’s mos def no imitator—they might till the same soil but in their own respective, estimable ways. Friendberger’s second solo set rocks more than Raines’ but there are similarities—both draw the listener in on the strength of their story-like songs, and both richly draw forth definite moods. She harnesses the song-craft of Elvis Costello and Carly Simon but with some lean, indie rock spunkiness and her sharp, slight husky singing somewhat recalls the young Simon. Personal Record goes for a very full but uncluttered sound with plenty of variety, from the bossa novatinged “Echo or Encore” to the booming Hall & Oates-meetMotown swagger of “She’s A Mirror.” Friedberger’s songs stick to the ribs, and are, also like Raines, so very comforting and human. compassrecords.com / mergerecords.com Gary Peacock/Marilyn Crispell ★★★★★ Azure ECM While there are many fine musicians around, how many can truly be called poets? For the sake of brevity, let’s go with bassist Gary Peacock and pianist Marilyn Crispell. Peacock’s career includes stints with Art Pepper, Albert Ayler, and (still) Keith Jarrett. While Crispell built her rep with tres avant icon Anthony Braxton, she (along with Jarrett and Fred Hersch) is an heir to Bill Evans’ legacy, as she’s got a comparable sense of spaciousness and sublime lyricism (though she deploys it in a more aggressive manner when she wants). Azure is a pensive, meditative session of originals, one where the duo’s rapport verges on the telepathic, never forgetting they’re playing for us, not only each other. With its Duke Ellington-like warmth and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” simplicity, “Waltz After David M” is one of the loveliest tunes this writer’s heard this year. Peacock gets the most big-toned, pliant, probing (but gutsy) acoustic bass sound you’ve maybe ever heard, and Crispell’s notes hang in mid-air like a bell-tone is a cathedral. Azure is almost too good—how are they going to follow up near-perfection? ecmrecords.com Ethan Iverson/Lee Konitz/Larry Grenadier/Jorge Rossy ★★★★ Costumes Are Mandatory HighNote

Missy Raines & the New Hip Photo by Scott Simontacchi.

nate, but there’s drums, electric guitar (restrained and smoldering, in fact), and the songs are a seductive amalgam of folk, country, bluegrass, and rock, recalling the earliest platters by Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash. Her warm, willowy, winsome vocals and overall style evoke Alison Kraus

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Jazz alto sax icon Lee Konitz is 85, pianist Ethan Iverson, of the merrily subversive The Bad Plus, is 40, whilst the others are in their 40th decade. Perhaps more than any other jazz musician of his generation, Konitz is never stationary— appropriate, as he was playing avant-garde in the late ‘40s/early ‘50s long before Ornette Coleman shook everybody up and he had a drier-than-three-martinis approach before Paul Desmond. Costumes Are Mandatory is an oft-brilliant set of deceptively laid-back/chilled-out jazz, with Iverson combining/alternating rumination and earthy with equal aplomb and Konitz does similarly with delicacy, abstraction, and dry-ice cool. All tracks are short for maximum impact. While Konitz’s horn might not be as supple (in spots) as it one was, he’s still more fascinating than most players half his age. Slight downside: LK’s brief scat vocal on “My Old Flame” is about on par with Quentin Tarantino’s acting—ah, well. jazzdepot.com ■


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nick’s picks

NICK BEWSEY ★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

Tierney Sutton ★★★★ After Blue BFM Jazz Tierney Sutton is a singularly modern chanteuse. She combines the bright diction of a cabaret vocalist with the guts of a jazz singer, one with a strong instinct for improvisation and rhythm. On her tenth recording, a tribute to singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, After Blue stands out as one of Sutton’s most personal and revealing projects. She divulges that Mitchell’s Both Sides Now album is an important and favorite recording and considers it to be equal in stature to Sinatra’s Wee Small Hours album and Billie Holiday’s Lady In Satin. Sutton’s longtime band, including pianist Christian Jacob and drummer Ray Brinker, had scheduling conflicts that prevented them from participating. Filling in, former Weather Report

alternating bassists and drummers (primarily, Eric Revis and Donald Edwards) to give voice to what Evans calls “the intensity of sensitivity.” The date leads with “Black Elk Speaks,” a tune with a choice Herbie Nichols-like melody and an angular form that stretches time and tempo. From there, it’s a survey of compositional styles that may not flow as well as Evans’ previous record (the superb Flip The Script, Posi-tone, 2012) but nonetheless offers a compelling listening experience. From the exotic beauty of “African Song” that Evans adorns with expressive waves of improvisation to the mischievous glee of “Dorm Life,” a quirky blues, the band is sharp with chops aplenty. The percussive, finger-popping groove of Ornette Coleman’s “Blue Connotation” contrasts beautifully with Hoagy Carmichael’s “Rockin’ Chair,” which is slowed down Shirley-horn style and gives one a chance to savor Evans’ deeply lyrical style. Evans ends this eclectic album with a duo read of an Andrae Crouch spiritual (“My Tribute”) that’s touching, sentimental and delivers on the truest meaning of the recording’s title. (10 tracks; 58 minutes) Ahmad Jamal ★★★★ Saturday Morning Jazz Village

Tierney Sutton.

drummer Peter Erskine and keyboardist Larry Goldings (Madeleine Peyroux, James Taylor) along with guitarist Kevin Axt, flutist Hubert Laws and The Turtle Island String Quartet align as stars in Sutton’s constellation of sound. Sutton approaches Mitchell’s “All I Want,” “Court and Spark,” and “Big Yellow Taxi” with devotional respect, cleverly squaring their pop origins within the jazz realm. Yet, it’s Sutton’s take on “Don’t Go To Strangers” and “Both Sides Now” where voice, instrument and mood effortlessly coalesce and forge a deeper emotional bond with the listener. The spare arrangements don’t provide any cover for Sutton and she doesn’t need any. Sutton’s sensuous voice digs into this material that often places her with a sole guitar or piano, her voice and feelings laid bare. (12 tracks; 58 minutes) Orrin Evans ★★★1/2 …It was Beauty Criss Cross A serious minded jazz pianist and A-list player, Orrin Evans is a strong talent from Philadelphia who joins a long line of jazz musicians that come from the city of brotherly love. Since his debut recording in 1994, Evans’ resume reveals an ever-growing list of ambitious achievements as a recording artist, producer, bandleader, composer and teacher, and his current numerous groups include the Captain Black Big Band, Tar Baby, LuvPark, the LikeMind Collective and more side man gigs on record and in performance than one can count. Evans’ 20th album overall and seventh for the independent Criss Cross label, …It was Beauty, is a trio record whose title will be familiar to anyone who remembers the ending to the original film version of King Kong. The album’s playlist is as restless as it is varied, with

