Category: New Discoveries

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Jumbo Wild

The documentary “Jumbo Wild“tells the ongoing story of a politically-connected real estate developer’s quest to build a ski resort on British Columbia’s remote and pristine Jumbo Glacier — despite overwhelming resistance to the disastrous scheme from local residents, First Nations representatives, and legions of environmentalists. The film is beautifully photographed and surprisingly fair-minded toward the stubbornly...

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Naftule’s Dream, “Blood”

Klezmer. Jazz. Acid rock. Dixieland. Got the picture? Better question: got the sound? “Blood,” the new CD by the progressive Klezmer band Naftule’s Dream, is a delicious jambalaya of musical ingredients that sounds distinctly like, well, Naftule’s Dream. The group’s instrumentation might be the key to their sound: clarinet, cornet, guitar, drums, accordion and, crucially, tuba....

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Speechless

Imagine giving a PowerPoint presentation to a large roomful of strangers. Imagine that you don’t know the subject of your presentation until you arrive onstage. Now, imagine that the slides in your presentation are random nonsense images that range from inscrutable to scandalous. What do you say? This is the premise of the sensationally entertaining...

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Ehud Asherie’s “Shuffle Along”

The Israeli-born, New York-based pianist Ehud Asherie is a mainstay of the mainstream modern jazz scene, a collaborator with some of the most respected musicians alive. His new solo recording, “Shuffle Along,” however, looks back — to 1921, when Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s all-Black Broadway musical premiered. Improvising on the show’s chewy melodies —...

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Eating Animals

Seven years after original publication, “Eating Animals,” by the novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, remains unmatched in providing a provocative, comprehensive and deeply affecting portrait of the carnivore’s dilemma. Employing writing techniques gleaned from memoir, investigative journalism, philosophy, science and editorial essay, Foer systematically and compellingly builds his argument — that there is no moral rationale...

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The Biology of Story

Warning: If you’re a literary-minded person, you must handle “Biology of Story” with care. The project, an interactive documentary that explores Story as a living being, is ambitious, enormous, and possibly comprehensive. Once you dip into the oceanic trove of filmed interview segments, it may be several hours (or days) before you emerge from the...

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Honor Thy Fathers

The pianist Laurence Hobgood, celebrated for decades as one of the world’s finest accompanist of singers, currently is stepping out into the light, leading his own trio. Of superstars. On drums, Kendrick Scott. On bass, John Pattitucci. Their album, “Honor Thy Fathers,” dedicated to the musical titans who inspired Hobgood’s virtuosity, contains several cover songs,...

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The Clouds of Sils Maria

Adult movie, anyone? No, not “Reverse Gangbang, 14.” We refer to “Clouds of Sils Maria,” a startlingly intelligent film by Oliver Assayas, whose facility for blending reality and artifice, spontaneity and theatricality, turn a familiar plot — older actress supplanted by a younger version — into a dizzying and sexually tense examination of human psychology....

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All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr’s sprawling 2014 novel “All the Light We Cannot See,” is the rare work of art that succeeds in being both transcendent and popular. The book has won several major prizes and sold phenomenally well to what’s left of the reading public, pleasing consumers and critics in equal measure. The plaudits are warranted. Doerr’s...

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Aaron Irwin: “A Room Forever”

This one could haunt you. On his new disc “A Room Forever,” Aaron Irwin, a jazz saxophonist from central Illinois and now living in New York City, has composed 12 original songs based on the short stories of the late West Virginian author, Breece Pancake, whose hardscrabble tales celebrate an American pastoral slowly receding into...