(And while we have your attention, don’t miss the great Charles Pierceon the great Steve Earle singing the music of the great Townes van Zandt here.Pierce and the rest of the mail will be here tomorrow and don’t miss thedocumentary Bill Moyers is showing this weekend, listed below. And if Iwere you, I’d also catch the PBS showing of the Clapton/Winwood concertat the Garden tonight, unless you’re planning to buy it, as I did.)
In the meantime…
This Week on Moyers:
Award-winning producer Sherry Jones presents a comprehensive documentary–more than eighteen months in the making–that examines America’s detentionand interrogation practices in the “war on terror.” Bill Moyers Journalpresents “Torturing Democracy,” which examines how coerciveinterrogation methods were used by the CIA and migrated to the UnitedStates military at Guantanamo Bay and other locations as well as thecharges that these interrogations became “at a minimum, cruel andinhuman treatment and, at worst, torture,” in the words of the former-General Counsel of the United States Navy, Alberto Mora. It carefullypresents the evidence that the Bush administration promoted thesemethods and developed legal justification for the practice. The filmfeatures in-depth interviews with senior military and governmentofficials who fought the policy and former Guantanamo detainees whoexperienced it, and uncovers the origins of the tactics the White Housecalled “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Sal on Allan Toussaint and Marcus Roberts; Eric on new RVG releases
When I first heard of a new Allen Toussaint/Joe Henry collaboration ofstandards I had mixed feelings. Henry is currently my favorite producerand Toussaint is well… a rock and roll icon. What bothered me was theword “standards.” I just don’t want to hear them “revisited” anymore. Ican thank Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper, and countless others for that. But”The Bright Mississippi” the fruit of Toussaint and Henry’s laborcouldn’t be more perfect. It is not your standard collection ofstandards. With the help of some of the greatest names in jazz, DonByron, Nicholas Payton, and Marc Ribot, Allen Toussaint delivers acollection of songs that more or less shaped jazz music in the earlydays of the genre.
Composers like King Oliver, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, DjangoReinhardt and Duke Ellington all get representation on sweet, soulful,and absolutely joyous takes of some of their most beloved material. Mostof the arrangements don’t stray far from traditional, but thanks to JoeHenry’s brilliant ear and respect for the music and the same simple anddry production that he presented on soon-to-be legendary records likeSolomon Burke’s “Don’t Give Up On Me” and Bettye Lavette’s “I’ve Got MyOwn Hell To Raise,” there is new life in oft-played songs like “St. JamesInfirmary,” “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” and “West End Blues.”