Ahmad Jamal is a true original with a style all his own, and he’s been influencing jazz musicians, past and present, ever since he recorded But Not For Me: Ahmad Jamal Live at The Pershing Lounge in 1958 that catapulted him into the history books. Capturing the same flavor and vibe from that early date, Jamal’s Saturday Morning spotlights the pianist and his longtime trio, bassist Reginald Veal, drummer Herlin Riley and percussionist Manolo Badrena, on a clutch of original tunes that are as intriguing and sonically wonderful as one could want. In addition to his captivating take on Ellington’s “I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good,” Saturday Morning is a perfect way to reacquaint yourself with the pianist whose percussive rhythms and elastic time signatures make you want to get up and dance. With plenty of space for Jamal, Veal and Ahmad Jamal. Riley to weave tight, concentric improvisations from the briefest motifs, the record is a breezy ride highlighted by funky dynamics (“The Line”) a tribute to a fellow jazz master named Horace (“Silver”) and a replay of “One,” a staple in Jamal’s repertoire built on an indelible hook and deft trio interplay. Recorded in February, 2013, the originals make for a dazzling celebration of upbeat musical genres—ska, reggae and a wisp of second-like swing can appear in a flash, then dissolve on Jamal’s whim. The strong and memorable title cut echoes the easy groove of his classic “Poinciana” and where, for more than ten minutes, Jamal exercises continuous invention, massaging the hook and its chorus over and again, playfully adjusting his touch to boost the bass notes or let notes fade with a feather-like touch on the keys. He hits his improvisational

Nick Bewsey has been writing about jazz for ICON since 2004. A member of The Jazz Journalists Association, he blogs about jazz and entertainment at www.jazzinspace.blogspot.com. Twitter: @countingbeats

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BOB PERKINS

KennyBURRELL NOVEMBER 16 OF THIS YEAR will mark my 49th year in the media. Quite a chunk of those years have been spent attempting to be as good a radio jazz music program host as some of those who mentored me—while not knowing they were doing so. Over the years, various organizations have seen fit to reward me with citations for my work in a variety of disciplines in the media. Others have mentioned pretty nice things to me by phone, letter and email. One of the most flattering and totally unexpected compliments came about a year ago as I was checking my voice

Kenny Burrell.

mail. Among the messages was one that encouraged me to keep up the good work on the air. The caller identified himself as Kenny Burrell. The only Kenny Burrell I know is the great jazz guitarist who resides on the other coast, and whose music I play on the air frequently. So I conveniently assumed it was that Kenny Burrell. I didn’t try following up on the message, lest I find it was not, and have my cloud nine reduced to a fraction. I was floored by the message because of my admiration for Burrell. I can only assume that he picks up my programs via the Internet. It was more than thoughtful of him to find my phone number and give me a call of encouragement. Although he may never see this piece, I thought I’d write it anyway and say thanks.

Kenneth Earl Burrell was born July 31, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan. He was the youngest of three boys. His mother played organ and sang in a church choir; his father played banjo and Ukulele. The family was poor, but could afford a guitar for Kenny, who became self-taught on the instrument through listening to his older brothers who also played guitar, and by playing along with records by Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He soon became good enough to play with the pros at clubs around Detroit. After enrolling at Wayne State University, Burrell began supplementing his raw learning with schooling in theory and composition, along with classical guitar lessons. While still in college, he played and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie’s small band, which included Milt Jackson, Percy Heath and John Coltrane—who at the time was playing alto saxophone. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree, Burrell embarked on a six-month tour with Oscar Peterson. He moved to New York in 1956 and performed with the jazz and standard pop greats, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Gene Ammons, Coleman Hawkins, Jimmy Smith and Tommy Flanagan. That year also saw Burrell record the first album under his own name, with fellow Detroiter Donald Byrd on trumpet. This session was followed with an album featuring John Coltrane, Paul Chambers and Kenny Clarke In 1960, Burrell signed with Columbia Records and recorded several albums for the label, but with little success. Later in his career, he recorded much more successfully for Blue Note, Verve, Fantasy and Concord. Burrell moved to California in 1971, and began conducting workshops at UCLA, where he taught classes on Duke Ellington’s music. He loved Duke Ellington’s music, and recorded his compositions frequently. In turn, he became Ellington’s favorite guitarist—although they never made music together. Burrell continued to perform in concert, in clubs, and to record and teach through the decades of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and well into the ‘90s. In 1996, he was approached by UCLA and asked to direct the school’s Jazz Studies program. He accepted, and today, although he is now into octogenarian territory, he is still going strong—and is greatly admired by his students, revered by his legions of fans, and those jazz music contemporaries who remain. Burrell has recorded close to 100 albums under his own name. He’s been featured on more 200 albums, and been a sideman on hundreds of others. He has a Grammy to his credit, received the 2004 Down Beat Educator of the Year Award, and was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2005 Perhaps I’ll try to surprise him by sending him this piece. He probably won’t be near as surprised and delighted as I was to receive his initial voice mail. But who knows…I may receive yet another call from the guitar legend. n

Bob Perkins is a writer and host of an all-jazz radio program that airs on WRTI-FM 90.1 Mon-Thurs. 6 to 9pm & Sun., 9am–1pm.

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dining

ROBERT GORDON

BISOU DOUBLY BLESSED IS MANAYUNK, courtesy of Chef Clark Gilbert. In a short span of time, Manayunk has celebrated two restaurant openings at the same storefront space that Moon Krapugthong’s Mango Moon once occupied. In 2011, Gilbert’s Gemelli on Main opened—“Gemelli” means “twins” and honors Clark’s own twin children. Grounded in the farm-to-table concept, Gemelli served Old World Italian cuisine enlivened by savory sauces. Yet even as Gemelli was weaving into Manayunk’s culinary fabric, Gilbert was hankering to change. His ruminations eventuated in Bisou, a cozy French bistro. Clark is no stranger to French cuisine. He learned his Gallic chops from a pair of local masters: François Taquet at Restaurant Taquet in Wayne and Jean Marie Lacroix at the Fountain Room at the Four Seasons. Clark’s talent displays in dishes like escargot served in red wine sauce rather than the more familiar garlic butter sauce. Billowing heady fragrance, the red sauce is robust, reminiscent of traditional coq au vin sauce. Ubiquitous cubes of guanciale infuse muscular bite. Silky-smooth shitake mushrooms and hazelnuts bolster texture and taste. Asparagus salad delivers on its visually spellbinding promise with taste. A sheaf of long green asparagus stalks wetted with truffle vinaigrette traverses a white plate, intersected at the center by a lane of shaved Parmesan, and nestled in the hollow of rustic bread is a sunny-side-up quail egg. Another notable dish, Pork Cheeks, is prepared as mildly spiced sausage and served amidst a fricassée of peas, carrots, and haricots verts in red wine sauce. A huge slab of beefy barramundi, a hearty perch, is also presented tantalizingly. Deeply browned, the barramundi caps a tumble of fingerling potatoes mixed with haricots verts and nuzzles against a warm calamari salad punctuated with Niçoise olives. But it’s the long orange flame of Romesco sauce that streaks across the plate and terminates in a huge double-crested wave that gives the dish irresistible tableside appeal. Gilbert has cobbled a bistro-perfect assortment of dishes. Among the hors d’œuvres, mussels are served with bacon and Gorgonzola cream for Belgian-like muscle. French Onion Soup is fortified with Gruyère and Comte cheeses. Dressed lobster benefits from silky avocado mousse and heirloom tomatoes drizzled with Yuzu Vinaigrette. Among the Plats Principaux (the correct name for Entrées), Roasted Chicken, like Barramundi and Pork Cheek is a standout. Although fingerling potatoes crisped in duck fat side the chicken, they’re stand-alone treats. Shitake mushrooms, caramelized fennel puree, and thyme jus pique the ensemble with succulence. Pulpy caponata complements Rainbow Trout perked with saba-balsamic reduction and artichoke purée. Steaks frites enjoy au poivre-type zest from green peppercorn sauce. And the La Frieda Burger with aged cheddar and caramelized onions slathered with Thousand Island dressing will please any all-American palate. Bisou’s first-floor dining room shares space with a handsome bar. The upstairs mezzanine room is airy, window-filled, bright and cheery. High red walls sport dozens of prints. A recently added 25-seat, second-story deck is filled with lime-colored umbrellas, two magnolia trees, and planters. Clark’s investment leads me to believe Bisou has permanent roots in Manayunk, despite beckoning with fare and a “feel” that seem rooted in Paris. ■ Bisou, 4161 Main St, Manayunk (215) 487-1230. bisouonmain.com Please send comments or suggestions to r.gordon33@verizon.net

