UPDATE, May 12: Michael Rooker appears to have shot down the news that he’s in talks to play King Shark in The Suicide Squad.
Rooker posted a screen grab of TheWrap’s original report to his Instagram account with the caption, “DA………..NOT!!!”
The original story follows.
Michael Rooker, who has worked with James Gunn previously on both Guardians of the Galaxy films as Yondu Udonta, is in talks to join Gunn’s The Suicide Squad as King Shark.
As reported by TheWrap, Rooker would portray the supervillian who was created by Karl Kesel in 1994 and is the son of Chondrakha, the God of all Sharks. He was originally introduced as a Superboy villain and “has been a member of the Secret Six, the Secret Society of Super-Villains and the Suicide Squad.”
The Whitney Museum of American Art will honor Michael Bloomberg during its annual Gala and Studio Party on April 9.
The centrist politician, who two weeks ago revealed he would not be running for president in 2020, is “a great friend to the Whitney,” according to the museum’s Alice Pratt Brown director Adam D. Weinberg. Bloomberg’s honor stems from his philanthropic work and support for artists and cultural organizations; under his administration spanning 11 years, the founder of Bloomberg LP backed 500 public art projects.
There’s more cause for celebration, though: the gala, which this year will be sponsored by Michael Kors and Audi, marks the four-year anniversary of the museum’s move downtown to the Meatpacking District. Plus folks will be able to celebrate — or perhaps more accurately, mourn — the closing of the oft-Instagrammed exhibit “Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again.”
For Kors’ part, he said he’s looking forward to checking out the next thing the museum has to offer.
“I love the building and the fact that there’s always something new and provocative to see,” he said. “Having the Whitney in my backyard is a dream.”
BAD MOVE: Child abuse allegations against the late pop star Michael Jackson have been hitting fashion hard, with Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes among the brands to get caught up in the controversy.
The British tailor has removed from its display a replica of the military jacket that Michael Jackson wore on the “Bad” tour in 1988. Bad was the first solo concert tour by Jackson, spanning 16 months from 1987.
Gieves, which famously sits at No. 1 Savile Row and is one of the oldest tailoring companies in the world, said: “In light of the disturbing allegations made in the documentary, the replica garment was removed from the premises several weeks ago.” Child sex abuse allegations against the late pop star resurfaced in the HBO “Leaving Neverland” documentary.
Earlier this week, Louis Vuitton announced it would not produce any item “that directly features Michael Jackson elements.” The brand’s fall 2019 men’s wear collection drew inspiration from the “Thriller” singer’s pop-culture legacy.
Gieves & Hawkes, one of the Fung family’s brands owned through Trinity group, made the original jacket, with its intricate golden military frogging and embroidery, for the tour that included 123 concerts across 15 countries.
There were dazzling fashion moments with costumes
Hanes is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its partnership with Michael Jordan by putting special trading cards into 800,000 packages of its Comfort Flex Fit boxer briefs.
And 10 of those packs will actually be signed by the basketball legend.
Jordan and Hanes first teamed up in 1989 when the athlete scored his 10,000th point and hit “The Shot” at the buzzer in game five of the NBA playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers to give his Chicago Bulls the win.
“Michael has always had his pick of brands to endorse, and we are incredibly honored that he has chosen to stay with ours for the past three decades,” said Sidney Falken, chief branding officer of Hanesbrands. “This is one of the longest-running and most successful partnerships of its type to date — a powerful statement about Michael and Hanes.”
A total of 170 different Fleer trading cards have been produced by The Upper Deck Company, each with a photo of Jordan from one of his Hanes advertisements. They are packaged in five-card packs.
“Through the years, we’ve certainly benefited from Michael’s enduring popularity with such a wide audience,” Falken added. “MJ continues to be one of the most recognizable people in the world, and we’re thrilled
Priyanka Chopra, Michael Kors and influencer Karina Nigay were the social media stars of New York Fashion Week.
A report from Launchmetrics found that NYFW online content shared globally between Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 generated $ 109 million in media impact value and 30 million engagements. The top brand account was Michael Kors, which amassed $ 7.1 million in media impact value and 2.9 million engagements via 137 posts. Michael Kors also had the top Facebook post of the week, which singlehandedly accumulated $ 683,000 in media impact value and 935,000 engagements.
