Jeff Simon - The Buffalo News

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Jeff Simon

Jeff Simon is the News' Arts and Books Editor. He has been writing for the paper since Spiro Agnew was the vice president.


Somewhere on its merry way through the '80's, jazz suddenly sprouted singers again -- not just a few scraggly buds of wintry mediocrity clinging desperately to a tradition but a full glorious bloom of young, canny, extroverted and superb singers unafraid to go their own way -- Bobby McFerrin, Susannah McCorkle, Cassandra Wilson, Nancy Kelly etc.And that brings us to D…

YOU HEAR SO much good-hearted laughter spilling out of theaters where "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" is playing that you feel positively churlish for pointing out how crummy it is.It isn't hard to figure. People want to laugh so much at anything that Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder might contrive to do on screen together that they take their own desire to laugh to be a suf…

I'M SITTING here reading Andy Warhol's diaries in my complimentary copy of People magazine. I'm thinking how grateful I am to Time Inc. and discovering all sorts of surprising, rowdily trashy things that I didn't think I cared about and which probably won't prove to be too useful in daily life: that Mick Jagger's longtime live-in Jerry Hall has B.O., that Liza Minnell…

When a movie is as flamingly awful as Ted Kotcheff's hillbilly drama "Winter People," it's perversely fascinating. You wonder what on earth these people thought they were doing.We're not talking here about supermarket checkout girls and Angeleno car washers moonlighting as the stars of low-budget slush under the direction of a former Fresno furrier. We're talking abou…

iS THIS heaven?" asks the ghost of baseball great Shoeless Joe Jackson. "No," answers the awestruck farmer, who looks like Kevin Costner. "It's Iowa."Other sports may make better television or do a better job of slaking our thirsts for action and savagery. But nothing -- nothing -- is more American than baseball. And no other sport makes for better stories. Its pastor…

ITTLE DORRIT" is a major film event.That is not to say that it's a major film. It's not. But there has been no moviegoing experience remotely like it in a long time.It's a six-hour adaptation of one of Charles Dickens' behemoth novels (more than 800 pages in the Penguin Paperback edition) by British writer-director Christine Edzard.The Amherst Theater will present it …

THE GREATEST jazz I ever heard in Buffalo was at the Royal Arms club. No one who encountered the quintets of Miles Davis and Horace Silver and the epochal quartets of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk there in their prime would be likely to argue.The greatest Buffalo jazz venue since the death of the Royal Arms wasn't the Statler Hilton Downtown Room or any of the glo…

GET THEM while they last."That's the advice of John Rochester about one of the dandiest movie promotional gambits to hit area movie houses in decades -- more than a week of free movies. Yes, free.Rochester is the president and chief executive officer of Hoyt Theaters, the owners and operators of the new 12-screen Hoyt Cinema complex in the Walden Galleria mall.Though the t…

Dad's mad.Sonnyboy's grades are down. Not only that, his college roommate hasn't been a guy but a girl named Jenny with whom Sonnyboy is thoroughly smitten. (Dad doesn't know that.)Enough is enough. Sonnyboy is going to earn his tuition delivering pizza or he won't go to college at all.Somewhere on the way to his first delivery, Sonnyboy (Patrick Dempsey) turns into "…

He's young. He's angry. And his comedy is filthy. He's Andrew Dice Clay. "I was talking to a friend recently and wondering where the new frontiers are in entertainment. Television is well-established, as films are. Cable is a bit livelier, but that's already seized up with rictus. Maybe the whole thing can collapse and we can start over again." -- film director…

GUTS AND GLORY: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North" begins at 9 tonight on Channel 4.Something is wrong here -- very, very wrong. Not only was the miniseries "in the can" long before the trial of Oliver North began, the videocassettes for critical perusal were available before the jury's verdict was even in.The assassination of John F. Kennedy gave some of us the night…

PAPERHOUSE" IS A wonderful film -- a deeply poetic horror fantasy about a little girl in bed with undulant fever who dreams and draws a horrific alternate world.Except for Neil Jordan's bizarrely fanciful and sadly little-seen film "The Company of Wolves," this is utterly unlike the debased thrillers we have become used to. It opens today, rated PG-13, in the Amhe…

THERE IS one bright idea in Martin Campbell's ugly, violent and needlessly stupid thrill show "Criminal Law."That's it. Just one.The film's antagonists are a yuppie lawyer whose ethics are running a quart low and a brilliant and privileged but psychotic murderer.The lawyer gets the psychotic off on a murder rap and then discovers that the psychotic has gone back into …

Whether Richie Cole was the first man ever to call pianist Bobby Enriquez "the wild man from Mindanao" is a somewhat moot point. The phrase fits though -- does it ever. The first time Bobby Enriquez played in Buffalo was in Cole's band years ago. He was, at the time, all over the piano, doing Fats Waller strides, Erroll Garner tremolos, tone clusters somewhere midway …

"Are you all right?" says husband to wife at bedtime. "We have to talk," says wife to husband, a clear indication that no, everything is not all right.The words the actors have been given to say are tonally perfect. Their tone as they say them is letter-perfect. An extraordinarily moving and convincing comedy-drama about divorce and love and remarriage ensues."See You…