Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014


And another. The most beautiful jazz bassist of his time and his beautiful Quartet West ~ Ernie Watts on sax, Alan Broadbent piano, Billy Higgins drums: "My Foolish Heart" from 1987.

Charlie Haden 1937 -2014, RIP

Sunday, July 20, 2014


The great man has died, at the age of 86. His best and most characteristic work -- stripped and stripping of attitude, generous-hearted, funny, warm, intimate, always engaged and always skeptical of authority -- was on the small screen. (See below.) But he also brought his rare gifts into movie theaters as well, into works impossible to imagine without him: The Americanization of Emily, Victor / Victoria, The Great Escape, Grand Prix (his favorite), Promise, Twilight.

For those of us brought up on late-20th Century dream images flowing from an at-home television set rather than from a movie palace screen, he was Our Mitchum. Less mysterious and recessive, funnier and less dark, James Garner embodied for a less transcendent generation the transcendence of never copying the manner of someone else: that one must work at a moral art, which then makes it suitable for oneself. And, like Mitchum: a man must be caught dead before he takes himself seriously.

As Bret Maverick in "Day of Reckoning," from February of '58.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lance I

The two funniest episodes of a very funny series.

Lance White is the Bizarro Jim Rockford: cheerful, calm, lucky, free of self-doubt, liked by all (especially girls and cops). And amazingly stupid. As Jim says: "Lance always comes out on top in the end. It's always some innocent bystander who eats the bullet."

"White on White and Nearly Perfect" from October 1978.

Lance II

Rockford and Lance are nominated for "Best P.I. of '79" in this scream of an episode, stolen by James Whitmore, Jr. as a would-be Sam Spade. Tom Selleck bankrolled these two eps into Magnum, P.I. Unfortunately.

"Nice Guys Finish Dead" -- 11/16/79.