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S WA N

HOTEL Modern Cuisine h Classic Comfort Corner of Swan & Main Lambertville, NJ 609-397-3552

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dining

ROBERT GORDON

GOLDEN PHEASANT INN IN 1986, MY WIFE AND I wrote about Golden Pheasant Inn, our first restaurant piece for Delaware Valley Magazine. The Chef-owner, Michel Faure, has since retired and passed the business along to his daughters, Brittany, Briar and Blake, whom I remember vividly as personable, energetic, savvy teens back in the day. Tempus fugit. These days, Blake, along with Chef Jon Ramsay, shoulders the culinary chores—daunting because of her father’s legacy. Brittany manages the daily operations, and Briar oversees the accounting. The Golden Pheasant was closed for renovations for several months in 2012. It opened with brio earlier this year. The bar, the dining rooms, and the six rooms in the Inn were modernized and the dining terrace was extended. Throughout, the handsome colonial exposed fieldstone walls with deep windowsills remain, bestowing an august and inviting atmosphere. Alfresco dining is available along the front of the Inn, where diners enjoy a lovely vista over the Delaware, and behind the Inn, which sides the historic and picturesque Delaware Canal. A leafy canopy shelters both venues, each of which has a practically perfect dining ambiance. Chef Blake’s culinary prowess owes not only to her lineage, but also to a degree from Cordon Bleu in Pasadena—a degree her kitchen mate Jon also earned. The duo riffs on French cuisine in dynamic contemporary ways, from über-charged salads, heaped with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, toasted sunflower seeds to vegetable strudel brimming with local seasonal vegetables. At $16, the Inn’s charcuterie plate surpasses any I've found in the region. In addition to numerous slices of pork jowls and shaved chicken prosciutto, the plate bulges with chicken liver mousse and a house-made apricot and pistachio-studded pheasant pâté. A pair of mustards and chutney, along with asparagus stalks, cornichons, and caperberry leaf accompanies, while a scrumptious pot of pesto caps off the feast. Smoked pork jowl and sautéed local wild-foraged morels distinguish Fernbrook Farm Mixed Kale Salad composed with curly green and red Russian kale. A half-dozen shimmering discs of free-range eggs spritzed with tarragon Dijon mustard vinaigrette dressing form an appetizing dome with visual appeal. Plump Maine Day Boat Scallops, seared to a pepper-speckled crisp nestle in celeriac purée. Gently roasted baby carrots luxuriating in lemon thyme yuzu white wine sauce make an ideal accompaniment. Coupons of roasted duck breast splashed with an ambrosial apricot, ginger, rum reduction, are rimmed with a succulent pad of fat. The duck levitates over a mound of nutty wild rice infused with thyme—and the two pear, brie and almond phyllo rolls that accompany the dish take it deliciously over the top. The pear, brie and almond phyllo roll is emblematic of Golden Pheasant Inn cuisine. They compose dishes with elements that are somewhat unexpected or deviate from the classics that have nary a hint of forced quirkiness or contrivance. In contrast, such culinary strokes elevate familiar dishes from delicious to memorable. As for desserts, the honey lavender ice cream is the finest I had all year. The Linzer torte is light, lively, and bright. Michel Faure boosted regional cuisine substantially during his distinguished career. His daughters are doing the same. Almost 30 years after the launch of the Golden Pheasant Inn, in a region where quality eateries now abound, few others can match it for superb dining. ■ Golden Pheasant Inn, 763 River Rd. (Rte 32), Erwinna, PA (610) 294-9595 .goldenpheasant.com Email comments and suggestions to r.gordon33@verizon.net

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24 / EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW / WESLEY STACE

real thing,” he found a place for himself in bookshops, literally and figuratively. But for the recorded Stace—the musical Stace known to the world as John Wesley Harding stood—the actual reason for the name change came down to the content of his newest songs that would wind up on Self-Titled. Rather than his sardonic characters, settings and (fictitious) stories, Stace found himself writing songs that were “direct, true and mostly autobiographical—so much different from my usual.” In accordance with his new reality, he even used quotes from one-time lovers (in the middle of a phone break-up) and New York Times interviewers where each referred to him as “Mr. Stace.” As he was writing this down, he suddenly felt it would be ridiculous to refer to himself as “Mr. Stace” in song and John Wesley Harding on his album’s spine. “Two times on one album? I thought that in itself was a sign—it suddenly seemed ridiculous to refer to myself as anything but Stace. If ever there was a time to do it—change my name—this was it.” It wasn’t as if John Wesley Harding was a persona of Stace’s or a Bowie-like creation who could do things Stace couldn’t. “There was never that separation,” says Stace. “Me off stage is the same guy as me on stage save for a little more guitar playing.” Stace chose that name in 1987 because as a university teacher, he didn’t want his students or the school’s staff to know about his musical pursuits. “Thing could go more wrong than right. Besides, I never though that I’d ever get a record deal—so few people did then, though now everybody does—so that when I got offered a contract, everything moved quite quickly.” As 2013 would have been the 25th anniversary of Stace’s John Wesley Harding, all he can do is laugh at the thought. “I didn’t think it was going to happen in the first place, let alone 25 years. If you told me that then, I would have thought you were insane. Still, it happened so fast—really fast—there was no way to go backward to become Wesley Stace then.” Of course, he would rather have had his own name—especially when it came to his novels, books that he worked on for at least seven years. “Using the misspelled name of a fake western cowboy seemed absolute ludicrous when it came to my books. Plus, it would have drawn attention to the fact I was a musician. And that’s never good when it comes to novel writers.” Stace’s due-in-February 2014 new book does something that he’s never done before—it’s set in the present day and it happens to be about rock musicians, albeit kindie-core artists. Wonderkid is a tale about the genre and focuses on a band called The Wonder Kids. The book starts when Stace started as Harding in the early ‘90s, tracks the whole Dan Zanes/Wiggles movement, and focuses on a new wave-ish band that hooks up with a clever A&R man for better, worse and questions of compromise. “It all goes very wrong,” laughs Stace. When I mention that it sounds as if he’s describing art-pop faves They Might Be Giants—a Brooklyn duo who vacillate between oblong absurdist rock and kiddie music—Stace claims he has the band’s approval, and even mention the Giants in his book. That’s part of Stace’s new truth, an ideal that he’s brought to Self-Titled in spades. “Everything on this album is true, and once I started writing like this, a floodgate opened. Which is funny to think, but it was relatively new idea to me. I’ve certainly written songs in the first person and I suppose, to an extent, there’s been something autobiographical in other songs I’ve written, but this is the first time that I’ve gone ‘blimey, I was in love with her, this is exactly how it felt and what we said, I’ll jot that down.’” Though his new songs do not lack for rich poetic imagery, he wrote each tune quickly and with very few adjectives, an idea that went well with Stace’s blunter musicality on Self-Titled. There is no sense of superiority, nothing better or worse, about Stace’s new blunter writing sensibilities. “My songs in the past used to be somewhat cynical and told stories about such. As a person though, I’m very sentimental. So it feels very good to convey that. I used to marvel at Loudon Wainright’s brutal honesty while at the same time being repelled by those of lesser substance whose autobiographical writing is bad.” This is the route Stace chose—this time. This won’t always be the case. There were several smartly-dressed power-pop songs— “Sublimation” and “Let’s Evaporate”—that he recorded for these sessions, that he swears will wind up on his next album. “The name change and the style change happened recently, and it all just happened be part of the same story,” he says of Self-Titled. “This is my Tim Hardin-Leonard Cohen-Jim Croce record. I’m proud of standing up in front of people and playing these songs on the old acoustic. Look, I never thought of myself as a guitar bore, the guy who’d stand up at a party and just start jamming on his own songs. Nobody wants to hear that. But with this album, nowadays, I might just be more likely to pull out my guitar and say ‘hey, I just wrote this. What do you think?’” n