Actress and newlywed Chopra was the top celebrity account, generating $ 532,000 in media impact value and 54,000 engagements with a single post. Launchmetrics also noted that Chopra only posted one time — for Michael Kors — but was still mentioned in more than 360 social media posts and 113 news articles.
The top influencer account was Karina Nigay, who has 1.3 million Instagram followers. Nigay’s 12 NYFW-related posts received 428,500 engagements and $ 727,000 in media impact value.
The top ad on social media came from Liu Wen. Her Longchamp-sponsored Instagram post, below, generated a total of $ 69,200 in media impact value and 39,300 engagements.
More from WWD.com:
Chiara Ferragni Tops Influencer Impact for the Spring 2019 Shows
Digital Download: Did the
Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald will portray two lovers whose one-night stand turns into something deeper in the Broadway revival of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” The production is being mounted in honor of playwright Terrence McNally’s 80th birthday. Shannon will play a short-order cook and McDonald will portray a waitress, roles […]
Michael Andrews Bespoke has acquired Kozinn+Sons Merchant Tailors.
The New York-based custom tailor will re-brand Kozinn+Sons, which has been around for over a century, and operate it under the Michael Andrews Bespoke label that was founded a decade ago.
This is MAB’s first acquisition in the U.S. and largest to date. The company has tried to expand into custom women’s clothing and men’s made-to-measure.
“Kozinn+Sons is a New York institution,” said Michael Andrews, founder and chief executive officer of Michael Andrews Bespoke. “In addition to the family’s multigenerational experience and century-old pattern archives, we’re particularly looking forward to delving further into the theatrical component of their business for which they have become so well known.”
Kozinn+Sons was previously named Saint Laurie but changed its name in 2017 after years of litigation with Yves Saint Laurent.
“Our heritage dovetails perfectly with Michael Andrews’ innovative approach and reinforces our role as ‘keepers of the flame’ for handmade custom clothing,” said Andy Kozinn, Kozinn+Sons’ third-generation ceo. “My family’s legacy lives on through our shared commitment to quality, craftsmanship and service. I am looking forward to welcoming Kozinn clients to MAB’s world-class operation.”
NEW YORK — Michael Strahan is expanding his fashion brand.
The former Giants defensive end and media personality is launching jeans to add to his successful men’s wear collection at J.C. Penney.
He teamed with denim guru Eric Goldstein of Jean Shop, RRL, Gap and Denimrepair.com fame to create a collection under the Collection by Michael Strahan moniker. It is being offered in one straight fit in four washes, ranging from light to dark, and also includes a denim jacket. The washes are named after neighborhoods in New York: Gramercy, SoHo, Astoria and Williamsburg.
The line is priced at $ 70 for the jeans and $ 80 for the jacket but the out-the-door prices are $ 34.99 and $ 39.99, respectively, and will be merchandised within the Michael Strahan clothing department at 300 J.C. Penney stores as well as online.
In an exclusive interview at the “Good Morning America” studios, Strahan said he has high hopes for the jeans, which will join his tailored clothing, furnishings, ath-leisure, luggage, shoes and underwear collections at Penney’s.
“It’s launching in 300 stores and a lot of our products are in more than 600 stores, so we’re halfway to where we want to get,” he said. “For Penney’s, they’ll roll it out in
Michael Pena will play the Mr. Roarke role in Blumhouse and Sony’s upcoming “Fantasy Island” movie. Ricardo Montalban originated the role in the television series “Fantasy Island” as the white-suited Mr. Roarke who oversaw a mysterious island where people could live out their fantasies — for a price. The series, which ran for seven seasons […]
Michael Kors Holdings Limited has named Andrea Pesaresi president of Michael Kors Men’s, effective Oct. 15.
He succeeds Don Witkowski, who passed away in June, and will report to John D. Idol, chairman and chief executive officer.
Pesaresi was most recently ceo of Philippe Model, but prior to that, he spent 25 years at Ermenegildo Zegna, where his most recent role was brand director of Z Zegna and Licensing, a post that encompassed product development, brand strategy, international expansion and marketing. Pesaresi joined Philippe Model, an Italian sneaker brand, at the end of 2016.
