Uncategorized

The Warriors are the Globetrotters

I never tire of watching the Golden State Warriors play basketball at their best — great passing, intense defense, and near-impossible and timely long distance shots (almost comical, in fact) made by compelling and mostly likable personalities.   Their popularity is not limited to the San Francisco Bay area — their following is worldwide.   According to ESPN, “the first two games [of this year’s NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland] peaked at more than 21 million viewers in the U.S. alone, and there were 50 million watching in China…This is basketball at its highest level in its highest profile.”

While much of this immense audience can be attributed to the participation of the larger-than-life figure of Cleveland’s LeBron James (basically a “superhero” on the court), the consistently brilliant play of the Warriors over the last four seasons has revolutionized the game of basketball, so much so that it is easy to be reminded of the Harlem Globetrotters when watching them.  Like the Trotters, they make watching basketball

[…] Continue reading »

Uncategorized

Publication date for second volume of Gary Giddins’ biography on Bing Crosby is November 13

The publisher Little, Brown recently announced a November 13, 2018 publication date for Gary Giddins’ Bing Crosby: Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940-1946, the second volume of the author’s definitive account of Crosby, the enormously popular 20th century entertainer he describes as  “quintessentially American, cool and upbeat, never pompous, belligerent, or saccharine, never smug or superior. He looked down on

[…] Continue reading »

Art

The Memorial for Peace and Justice — a critic’s analysis

     In the June 4 New York Times, the art critic Holland Cotter describes the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama as an artistic opportunity to “encourage truth-telling far and wide.”

     The Memorial is one of two newly opened sites in the city (the other is the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration) created by Bryan Stevenson, director of the non-profit advocacy group the Equal Justice Initiative and author of the best-selling book

[…] Continue reading »

Features » Historic Journalism

William Gottlieb’s “Elusive Pianist”

Jazz photography has played an important role in the development of jazz, and, along with the art found on the record albums of the 1940’s – 60’s, is a visual window into the history of the culture.  The work of photographers like Herman Leonard, William Claxton and Lee Tanner impacted me pretty deeply, and led me deep into the record bins in search of the music they so effectively portrayed.  Leonard and Tanner, in fact, were major influences on my work on this site, and Tanner was indeed a personal mentor whose voice of encouragement remains in my head long after his 2013 passing.

Among the first interviews I ever did was in 1997 with William Gottlieb, best known as a

[…] Continue reading »