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32 / NICK’S PICKS

stride nearly five minutes in, releasing pent-up grace notes like “fireworks from the soul.” That’s an apt description from a poem in the liner notes that inspired Saturday Morning, which concludes “Life is simple, why complicate it?” Indeed, Jamal has never sounded better or clearer in his intent. (11 tracks; 60 minutes) Lage Lund, Will Vinson, Orlando le Fleming ★★★★ Owl Trio Losen Records Like the nocturnal bird they’re named after, the Owl Trio creates after-hour flights of fancy with a deceptively simple approach to making music. For their debut release, guitarist Lage Lund, saxophonist Will Vinson and bassist Orlando le Fleming take unhurried reads of standards (“I Should Care,” Coltrane’s “Dear Lord,” “From This Moment On”) with a reverential approach and keen desire to peel away any staid impressions of these songs. On them and four originals by the bassist, the trio excels at playing these tunes with affection for melody and lyricism. The musicians already knew each other well and their familiarity strikes a perfect balance between Vinson’s buttery tone, le Fleming’s rich and nimble bass and Lund’s acoustically warm fingerings. Recorded and produced by the illustrious Jimmy Katz in an abandoned Brooklyn church (the sonics are killer on this disc,) the Owl Trio obviously has a love affair with their material and, though the album may not have the lilt of a bossa nova record, the trio conveys the same warmth, beauty and good feeling with their likeminded interplay and fleet performances. (11 tracks; 62 minutes) Gregory Porter ★★★★ Liquid Spirit Blue Note Singer and songwriter Gregory Porter’s baritone is one the most captivating instruments in present day jazz. Deep and sonorous, it’s matched by the affability and charisma of the singer who grew up in his mother’s church and cites the Bakersfield Southern Gospel Sound as well as his family’s Nat King Cole record collection as key influences. On his two previous records for the independent Motema label, Water and Be Good (the latter was this writer’s picks for the best jazz vocal album in 2012,) Porter established himself as a modern troubadour and most directly carries on the tradition of Bill Withers and Sam Cooke by writing his own uplifting, meaningful and positive songs. Liquid Spirit keeps Porter’s strong production team and musicians in place, with original compositions that freely merge jazz with soul, gospel and R&B that’s beautifully exercised on the title cut—a gospel-tinged tune fueled by hand-claps and a punchy Les McCann style piano break. Porter is a resounding master of the ballad, pitching the lyric to “Water Under Bridges” with a direct and sobering emotional understanding (Somebody told me to get over it / it’s like water under bridges that have already burned / they say it gets better and gets easier / do you remember the days we used to spend /memories so strong it keeps me from moving on / if I could go back our worse days are better than loneliness.) Underscored by pianist and arranger Chip Crawford, Porter is matter-of-fact in his style and his words penetrate in their simplicity and directness. Porter’s songs have a topical currency, their wealth made of allusions to sun and sky, water and air drifts where a kite can take flight. It’s these natural elements that tie his music together and it makes Porter a powerhouse of a singer/songwriter and storyteller. Among so many good songs, “Hey Laura,” the deep groove of “Musical Genocide” and Withers-like anthem “Free” stand out from Porter’s passionate delivery and stalwart groove. Then again, a remake of Ramsey Lewis’ The In Crowd” suits Porter especially well, like a self-contained theme song that lets the singer take a well-deserved peacock strut. (14 tracks; 61 minutes) Steve Gadd Band ★★★1/2 Gadditude BFM Records Master drummer Steve Gadd, a ubiquitous session player in the ‘80s whose novel brush strokes and shuffle beats added deep grooves and cache to recordings by Steely Dan, Paul Simon and jazzers like Bob James, assembles members of James Taylor’s band (keyboardist Larry Goldings, guitarist Michael Landau, trumpeter Walt Fowler and bassist Jimmy Johnson) for a strong session of easygoing tunes that recalls the spirit of Stuff, Gadd’s premier fusion group from back in the day. Though a touch mellower, the quartet stretches out on urbane yet earthy originals, a hallmark of Gadd’s style and previous solo works. The mysterious slinky vibe of “Africa,” the cool blue vibe captured by Goldings’ Fender Rhodes solo on “Ask Me” and the REM flavored melody on “Cavaliero” sound sweeter on repeated spins, but two numbers penned by Keith Jarrett, “Country” and “The Windup,” give the drummer innumerable moments to rally his signature riffs, brushwork and martial rhythms with aplomb. (9 tracks; 55 minutes) n

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sally friedman PAGEANT FEVER I WAS HESITANT—MAKE that semi-mortified—to tell my daughters that I was going to the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. These three fierce daughters of mine missed the generation that venerated the pageant, and are part of the generation that scorned such “demeaning” (their term) foolishness. They were born into a world that had heard the clarion call “I Am Woman!” and did their share of roaring. But let me hasten to note that I came of age at a very different time, one in which Miss America was an all-important concept, and the pageant itself was a night circled on the calendar. There were Miss America parties complete with balloting, spirited arguments, and champagne toasts to the winners. And these were not girls-night-out events—husbands,

Nina Davuluri.

boyfriends and various other assorted males were part of the deal. What were we thinking? Suffice it to say that the world was different, our values were different, and our heads were in a place the culture encouraged: to be beautiful meant to be blessed, and to be the most beautiful lass in the country was to be a goddess. It was all a long time ago... But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Beauty is still venerated, and probably always will be. So there I was on pageant night, being ushered into Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall as part of a press contingent. It was not to venerate beauty, but rather to see how it felt, all these years later, to be front and center. For the first few minutes, just the sights and sounds made me feel I’d entered the Twilight Zone. A crowd dressed to the nines—diehards from the home states carried banners and wore hats wired with blinking lights. These folks were clearly passionate about their “Miss” and ready to show it. It all had the vibe of a major football game without the sweatshirts and beer, and with fans so fervent that during the TV warm-up, the din was deafening. It wasn’t “Are you ready for some football?” cheering, but it was every bit as frenzied.