“Andrea has been in the industry for 30 years and comes to us with extensive knowledge of the evolving luxury men’s marketplace,” Idol said. “Andrea will provide the necessary leadership to enable us to achieve our goal of developing the Michael Kors men’s wear business to $ 1 billion in revenue.”
The company declined to say how large the men’s business is today, but in the first-quarter earnings call in early August, Idol said that while men’s is “still small to the total company, it continues to grow.” He cited strength in logo sportswear “for Father’s Day gifting, particularly the Greenwich polo and our knit logo baseball jacket,” along with “refined pieces such
The life and work of Michael Vollbracht will be celebrated Sept. 4 at a memorial at The New School’s Parsons School of Design.
Iris Apfel, Bethann Hardison, Kay Unger, Joel Towers, Jeffrey Banks and Stan Herman will be among the 12 speakers who will pay tribute to the fashion designer and illustrator, who died in June at the age of 70. The event will start at 6 p.m. at the school’s auditorium at 66 West 12th Street in Manhattan.
After years of working as an illustrator, Vollbracht switched camps to fashion design and earned a Coty award in his second season. In 1980, two years after starting his signature label without any outside funding, Vollbracht, a dedicated movie fan, told WWD, “I owe my talent to American films.” He also shared his cinematic view of the world with Bill Blass, whom he helped with a museum retrospective at Indiana University and the company, which he took over the creative reigns from Lars Nilsson in 2003.
In addition, donations in Vollbracht’s honor will be accepted to support a scholarship in his name through the Parsons Scholars program. The Kay Unger Family Foundation will match every donation that is received. Vollbracht graduated from Parsons in
Ron Moore’s upcoming Apple series is filling out its main cast. Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, and Sarah Jones have all been cast in the series, which takes place in a world where global space race never ended. Kinnaman will play Edward Baldwin, one of the top NASA astronauts. Dorman and Jones have been cast as Gordo […]
MAN IN THE MIRROR: London’s National Portrait Gallery is taking a look at the life and work of Michael Jackson with an exhibit marking what would have been the singer’s 60th birthday on Aug. 29. The show, which is sponsored by Hugo Boss and Sony Music, opens on June 28 and will run until Oct. 21 before moving to Paris.
“Michael Jackson: On the Wall” explores the lingering influence of Jackson’s music — and his cultural persona — on contemporary artists and their works. It features photographs, installations, paintings and works by 40 artists including Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, David LaChapelle and Grayson Perry. There is a graffiti-style portrait of Jackson by Haring, as well as a large-scale work by artist Graham Dolphin. It’s made from vinyl covers from Jackson’s 1982 “Thriller” album.
“When the National Portrait Gallery told us that this artwork was included, it was a no-brainer for us to work with them because, on the cover [of the Thriller album], Michael is wearing the iconic Hugo Boss white suit,” said Hjödis Kettenbach, head of global communications at Hugo Boss. “It’s amazing to have this connection to him,” she said.
Boss will also release a revamped, slim-fit edition of the white suit, which cemented the King of
On a crowded block of Brooklyn, Michael Kors and Bette Middler managed to make the longest day of the year feel like a walk in the park — most literally.
Kors and his husband, Lance Le Pere, joined Midler Thursday night to kick off the New York Restoration Project’s grand opening of the Essex Street Community Garden with a ribbon cutting and summer solstice block party for the Brooklyn neighborhood.
“This is a gift from the heart,” Midler said before cutting the ribbon with garden shears. “We want you to take it into your hearts and let it be the special place in your lives. Please, it’s yours. It’s for you. Enjoy it.”
Kors and his husband partnered with Midler and the NYPR to develop the community park — a 3,200-square-foot green haven that can be used for growing, gathering and celebrating alike. The space will be the first NYC Community garden to be 100 percent solar-powered, featuring a gazebo, Wi-Fi, a projection screen for events and plenty of greenery hand-planted by Kors, Le Pere and NYRP community gardeners.
“I’m a born and bred New Yorker, and I think in New York, what’s the greatest luxury? The greatest luxury is space and nature,” Kors
“I liked the dichotomy this season of romantic and charming elements mixed with sleek tailoring,” says Michael Kors. “It’s a mix of femininity, polish and athleticism. To me it is the perfect storm for how women want to dress today. The collection is inherently about modern eclecticism.”
