Didn’t I just write about about an Ella tribute a week ago? Well, brace yourself cause here is another one – Rebecca Hardiman with er album ‘Honoring Ella!’ Don’t ask me why there is an exclamation point in her title – probably she is just excited and happy about honoring the First Lady Of Jazz. But perhaps also because most of the album is Hardiman is at her swinging best – and she does have a chirpy and happy disposition in her singing. I didn’t mind this album at all – it was fun and bouncy listen, and I even like the scat in ‘You Turned The Tables On Me,’ and for a moment there I thought it did not sound forced or contrived. The best thing? I searched her on Spotify and put this album on my cjurated jazzette playlist.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is really, essentially, just an eau de cologne. It smells like your basic toilet water version that’s been done enough and well before. So what’s makes this Tom Ford creation special? Is it the abundance of neroli that creeps up on you after the drydown? Perhaps it is, but there’s something very bright, sprightly, citrusy thing here that is very joyful. There’s a yellow in the greens, and the repackaged blue Tom Ford signature bottle just exudes freshness, cleanliness, a splash of cool water in the summer heat. While I experience triple digit temperatures in the desert right now, I find myself always reaching for this. Somehow I feel like the sun is not as harsh, the heat not as blazing. I am and have always been a victim of marketing.
A pair of twins fall for the same guy. With that premise, Doug Archibald’s ‘I Love You Both’ could have gone to the very predictable. But Archibald, who also star in the film, injects some unexpected emotions in here that while the film is imperfect, it cuts a different slice from an ordinary cake. It helps. perhaps that he stars with his real-life fraternal twin, Kristin Archibald, so there’s instant chemistry there. It also helps that it is indie, and they can more or less have more freedom in what they present here. There are a lot of things unsaid here that seem to resonate more than the dialogue – a glance, a pivot of a hand, a walk away. You feel like you went inside the hearts and souls of these two characters.
On Jessica Young’s Soundcloud page (here) the blurb for her have her described as “a little bit Sade, a lot Billie Holiday, a dash of Janis Joplin.” Tall orders, for sure. As I listen to her album ‘When I Fall In Love,” I can say I don’t get the Sade at all (on the album cover she looks a little bit, maybe) and there is no Joplin rawness, but there does seem to a bit of Holiday mannerisms. What I do hear is someone young with good musicality, if a bit green on lyrical interpretation. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – she will obtain life experiences and her singing will deepen, and richer. Maybe she will even shed her Billie mannerisms and vocal stylings which sometimes sound forced because she wants to sound ‘jazzy.’ But she isn’t bad at all here, and shows a lot of promise. For sure, I can sense that she has great affinity for this music and will evolve on her own. But for now, not just yet.
It’s not that ‘The Wedding Invitation’ is necessarily bad, it’s just so…nothing. This film was written, directed and stars Rainy Kerwin, and is about three women killing themselves just so they can get a date for an upcoming wedding. It’s really a sad state of affairs here. But the acting wasn’t too bad, to be honest, and there were some moments I almost moved my mouth going to a smile (it did not go all the way) I guess it’s a little better than going outside when the temperature in the desert is in the triple digits.
Summer Solstice is this week, and it’s the worst time of the year for me, living in the desert. The average high temperature has been on the triple digits, so I am in a scent rut – mostly rummaging through colognes that are light and cool. But then I was at Sephora and I saw Sun di Gioia, and it sparked my interest. I am always on the look out for sun scents, aside from the suntan lotion based ones and citrussy colognes. This seemed promising, promising floral notes like freesia, frangipani and ylang ylang. And at first blast it does was nice – heavy but not overbearing. The florals are there, and it has a faded quality – smelling like you have spritzed something and is now faint and sunned-in. I must admit it’s very different from your usual summer scents, and was appealing to me. I like that it’s heavy-ish and screams PERFUME. I found myself sniffing my arm where I sprayed it, and now I want it. There was a time I was madly in love with the original women’s Acqua di Gio, it became a sort-of signature scent of mine in the late 90s. Maybe it’s time for me to use the House of Armani again.
One of the blurbs used for ‘Beatriz at Dinner’ is the quote: “The first great film of the Trump era,” and while that may be true or not, there are a lot of things in this film that says things about the times we live in right now. Salma Hayek plays Beatriz here, a massage therapist/healer who gets ‘stranded’ at her rich client’s mansion in Orange County, California. She gets invited for dinner at said client, Kathy’s and her husband (Connie Britton and David Warshofsky) We then see right away that Beatriz is out of place once the guests arrive. One one side are members of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and on the other rich mogul husbands. Beatriz thinks she recognizes one of them, Douglas Strutt, (John Lithgow) a ruthless real estate developer who destroys natural habitats for hotel and golf courses, hunts in Africa, and is merciless – reminds you of someone yet? The vagueness here is not really masked, and we get to see the good and the bad. But there are no angels here – Beatriz is pushy and talks out of turn, and is passionate about what she believes in: everything that Strutt doesn’t. There is a delicious mouse and cat play between Hayak and Lithgow, and whose side you take depends on whether you are deplorable or not. There are some big things to think about here – greed, politics, nature, even good manners and social etiquette. The ending is a bit strange, but not unreal, and I wish it was more ambiguous, so viewers can be left thinking, not seething. This is a great little film with big things to say.