The War Within (2005)

Sep 28, 2007 by Mr. Nau Hassan, a Muslim student, is arrested and tortured by the CIA. After he’s released, he joins a group who are plotting to attack Grand Central Station with suicide bombers. This controversial picture is heart-stoppingly realistic and both an indictment of the American government and the lure of religious fundamentalism. […]

Vera Drake (2004)

Sep 27, 2007 by Mr. Nau Imelda Staunton plays a working class British woman who is incredibly sweet to everyone around her and has a secret life as an amateur abortionist. Her incredibly fluent and absolutely believable acting performance resulted in an Oscar nomination. A solid script and good supporting players make this an excellent […]

John Coltrane – Stardust (1997)

Sep 27, 2007 by Mr. Nau John Coltrane leads two quintets in this compilation from a pair of recording sessions in the late 50s, joined by personnel like Freddie Hubbard, Red Garland, Wilbur Harden, and others. The four tracks here are enjoyable hard bop renditions of standards, featuring great solos and ensemble chemistry from all […]

Paul Desmond Quartet with Jim Hall – First Place Again (2005)

Sep 27, 2007 by Mr. Nau This reissue of a 1959 album entitled East of the Sun features a tight, mellow quartet helmed by Paul Desmond’s unmistakable alto saxophone. Jim Hall joins in on guitar, along with a talented rhythm section anchored by Percy Heath and Connie Kay. Beautiful renditions of familiar standards make this […]

James Dean (2001)

Sep 26, 2007 by Mr. Nau James Franco portrays the iconic James Dean in a Golden Globe-winning performance in this made-for-television biopic. A talented cast of character actors brings this turmoiled story to life. The script is very well-written and the picture lends greater understanding of a tragically short-lived movie star. Grade: B+. IMDB: James […]

Tito Puente – Master Timbalero (1993)

Sep 25, 2007 by Mr. Nau The legendary Tito Puente fronts a talented Latin jazz band in this wonderfully enjoyable set of tunes from various sources. The mambo feel permeates every track, the solo work by the horn players and percussionists alike is superb, and the tropical rhythms make this album a pleasurable head-nodding experience. […]

Lee Morgan – The Rumproller (1965)

Sep 25, 2007 by Mr. Nau Lee Morgan joins forces with Joe Henderson, Billy Higgins, Ronnie Mathews, and Victor Sproles on this fine date from the mid-60s. The music is good, as one might expect, and the musicians play well off each other. While satisfying, there are more important sides from both Morgan and Henderson. […]

Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins – Thelonious Monk with Sonny Rollins (1954)

Sep 25, 2007 by Mr. Nau Sonny Rollins teams up with Thelonious Monk on this compilation of select tracks from three recording sessions in the early 50s. A rotating rhythm section keeps the tunes fresh. Monk’s signature harmonic eccentricity accents Rollins’ huge tenor sound perfectly and this disk shows what can happen between two masterful […]

Dave Brubeck – Stardust (1955)

Sep 25, 2007 by Mr. Nau The Dave Brubeck Quartet play a beautiful set of songs, comprised mostly of standards, from the early 50s, a mellow laid-back collection. Brubeck anchors the ensemble on piano and Paul Desmond’s introspective alto saxophone playing lends a lightness to the music that is unique in the history of jazz. […]

Miles Davis – Cookin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet (1956)

Sep 24, 2007 by Mr. Nau Miles Davis leads his all-star quintet, which includes John Coltrane and Red Garland, in this terrific set of four familiar tracks. The ensemble is tight and the musicians have remarkable chemistry. This sublime album has a relaxed groove and the solo work is excellent, deliciously melodic, and explores modal […]

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