What do MoMA and Maria von Trapp have in common? Things, silly! Dear, determined Maria chased away fears by singing about her favorites. MoMA used a different word for its recent exhibit, “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” but potato, po-tah-to.
In December, Kors and his husband Lance LePere took in the exhibit. “It really just started my head rolling,” Kors said during a preview. “How do I design the piece that you grab for on a regular basis?” He set out to design a collection of exactly that — go-to, essential items aka favorite things. Cue Julie Andrews. (Kors did, for his soundtrack, three-quarters through the show.)
The fashion kismet of it all — museum show, show tune, Kors’ desire to celebrate his customers’ individuality — made for a collection that, while a little disjointed (items will do that to you), presented beautiful, inviting clothes that radiated the designer’s innate optimism and corresponding belief that fashion should be good for what ails you, not a device for exploring kernels of social discontent. A show, he said, “for people who find joy in getting dressed.”
You name it, this collection had it. (Except for real fur — Kors recently swore off the stuff. But there
Michael Bay might reportedly direct his first superhero movie for DC and Warner Bros.
TheWrap reports Bay has met with Warner Bros. and DC to discuss potentially taking on a Lobo standalone film. Bay provided some notes on the project, which Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) will incorporate into a rewrite. Once the rewrites are finished, Bay will meet with Warner Bros. about potentially making a deal. Fuchs signed on to the project in 2016.
Warner Bros. and DC reportedly want Lobo to be their answer to Fox’s Deadpool franchise. Lobo was created by Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen, with the character making his debut in comics in 1983’s Omega Men #3. He is a 7-foot-tall, blue-skinned antihero who works as a bounty hunter and interstellar mercenary.
It’s been a big week for celebrity jewelers! A ton of A-list couples decided to ring in the New Year by officially announcing their engagements. Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley’s daughter Alexa Ray Joel, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Hunter McGrady and of course, Paris Hilton — who’s been sharing photos of her whopping 20-carat ring nonstop — all made it official with their longtime loves. And now, there’s one more name to include in that roundup, Michael Jordan’s son, Jeffrey Jordan.
The 29-year-old son of the basketball legend and Juanita Vanoy proposed to his girlfriend, Radina Aneva, in Hawaii last November but the couple has been sharing photos of the enormous ring to kick off 2018.
He certainly scored a slam dunk on the ring design, which features a round diamond surrounded by a cushion cut halo of smaller stones set on a diamond band.
She shared another pic of the ring next to a marriage planning folder to celebrate the new year with the caption: “Thankful for all the growth, life lessons, success and love I experienced this year. Looking forward to planning the future and starting a family with my best friend. ”
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Jeffrey followed in his father’s footsteps by playing collegiate basketball for the University of Central Florida and the University of Illinois, and according to Aveva’s Instagram account, she currently works for 20th Century Fox.
Universal has pulled science-fiction thriller “Extinction” from its Jan. 26 release date just two months before its release date. The change will let the studio “explore other options,” sources said. The film stars Michael Pena (“Ant-Man”) and Lizzy Caplan (“Now You See Me 2,” “Allied”) as a husband and wife. His character has a recurring nightmare of […]
If you’re not familiar with Bendis’ 18-year Marvel career, we’ve broken down the key storylines, projects and characters he contributed to the Marvel Universe. From Ultimate Spider-Man to New Avengers, these are the books that made Bendis a superstar in the industry.
BOOK SIGNING: “There’s a slight familiarity with Gingernutz — she’s me,” said Grace Coddington at the London book signing of “GingerNutz: The Jungle Memoir of a Model Orangutan” on Thursday evening.
Held at the Smythson store on New Bond Street, British designers including Erdem Moralioğlu, E. Tautz owner and creative director Patrick Grant and Stephen Jones were among the guests who turned up to show support.
Coddington recalled the first time she encountered the main character — illustrated by longtime friend Michael Roberts — and thought she was so cute. Roberts had drawn a series of illustrations from the point of view of a baby orangutan and depicted the little ape’s journey navigating the fashion world. Alongside her book, Coddington will also be contributing to the December issue of British Vogue.
