BILLIE documentary is Actually Linda Kuehl on Billie

By Kim Nalley

A 1938 portrait, when she appeared at Cafe Society in NYC with a swatch of gardenias in hair hairstyle, which from then on became her trademark. (Photo by George Rinhart)

 

Billie Holiday. Her name is eponymous with the phrase “jazz singer.” There is no jazz figure so well-known, yet shrouded in mystery, as Lady Day. Many important details of her life and her musical genius have been overshadowed by a lurid interest in her love life and drug use. Recently some articles based on faulty interviews emphasize her persecution in Hoover’s war on drugs without realizing this was a fact of life for all African American jazz musicians. I do not see the same attention given to Miles Davis’s or Charlie Parker’s drug use or their abusive relationships. Davis’s and Parker’s “women” are not given a megaphone to comment on them, and I never have seen their musical genius attributed to drug use. I sometimes see the hardships of being a Black man highlighted but I do not see the same courtesy given to Miss Holiday.

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BILLIE

By Dick Fregulia

When asked to review the new Billie Holiday documentary “Billie, ” my first concern was whether it would play as a Hollywood melodrama or as a true musical  testimony to the jazz vocalist legend. My preference was for the latter, but the film actually achieves an impressive balance between the gritty details of her life and the beauty of her singing.

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Higher and Lower – THE CLIMB: A Review and Interview

By Andrea Chase

The Climb begins with life-long friends Mark (director and co-writer Michael Angelo Covino) and Kyle (co-writer Kyle Marvin) cycling up a steep hill in the south of France. Mark is ahead, though both are panting heavily with the exertion. Kyle, who is about to be married, is thanking Mark for suggesting the ride, while also waxing rhapsodic about the bucolic beauty of the scene. Mark, the more experienced cyclist, is giving Kyle advice on how to pace himself. Then, while Kyle extols the virtues of his intended, Mark drops the bomb.

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