Let me cut to the chase. Despite my recognition that there are those who regard Miss America as an affront to women—those who decry the flashpoint of them all, the bathing suit competition and see this event in 2013 as absurdity—I loved every minute of it. I loved the sheer spectacle: Boardwalk Hall, the perfect backdrop for the frenzy; the fervor; the feeling that the town where this pageant was born had finally reclaimed it after it had scampered off to Las Vegas. So score one for Atlantic City, beleaguered as it may be, but possibly on the comeback trail. I also was amazed by the poise and, yes, the beauty of the contestants, and dazzled by their talent. Not every finalist was flawless, but hey, these young women are human, and what stakes they faced. Courage is what it takes to put on that banner ablaze with a state name, to get out there and perform not just for an in-house audience, but for millions of TV watchers. And let’s not forget that these contestants are vying for $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance as a counterpoint to the bikinis, as we’ve so often been reminded. Yes, I found myself caught up again in the Miss America fever—and it’s far more contagious when you’re in a great hall, and it all becomes so much more personal. My husband, a sane and sensible man, was positive he’d picked the winner early on, and was pretty bummed when Miss Oklahoma didn’t take the crown. And maybe you just had to be there when the final moments came, and it was down to just two contestants. Figuratively, at least, it was a heart-stopping moment in Boardwalk Hall. When her name was announced, Nina Davuluri, Miss New York, was truly stunned. Almost paralyzed for those first few seconds. No wonder: since Miss America, 2013 also was from New York, smart money in the betting town of Atlantic City was on just about anybody else. Back-to-back New York Miss A’s? Not likely. Besides that, the country had its first Indian Miss America. And why in the world not? Too bad that this beautiful young woman’s Indian heritage, whose Bollywood dance was breathtaking, also became the instant target of hate in the tweetersphere. The crazies were at it minutes after that crown was set in place. The haters weren’t at the press conference that followed the pageant, where Davuluri, an aspiring physician, spoke with elegance and grace about her hope that she could help dispel some of the slurs with which she had grown up. Maybe she can. Maybe. My last glimpse of our new Miss America was of her surrendering to the he huge crew of photographers who all wanted a piece of her. That shiny dark hair, that radiant smile. They were shouting “Turn left.” “This way, Nina!” No, turn right!” Resplendent in her yellow gown, she already was living the dream—and the nightmare. Yes, there she was, Miss America. For better and for worse. n

Sally Friedman contributes to the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, AARP Magazine and other national and regional publications. She is the mother of three fierce daughters, grandmother of seven exceptional grandchildren and the wife of retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Victor Friedman. Email: PINEGANDER@aol.com. 40

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about life

JAMES P. DELPINO, MSS,MLSP,LCSW,BCD

FEELINGS ARE LIKE EGG ROLL WE ALL HAVE FEELINGS—lots of feelings—about many, many things, events and people that we encounter in the course of our daily lives. Even those of us who are less aware of our feelings, at certain times or in certain circumstances, are still moved by them. Feelings can be weak or they can be strong and they can cover the entire spectrum of intensity— or they may be a mixture of feelings. We may even experience two feelings at once that are the opposite of each other. Sometimes feelings are quite clear, while at other times they can be quite vague. But feelings are not facts—they are feelings. They can be misleading and have the power to distort all sorts of experiences. Feelings most often change frequently and, for the most part, are of short duration, i.e. today I feel like having pizza and tomorrow I may feel like having egg roll. Sometimes feelings shift quickly about the same thing or person, because they tend to be highly reactive. A conversation can induce positive feelings between people, and then in the course of a few ill-chosen words, those positive feelings can shift in the blink of an eye. Feelings are easily triggered by the people and events we experience as we go about our daily living. This is so because our brains are able to associate similar feeling reactions to similar triggers. In some ways, feelings operate like a barometer predicting the weather. In the healthiest sense feelings are our allies, setting off alarm bells that may be the harbingers of good or bad things to come. Because they are susceptible to sudden and frequent shifts, they’re difficult to track from moment to moment. Feelings are not the same as thoughts, although they do co-influence each other and feelings are certainly not the same as emotions. In contrast to feelings, emotions tend to last much longer and run far deeper. Emotional connections are also much more powerful and do not fade in the face of adversity and challenge. Because of their depth, emotions are less affected by the stressors and pressures of daily life. Emotional bonds are found most often between long-term relational partners, parents and their children, siblings and life-long friends. These kinds of bonds do not necessarily depend on close physical proximity. When two hearts are emotionally bonded, distance does not change the depth and quality of the bond. Even the passage of time yields no power over emotional bonds, where people who have not seen each other for decades experience a person to whom they have an emotional bond as if time had never elapsed. Emotions are representative of our deep human need for sustained connection. Unlike the many kinds of feelings, there are only three basic emotions; those three are love, sadness and fear. Deep

and highly connected emotional bonds between people are known as love, for it is the unitive force for human beings. When love is strong it endures and, in its highest expression, becomes unconditional. This unconditional quality is what inoculates those who are bonded by unconditional love to endure the ravages of time apart, the stressors of everyday life and the pain of separation brought on by being physically apart. Sadness can be equally powerful on the deep emotional level, for being apart from what has been our heart's highest joy can evoke the deepest sorrows in our souls. Without sufficient self-love sadness can devour a person. Fear is such a primal ingredient in human emotions that it greatly influences and determines thoughts, actions and feelings. The motivation to reduce the overwhelming nature of fear motivates some of the greatest follies, deceptions and attempts to harm others. Fear is the emotion most likely to trigger defenses, which are always a secondary feeling reaction to a threat that is real or perceived as real. The fear of losing someone can often result in defensive reactions like being possessive, controlling or jealous. The use of anger, threats or manipulation in relationships are most often attempts to reduce fear and can often drive away others and make the fear come true. When fear is stronger than love, the emotional world is shifted into defensive mode. When groups of people fear each other enough, struggle, conflict and, in the worst case scenarios, wars break out. Fear can make the mind more shallow, the heart less compassionate and shrink the world by reducing better possibilities for resolution and calm. Perhaps the best medicine for fear is reassurance. The emotion we call sadness can often be misread by others. When sadness takes hold it can manifest with many different faces. Sadness can take the form of distance or coldness. At the other end of the spectrum it can appear irate and mean-spirited. Sometimes it appears as anxiety, such a separation anxiety. With school just beginning there are countless teary-eyed parents on the curb watching their very young children board the bus taking them away. These outer representations are the signs that point to an internal state of sadness. Even the irate and mean-spirited are most often employing defenses to push people away from seeing their inner vulnerability when it is sadness. Anger is not a primary emotion. It is always a secondary and defensive reaction and its function is to create distance. Just as in art there are three primary colors which can be mixed to make any color, in the land of emotions, the basic three can be mixed to create all the varieties of feelings. ■

Jim Delpino is a psychotherapist in private practice for over 33 years. jdelpino@aol.com (215) 364-0139.