“I have already contributed,” Coddington said. “And I can’t wait for it to come out. I’ve only done one and it’s at the early stages. Edward [Enninful] loved it and that’s the main thing. I loved it. I’m very happy with it. It’s a surprise.”
While Coddington, couldn’t divulge too many details, she noted that working with British Vogue’s new editor in chief was a great experience. “We’re friends so we go back
Watch and jewelry lovers turned out Thursday night at Piaget’s West Coast flagship on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for a cocktail party and conversation with its U.S. brand ambassador Michael B. Jordan. The “Creed” star attracted a crowd including fellow actors Abbie Cornish, Anna Schafer, Sarah Wright Olsen and “This Is Us” star Lonnie Chavis, as well as Mohammed Sultan Al Habtoor.
In a question-and-answer session with Degen Pener, Jordan discussed his history with Piaget, his evolving style and favorite red-carpet looks. With help from his longtime stylist Jeff Kim, he highlighted his favorite fashion looks from a range of designers including Dior Homme, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood Man and Public School.
“Before I worked with Jeff, I didn’t really know how to dress myself. He’s helped me take a lot of risks,” said Jordan of his colorful style and embrace of pattern. His favorite Piaget timepieces include the Altiplano 60th Anniversary Limited Edition timepiece with a green patinated dial worn for the Met Gala and the diamond Altiplano 38mm 900P worn for the Golden Globe awards. On Thursday he wore the Piaget Polo S Limited Edition, which he referenced as his go-to watch for everyday.
As with all his suit
A representative for the Austin Police Department confirmed the news to TMZ, telling the outlet they received a call around 2 a.m. on Monday. Nance was unresponsive when police arrived at the scene. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
A cause of death has not been released, People reports, though the outlet notes it does not seem to be the result of foul play. A spokes An autopsy was performed Tuesday but it may take weeks to get results from toxicology reports.
ALL WHITE: While the president made his historic trip to the Western Wall Monday, First Lady Melania Trump and First Daughter Ivanka Trump made their way to the women’s section of the wall.
FLOTUS chose a Michael Kors Collection suit for the momentous photo-op, pairing the belted white jacket and slimming skirt with red and white Manolo Blahnik zebra-printed stilettos. The Trumps also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Monday during what will be a 28-hour stay.
Earlier in the morning she and the President were greeted at Ben Gurion Airport by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara. Sara Netanyahu reportedly told the First Lady “You know, in Israel all the people like us. The media hate us but the people love us,” according to The Times of Israel. The two women were expected to have more time to talk Monday night at a private dinner with the Netanyahus.
In the midst of a multiday trip in the Middle East — the first couple’s first official overseas journey — Monday’s trip to the Western Wall marked the first one by a sitting U.S. President.
The First Lady has worn Michael Kors on a few key occasions including for the start
But both swimmers say they also had another source of support that made all the difference ― a psychologist.
“Every time that I came out of that office, I felt so much better,” Phelps told HuffPost. “I was so much more relieved just talking…it didn’t matter what I was talking about. I was getting it out and I was communicating.”
Phelps and Schmitt were presented with special recognition awards at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s annual event to recognize National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Washington, D.C. on May 4.
The pair have partnered with SAMSHA to encourage kids to view mental and behavioral health as a core component of their overall wellness.
Schmitt says not asking for help when you are struggling with a mental health condition is akin to getting swallowed “in the rip tide.”
“Get that lifeguard out there,” she said. “It will make it a lot easier even during those rough water times.”
The swimmers have a long history of friendship and support. Schmitt entered treatment in early 2015 to help manage depression and she credits Phelps with encouraging her to ask for help.
“[Michael] said to me, ‘I can tell there is something wrong,’” Schmitt told The Detroit Free Press. “‘I don’t know what it is. I’m here for you. I can help you or I can find someone else to help you.’”
“That was the turning point for me,” Schmitt said, adding that she sought help soon after that conversation.
Phelps has long been open about working on his personal life outside of the pool. As a child, he was diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and more recently, the Olympic champion entered treatment for substance abuse in 2014 after a drunk driving arrest.
“We’re taught to persevere,” Schmitt told HuffPost. “It works in the pool: [If] you don’t get a time you want, swim faster. But life is a lot bigger than that.”