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The Los Angeles Times SUNDAY CROSSWORD PUZZLE

EPICENTERS By Paul Hunsberger Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis ACROSS 1 Band booster 4 Fig. that rarely exceeds 4 7 “Drive for show, __ for dough”: golf adage 11 Steam whistle sound 15 Fútbol cheer 18 Rapper Big __ 19 Sinuous swimmer 20 Cross letters 21 They may be even or long 22 106-Across rival, for short 23 Italian dressing herb 25 ESPN datum 26 James Joyce accessory 28 Nearly 40 inches 29 Masseur’s bottleful 31 End-of-missive extras, for short 32 Scope opening? 33 Fly, in fly-fishing 34 Bearded impressionist 37 “The Art of War” author 39 Montreal-based shoe retailer 40 Mountaineer’s tool 41 Mogul-dodging path 43 Brutal 45 Evil-smelling 47 “Not interested” 49 Near East product 53 Poetic monogram 54 Evening affair 55 Sound-activated infomercial gadget 56 It’s a real knockout 58 Webmaster’s code 59 __ circus 60 “__ Shoes”: 2005 Cameron Diaz film 61 Abstains from 64 Monet subject 65 It may be a sign of chilling 68 O’Hara home 70 Construction site sights 72 Moon-related phenomena 73 Postgame postmortem 74 Gorbachev’s land: Abbr. 75 Perfume, as at High Mass 76 Parts of some baby splits 78 Laundry supply 81 2012 Stanley Cup champs, initially 82 Swatch, e.g. 84 Port of Crete 85 It can be used in dating 87 Baseball teams 88 Ducked down, say 89 Some IRAs

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Some hieroglyphic squiggles Top parts “Call me” “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” singer Grimm menace Maple yield Plays guitar chords, in a way Atlanta-based airline Sandwich order Flimsy Biweekly stub, perhaps Somme summer “Sometimes you feel like __ …” Let use for now Fruity quencher Post-op stop Retreat Welcome center offerings Work measures Go-ahead Talk Like a Pirate Day mo.

DOWN 1 Los Alamos test subjects, informally 2 Wells’ island doctor 3 Baker’s container 4 Transmission selection 5 Pocket protector insert 6 Tropical hi 7 Flower part 8 Not yet shared 9 Peter Sellers film that began production after his death 10 Spine line 11 Figure skate feature 12 Epic with a trip home to Ithaca 13 Texas oil city 14 Kitchen meas. 15 Where to catch the sound of music? 16 Game with meshed sticks 17 Pre-coll. 24 “Capisce?” 27 Busy time for a CPA 30 __ Steaks 34 Nobelist of 1903 and 1911 35 Missing person? 36 Universally accepted principles 38 “Valley Girl” co-songwriter Frank or Moon 42 Toronto-to-D.C. dir. 44 35mm shooter 46 They’re often email addresses 48 TV prototypes 49 Law gp. in red serge tunics

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50 “The Life __”: “Mary Poppins” tune 51 Leadership nucleus 52 Swamps 54 Cause of eyelid redness 57 What one may be taken for? 58 “I’m sorry, Dave” speaker of sci-fi 60 Moths with colorful eyespots on their hind wings 61 CD precursors 62 Prima __ case 63 Euro forerunner 65 Spout 66 Boston Garden legend 67 Convene 69 Cathedral part 71 Nominees for them are announced in January 73 Rodeo performer 75 Brooch fastener 76 Texter’s “Don’t go there!” 77 Barmaid, to the Bard 78 Learning ctr. 79 Pickup feature 80 Guam Air Force base 83 “To recap ...” 85 Anger 86 Rock bottom 90 1994 Olympic gold medalist skater Baiul 92 Piano part 93 Hits with force

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95 Award-winning sci-fi writer Connie 96 Perceive 97 Buy quickly 99 Vietnamese holiday 100 Basketry fiber 101 Place to follow politics

103 106 108 111

Page with sentiments Applied henna, e.g. Colorado State athlete Bustle

Answer in next month’s issue.

Answer to September’s puzzle, WHAT WAS IN IS NOW OUT


agenda CALL TO ARTISTS DELAWARE VALLEY ART LEAGUE: DVAL Juried Members Art Exhibition. Oct. 20, 2013- Nov. 23, 2013. Wayne Art Center. Opening Reception: Oct. 20, 3-5pm Winter Show Nov. 2, 2013 - Feb. 1, 2014. The new permanent venue at Bryn Mawr Medical Arts Pavilion, 130 South Bryn Mawr Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA Artist of the Month Series Tredyffrin Township Bldg, 1100 DuPortail Rd, Berwyn, PA. Mon-Fri 8-4:30. To be considered, contact Monique KendikianSarkessian at monique.kendikian.sarkessianfineart@hotmail.com. Must be a member of Delaware Valley Art League. DVAL, founded in 1947, is a non-profit association of professional artists that exists to promote interest in the fine arts within the community & to advance the skill and creativity of its membership. For information: delawarevalleyartleague.com ART EXHIBITS THRU 10/27 Crease, Fold and Bend. An exhibition of innovative and imaginative uses of origami by artists, mathematicians, industrial designers, scientists, and engineers. Williams Center Gallery, Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette Art Galleries, 243 North Third St., Easton, PA. 610-330-5361. http;//galleries.lafayette.edu THRU 10/31 New Work. Schmidtberger Fine Art, 10 Bridge St., Suite 7, Frenchtown, NJ. 908-268-1700 sfagallery.com

tickets. A fundraiser for Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra. Brookside Country Club, 901 Willow Lane, Macungie, PA. Preview Biddingforgood.com, beginning 10/7. 610-434-7811. LVArtsboxoffice.org. PASinfonia.org THEATER 10/5 & 10/6 “DarwinII: The Comeuppance of Man,” written by Glen Berger, performed by Brett Keyser, 8pm. A fast-paced, one-man tour-de-farce exploring the origin of man. The Charles A. Brown Ice House, 56 River St., Bethlehem, PA. 610-867-1689. Touchstone.org 10/17-10/27 “Rodgers & Hart: A Celebration.” Act 1 Performing Arts, DeSales University, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA. 610-282-3192. desales.edu/act1 10/25-11/3 Rupert Holmes’ “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The madcap musical mystery where you write the ending that Dickens never did. Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance, 2400 Chew St., Allentown, PA. 484-664-3333. muhlenberg.edu/theatre 10/25 & 10/26 DPAC presents its 10th annual “Rocky Horror Show” at New Hope Arts Center, 10/25, 9:00 pm and 10/26, 9:00 pm and midnight. Free prop bags, total audience interaction, a nightly pre-show party, and bar included. Tickets $20 online, $22 at the door. downtownpac.com