Schmitt says that when you’re hurting from any sort of life stressor or a mental health condition, it’s essential to ask for help.
Michael Kors showed an ample range of furs on his fall runway, many of them indulgent explosions of mink and fox, some in green and magenta, as well as a black silver fox cutout to expose the shoulders. He brought out the commercial addendum to his runway range on April 27, which included an array of sporty styles, such as a cropped shearling moto jacket; louche sable and mink pullovers that fell off the shoulder; a neat tailored corduroy mink officer’s coat, and a gigantic silver fox cape coat, and the piece de resistance: a chocolate sable bathrobe coat. Some interesting techniques included coating the fur in silver for a light metallic finish and piecing together long-hair and short-hair mink and fox into a 3-D intarsia.
KORS ON STAGE: The ever-quotable and enterprising Michael Kors will have plenty to share with Alina Cho when he headlines the June 21 opener of “The Atelier With Alina Cho” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
With his signature label in its 36th year, Kors has weathered the waves of American fashion better than most. (Last year his company’s fiscal revenues hit $ 4.55 billion.) The “Project Runway” judge is known for his quick wit and direct manner. His friendship with Cho, editor-at-large at Ballantine Bantam Dell, should only heighten their banter. Their chat will be part of the third season of “The Atelier” series, which has featured such fashion figures as Alber Elbaz, Diane von Furstenberg, Olivier Rousteing, Donatella Versace, Alexander Wang and Anna Wintour.
From a business perspective, the 2010 CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award winner will talk about his company’s initial public offering and success as a public company. While Wall Street has cooled a bit on Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. shares, the company continues to cast a wide net. Along with a few new smartwatches and a renewed commitment to plus sizes, Michael Kors has broadened its product offerings, amped up its global footprint and bolstered its e-commerce.
In February, Kors
For fall, Michael Bastian is turning his attention to small leather goods, applying his distinct take on American men’s wear to a new line of belts, wallets and bags, created through a licensing deal with Bespoke Goods.
The collection is being offered under the Michael Bastian Gray Label name, a more affordable iteration of his updated preppy-skewed line, and is designed to complement the brand’s tailored clothing, furnishings and footwear.
The inaugural offering includes reversible V-ring belts with banana-leaf print camouflage or leopard-patterned leather; roller-buckle camp belts; bucket-shape backpacks in canvas with leather detailing; zip wallets with interior card cases, and dopp and shaving kits. Gym bags sport a snake-print canvas with leather handles that complement some of Bastian’s footwear. The bags will retail from $ 175 to $ 295 and the wallets will sell for $ 35 to $ 55.
Michael Bay is in talks to develop the film adaptation of “Hunting El Chapo” as Sony Pictures closes a deal for the rights to the book. Written by Cole Merrell and Douglas Century, “Hunting El Chapo: The Thrilling Inside Story of the American Lawman Who Captures the World’s Most-Wanted Drug Lord” follows the manhunt for the… Read more »
I have followed the career of the Canadian saxophonist Michael Blake ever since I first heard him on the 1998 album Slow Poke at Home, a brilliant, raw and bare bones record made in the basement of bassist Tony Scherr’s home, with the slide guitar virtuoso Dave Tronzo and the drummer Kenny Wollesen. I continued tracing his path with the bassist Ben Allison on the fine album Man Sized Safe from 2008.This originally Montreal born, Vancouver based musician calls New York his home since 1986. He was a member of John Lurie’s ground breaking Lounge Lizards in the mid to late nineties. He and cohort trumpeter Steven Bernstein, also a Lurie alumnus, were members of Blake’s progressive group Hellbent, where Tuba, trumpet, violin and saxophone created some very eclectic music.
As with any creative artist, Blake’s musical vision has constantly shifted as his muse takes him, often into unknown territory. In the early 2000’s he and his Danish cohorts offered his Blake Tartare with a foot into the experimental free-jazz theater. His Elevated from 2002, found the saxophonist in a more traditional ensemble that featured his gorgeous sound with Allison on bass and the pianist Frank Kimbrough adding their musical gifts to the mix. But in the last few years Blake’s search has led him deeper into the past and the music of the masters that have come before him. You can hear it in his warm, lustrous tone when he lets you. He has clearly listened to and respects those who have given so much to this music we call jazz. In 2006 he recorded The World Awakes – A Tribute to Lucky Thompson and in 2014 he gave us his homage to Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young the fabulously retro Tiddy Boom.