THRU 11/3 "The Hudson River Inspiration," Joseph Squillante. "Legends of Summer," Bruce Murray, Sr. exhibition continues in Gallery II. Red Filter Gallery, 74 Bridge Street, Lambertville NJ 08530. Thur.-Sun. 12-5. 347-244-9758. redfiltergallery.com

11/14-11/17 Touchstone Theatre presents Sandglass Theater’s D-Generation, An Exhaltation of Larks. Bethlehem, PA. Tickets and information at Touchstone.org

10/5-10/20 “Abstraction Revisited.” Exhibition and lecture series on New Hope Modernists and Contemporary Abstract Artists, 10/9 & 10/16, 6:308PM. New Hope Arts, 2 Stockton Ave., New Hope, PA. Newhopearts.org

Saturday nights: Sette Luna Restaurant, 219 Ferry St., Easton, PA. 610-253-8888. setteluna.com

10/12-11/10 “Frank Arcuri-Small Paintings.” Patricia Hutton Galleries, 47 West State St., Doylestown, PA. 215-348-1728. PatriciaHuttonGalleries.com 10/17-11/2 Fuse art infrastructure presents NOW at the Cigar Factory. Third Thursdays NOW features a series curated by Gregory Coates. Opening 10/17, 5:30-8:30, on view at 707 N. 4th St., Allentown, PA. allentownfuse.org

ART AUCTION 10/18 Not-just-Art Auction, 7PM. Preview & reception, appetizing pasta station and hors d’ oeuvres, and cash bar. 8PM live & silent auctions, featuring original artwork, gift baskets, jewelry, dining certificates, and entertainment

10/12 2013 Bach Choir Gala: Fisk Family Fugues. Eliot Fisk, Zaira Meneses, and 12-year-old pianist, Raquel Fisk, perform Bach, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Spanish and Latin repertoire. Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem, PA. bach.org 10/13 Peabody Trio. Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem, Baker Theatre, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown, PA. lvartsboxoffice.org or cmsob.org 10/13 Vieux Farka Touré, The Jimi Hendrix of the the Sahara. 7PM, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University. 420 E. Packer Ave., Bethlehem, PA. Free event parking attached to center. zoellnerartscenter.org. 610-758-2787 10/19 & 10/26 Bliss, featuring Sara Dalen on lead vocals & Morgan Fisher on keyboard. 2-4pm, Alchemy, 17 Bridge St., Frenchtown, NJ. 908-996-9000. alchemyclothing.com 10/19 Bobby Vinton, Sands Bethlehem Event Center. 610-297-7400. Sandseventcenter.com 10/20 Mnozil Brass, Family Friendly! 4PM, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University. 420 E. Packer Ave., Bethlehem, PA. Free event parking attached to center. 610-758-2787. zoellnerartscenter.org. 10/28 The Idan Raichel Project, Global Music Superstar! 7:30PM, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University. 420 E. Packer Ave., Bethlehem, PA. zoellnerartscenter.org. 610-758-2787

LECTURES / SCREENINGS

11/10 50 Shades! The Musical. Sands Bethlehem Event Center. 610-297-7400. Sandseventcenter.com ARTSQUEST CENTER AT STEELSTACKS MUSIKFEST CAFÉ 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 610-332-1300. artsquest.org 10/9 10/13 10/16 10/20 10/24 10/25 10/27 11/8

Vienna Teng Trio Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze The Hungry Hungry Games: A Parody The Lehigh Valley Beatles Showcase David Cook David Bromberg Dennis DeYoung: Music of Styx Marty Stuart & Roger McGuinn

GODFREY DANIELS Original live music listening room since 1976 Free music jams every Tue. and Wed. evening. 7 E Fourth St, Bethlehem 610-867-2390 godfreydaniels.org 10/3 Charter Arts Series: Songwriter Cafe 10/4 Christine Havrilla and Dina Hall 10/5 Kris Kehr & The Stone Poets 10/10 Sarah McQuaid – from England! 10/11 Friar’s Point Band 10/12 Rev. Billy C. Wirtz 10/13 Slaid Cleaves 10/17 Charter Arts Series: Jazz 10/18 The Vulcans and After The Rodeo 10/19 Anne Hills – Birthday concert 10/25 Raina Rose & Rebecca Loebe – Texas songwriters 10/26 Tin Bird Choir & Mason Porter 10/27 Michael Smith 10/30 Scary Stories MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE One of America’s oldest vaudeville theaters, built in 1881. 14 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA. 570-325-0249. mauchchunkoperahouse.com

Thursday nights: DeAnna’s Restaurant & Bar, 54 N. Franklin St., Lambertville, NJ. Live music and raw bar. 609-397-8957. deannasrestaurant.com. Every Thurs.-Sat., Dinner and a Show at SteelStacks, Bethlehem, PA. 5-10:00pm. Table service and valet parking. Information, menus and upcoming events visit artsquest.org Every Monday, Live guitar with Barry Peterson, 7-10pm. Karla’s, 5 West Mechanic St., New Hope, PA. 215-862-2612. karlasnewhope.com

11/1 The Phantom of the Opera, Michael Britt, organ accompaniment. Suggested donation $10. Arts at St. John’s, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 37 So. Fifth St., Allentown, PA. Suggested $5 donation. 610-435-1641. stjohnsallentown.org

10/4 10/5 10/6 10/10 10/11 10/12 10/13

11/1 Joan Rivers, Sands Bethlehem Event Center. 610-297-7400. Sandseventcenter.com

10/18 10/19 10/24 10/25 10/26 11/1 11/2 11/8 11/9 11/16

11/8 Modigliani String Quartet, 7:30pm. Curtain warmer, 7pm, with Young Peoples’ Philharmonic String Quartet. Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem, Foy Concert Hall, Moravian College, W. Church & Main Streets, Historic Bethlehem. Tickets available at door or lvartsboxoffice.org. cmsob.org

THRU 10/31 Every Tuesday, The Noon-Ten Concerts, 12:10 PM. Arts at St. John’s, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 37 So. Fifth St., Allentown, PA. Suggested $5 donation. 610-435-1641. stjohnsallentown.org 10/9 Celtic Thunder. Sands Bethlehem Event Center,

11/9 Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, Kaleidoscopic Sounds with guest pianist Dudana Mazmanishvili, music by Saint-Saens, Mozart, Zelenka. 7:30pm, First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman St., Allentown, PA. Tickets $15-$35 in advance/at door. 610-434-7811. LVArtsBoxOffice.org 11/9 Frankie Valli, Sands Bethlehem Event Center. 610-297-7400. Sandseventcenter.com

Simon & Garfunkel Retrospective Jeffrey Gaines Band Swearingen & Kelli The Steepwater Band Eaglemania Cast of Beatlemania Ain’t in It For My Health The Levon Helm Film Childhood’s End Philadelphia Funk Authority Robben Ford Band The Badlees Frank Sinatra Tribute Show Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band Boolesque The Dunks Citizens Band Radio / MiZ The “The Band” Band Last Waltz Celebration

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10/17 “Room to Breathe,” a story about mindfulness in education. 6:30 pm, Tinicum Art and Science High School, 85 Sherman Rd., P.O.Box 576, Ottsville, PA. 610-847-6980. tinicumartandscience.org 10/20 Animal Symbolism in Asian Embroidery with Swain Fennimore. 1pm, Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth St., Allentown, PA. 610432-4333. allentownartmuseum.org 10/27 An Accidental Sculptor: Eric Berg. Philadelphia-based sculptor who has over 50 public commissions from the Smithsonian National Zoo to the California Academy of Natural Science. 1pm, Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth St., Allentown, PA. 610-432-4333. allentownartmuseum.org

EVENTS THRU 10/12 Lehigh Valley Arts Council, Benefit Bus Trip to Grounds for Sculpture on 10/12. LVArtsCouncil.org THRU 10/31 Experience history aboard Coryell's Ferry Historic Boat Rides located along the banks of The Delaware River in New Hope Pa. coryellsferry.com 10/17 Toast the Ghost: ghost stories, wines and treats. Featuring Adele Gamble of New Hope Ghost Tours, R.S.V.P. required, $20pp. 6pm, Peddler’s Village, shop #20 Street Rd., Lahaska, PA. 215-794-9655. Chaddsford.com

10/12 Poet Michael Carter, author of Broken Noses and Metempsychoses and the print series/book, On Bolus Head (with artist Brian Gormley). “Carter in his poems brings all these reflections effortlessly together as wry references to cyberspace are juxtaposed with runic stones…”- Dr. David Scott, Trinity College. 6 PM, Panoply Books, 48 N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ. 609-397-1145. panoplybooks.com

W W W. FA C E B O O K . C O M / I C O N D V

10/12 Bird Day! Birds of the Lehigh Valley with Barbara Malt, Ph.D. Lehigh Professor and VP of the LV Audubon Society, discusses the diversity of birds in our area and how to attract them. Noon, Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth St., Allentown, PA. 610-432-4333. allentownartmuseum.org

Accepting applications for full-time programs in painting, drawing and career direction. Atelier Dualis, 91 W. Broad St., Bethlehem, PA. atelierdualis.com

READINGS Some organizations perform in various locations. If no address is listed, check website for location of performance.

10/4-10/25 Go-Wild Fridays! Every Friday at 2pm during the run of American Wildlife Art, a Museum educator will lead a walk-through of the exhibit, pointing out highlights. The gallery tour is free with admission. Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth St., Allentown, PA. 610432-4333. allentownartmuseum.org

CLASSES

DINNER & MUSIC

CONCERTS 11/1-11/3 Olympian InVision Photo Festival. An exciting weekend of exhibitions, workshops, presentations, Slideluck Lehigh Valley Party & more. ArtsQuest, Bethlehem, PA. : 610-332-3378. invisionphotofestival.org

Bethlehem. 610-297-7400. Sandseventcenter.com

10/19 Autumn Alive. Downtown Quakertown, 10am4pm. Pet Parade, live entertainment, craft beer tasting, cupcake contest. Rain date 10/26. 215-536-2273. quakertownalive.com 11/13 Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss Live, 7:30 PM. Decorating demos, interactive family fun. State Theatre, 453 Northampton St., Easton, PA. 610-252-3132. statetheatre.org ■

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Carol C. Dorey Real Estate, Inc. Specialists in High-Value Property (215) 766-8834 • (610) 346-8800 www.doreyrealestate.com

FABULOUS RETREAT This c.1756 stone colonial, barn with apt., tennis court, pool, hot tub, pool house and guest house combine with spectacular 133 acres with a trout stream and pond. A superb country estate, the property provides complete privacy—the ideal place to “get away from it all” or to entertain. Featured in Architectural Digest, the home will delight the most discriminating. $2,200,000

JEWEL MAE A private driveway hints at the beauty that awaits and transports visitors to the stunning residence on a 12-acre setting. This home is a secluded haven, a weekend getaway or a full-time residence with a hand-rubbed stucco exterior in shades of yellow ochre and soft amber. An inground pool, pergola, deck, outdoor kitchen—the perfect place to savor those peaceful seclusion. $1,230,000

COUNTRY HOME Dragon Hill offers all the amenities of rural living yet minutes from highway access to New York and Philly, and local shopping and restaurants. Set on five well-protected acres of mature trees and meadowlands with a pool, this barn conversion boasts original exposed stone walls, wood floors and deep silled windows. A gracious LR, gourmet kitchen, and a studio/workshop with separate entrance. $564,000

ZEN-LIKE Away From It All… to revel in quiet, to soak up the silence. The road meanders through 15 acres to a beautifully-built red cedar home that on a misty day is suspended in the quicksilver light of fog. Inside, one is with the treetops as walls of windows bring the outside in. Designed for reflection, nature is the artwork. $325,000

SERENE AND PRIVATE This custom built home was designed for enjoyment of the long-distance views of picturesque Bucks County. Spacious rooms include a gourmet kitchen, great room with stone fireplace and a convenient 1st fl master bedroom suite. A wraparound Trex deck overlooks nearly seven acres of colorful gardens, lawn and a tranquil pond. The home is neutral in décor and movein ready. $699,000

ROMANTIC HOME Lori Court is a commanding and extraordinary residence, with custom details and elegant appointments throughout. Designed without compromise and boasting all that one would expect, there are distinctive wood and tile floors, dual staircases, and detailed moldings and built-ins in most rooms. A sophisticated floor plan offers three flrs of living space with nine-foot cathedral ceilings and endless views. $995,000

WALNUT HOLLOW FARM A tree-lined lane leads to this 1800s Bucks County stone farmhouse on 25 acres. The house includes random width flrs, stone fireplaces and exposed beams and has been totally renovated. This estate provides open land, mature trees, stream, indoor and outdoor riding areas, horse barns, stalls and fenced pastures. Minutes from the SVCC and surrounded by preserved land in Springfield Twp. $1,350,000

GOLFER’S DREAM The Little Lehigh Creek and the fairways of Lehigh Country Club border this property on nearly seven acres. A private drive leads to this1930s stone and wood home minutes from I-78 and LV Hospital. Wood floors, pine paneled walls, built-in bookshelves and two fireplaces lend a lodge-like feel. A fully equipped guest house sits atop a detached two-story garage. $799,000

ABSOLUTE PRIVACY A 1/4 mile paved driveway is the prelude to this private 11 acre property in Upper Bucks. Clean, dramatic, contemporary lines are softened by graceful foliage, verdant valleys, and fieldstone walls in the four BRs, three bath floor plan. A spacious kitchen has a vaulted ceiling and the massive 1st fl studio and solar heated water are impressive features. $599,000

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