In 2016 Blake wrote and recorded Fulfillment, an album inspired by a shameful incident in British Columbia’s history back in 1914. The Komagata Maru was a Japanese ship that came to the port of Vancouver bearing East Indian Sikh immigrants trying to take economic asylum in Canada. They were turned away by the Canadians in a shameful act of xenophobic exclusionism. Blake’s music is used to great effect to raise awareness of this blot on Canadian history.
On his latest album, Red Hook Soul, Blake returns to history, this time his own personal history, as it relates to the music of his formative years; the music of pop, R and B, rock and roll and especially soul. He takes songs by Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Ben Webster, Gladys Knight and Lana del Rey, mixes them into a gumbo with his own originals and comes up with a thoroughly entertaining recipe for down home cooking of the partying variety.
Blake’s band for this outing include his old stalwart Tony Scherr taking up the lead guitar work here, Avi Bortnick on rhythm guitar, Erik Deutsch on piano and electric keyboard, Tim Lunzel on electric bass, Moses Patrou on percussion and Tony Mason on drums.
The opener and title tune, “Red Hook Soul,” is a rollicking, joyous bounce that is buoyed by Blake’s ebullient soprano saxophone and a freewheeling rhythm section. Red Hook is a reference to the tip of Brooklyn and the home to many dive bars that Blake and company have played at one time or another. The music just cruises like a partying group of friends barreling down a highway in an open convertible on a sunny day. Break out the beer!
“Volunteered Slavery” is a Rahsaan Roland Kirk composition that has an infectious, funky lope to it, with Blake’s raw tenor leading the way over some laid-back percussive work by Patrou and Mason and some very raw, static-laden slide work by Scherr. This one will have you bopping your head up and down. A fine tribute to the master Rahsaan, an underrated jazz musician as ever there was; an exceptional artist whose work was sometimes dismissed because he chose to play multiple instruments at once, which some viewed mistakenly as more trickery than talent.
Blake’s “Nitty Gritty” features Bortnick’s driving rhythm guitar licks that move the song behind Mason’s deft shuffle and Lunzel’s pulsing bass. Deutsch uses electric keyboard on organ mode, sustaining his notes as the band rocks on. Blake’s tenor wails with his own brand of funk and grit, employing some snarky screeches and snarly honks, but all the while maintain the song’s fun vibe.
Lana del Rey’s “Video Games” is a dark, foreboding tune, with somber piano chords and echoed guitar riffs in the background. Blake uses this backdrop to explore his more pensive side. He never “overplays,” letting his tone and space deliver the emotional impact of what he is trying to portray. The band sets the drone of this march and Blake delivers his eulogistic cry, ending his solo in a beautiful breathy finale.
In another of his homages to his saxophone elders, Blake enshrines the robust, uplifting playing of “King Curtis.” The honk-tonk feel of this romp is authentic, with Deutsch’s piano sounding a bit Leon Russell -like and Blake playing his full-bodied tenor is in fine form, buttressed by Scherr’s on-point guitar work
The music of Blake’s formative years, would not be complete without a slow Otis Redding emotion drenched, R & B tune that was emblematic of an era when slow dancing in high school gymnasiums mixers was not the bump and grind of today’s scene, but a more intimate affair. “I Love You More Than Words Can Say” finds Blake’s tenor evoking just the right blend of earnestness and poignancy following the great Redding’s lead.
With Blake, there is always a way to bring the masters to the table and here he takes tenor titan Ben Webster’s “Did You Call Her Today” and steeps it in R & B. With a fifties rock backbeat from Mason and some raspy slide work by Scherr, Blake transforms this gem from the early sixties into a rally call to party on down. His sensuous tenor solo is wonderfully fluid and commanding, but more importantly joyful with no pretense.
“Everybody Need Love” was the title song from a 1967 album by R & B songbird Gladys Knight and the Pips. Blake plays this one true to its original easy swaying vibe. Blotnick’s rhythm guitar strumming the repeating chord structure as Blake handles the melody line with an unfettered looseness. We need a little more of this uncomplicated sentiment today.
The album ends with the Ray Charles classic “That Lucky Old Sun.” Blake has claimed that hearing Charles sing “America the Beautiful” before the famous Ali/Frazier fight “The Thriller in Manilla” brought him to tears as an impressionable ten-year-old. Blake’s high register tenor work at the opening, paired with Deutsch’s piano, is enough to evoke similar emotions. The song is true to Charles original slow tempo and Blake’s tenor is strong, emotional and plaintive.
Red Hook Soul is yet another side of the artistry of saxophonist Michael Blake. Besides being just plain fun to listen to, to the uninitiated, it’s probably his most accessible album to date.
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In a new interview with Variety, the documentarian shared his thoughts about the president-elect, saying the reason he’s been able to stay as politically active as he has is because he’s taken Trump seriously “since day one.” (Moore predicted Trump’s victory last July.)
“You do have to take Trump at his word. I still hear people say, ‘Oh, he’s not really going to build the wall.’ Oh, he is going to build it. He knows that he’s got to deliver at least a version of the wall,” Moore said.
The “Bowling for Columbine” director also believes Trump will “absolutely” ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“He’s going to get away with it by making it a ban on Muslims who come from the following countries,” he said. “He needs just enough cover for his crowd to say, ‘Oh, he’s being reasonable there. He’s not banning all Muslims.’”
Moore admitted that he’s worried about Trump having access to nuclear weapons codes, adding, “I wish he had to go through a psychological evaluation, because I’m pretty sure that it would come out that he is a malignant narcissist.”
The director also criticized Trump’s tendency to react to any and all criticism ― including Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes ― by tweeting snarky retorts instead of focusing on more important issues (like running the country, for example).
“With all that’s going on in the world — the shooting in Fort Lauderdale, the shooting of police in Orlando, North Korea saying they have an ICBM that can hit us — and he woke up being consumed with Meryl Streep,” Moore said.
Still, the director doesn’t think Americans should be afraid of Trump’s rise. Instead, he urges those who don’t support Trump to “be brave. Be bold. Get up off the couch. Get active. Get involved.” (Moore is practicing what he preaches by leading a rally in New York City this Thursday, ahead of the inauguration.)
He continued, “No week should go by without you calling a member of Congress or one of your two senators. Make that part of your weekly routine now. Some people need to think about running for office themselves: school board, city council, precinct delegate. It’s not going to change until some of us start running.”
To read more from Moore’s interview with Variety, head here.
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Sony Corp.’s entertainment chief, Michael Lynton, is stepping down to devote his time to the chairmanship of the board of Snap Inc. ahead of its public stock offering planned for later this year. WSJ.com: WSJD
The ruling, announced in a decision released Friday afternoon, sets the stage for Skakel to return to prison after three years of freedom, the Hartford Courant reports.
Skakel is the nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, and was Moxley’s neighbor in Greenwich, Connecticut, when the 15-year-old girl was bludgeoned to death with the shaft of a broken golf club.
The 55-year-old was convicted of the murder during a 2002 trial. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
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This conviction was overturned in 2013 when a Superior Court judge declared that Skakel’s trial lawyer failed to adequately represent him during the 2002. One month later, Skakel was freed after posting a $ 1.2 million bond.
The web was abuzz Monday over video from 1992 that featured George Michael and David Bowie — two music icons who died in 2016. The footage is behind-the-scenes video (seen here or above) from a Freddie Mercury tribute concert. In it, Michael — who passed away Christmas Day — performs a rousing rendition of the Queen… Read more »
Wham! may have broken up 30 years ago, but the two members of the musical duo, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, remained close friends up until Michael’s death at the age of 53 this month.
Unlike so many other famous musical groups, the two friends, who once dreamed as teenage kids in England of becoming pop icons together, never had a falling out after they decided to call it quits. In fact, in 1986 ― after multiple No. 1 hits and 25 million records sold ― Michael called their decision “the most amicable split in pop history.”
On his website, Michael referred to Ridgeley as his “best friend,” saying that at the end of their run together, their friendship was “as strong as it was in the beginning.”
Ridgeley, who largely escaped from public view after Michael took his career solo in the mid-1980s, evidently shares that feeling. Upon hearing of Michael’s death, Ridgeley tweeted that he was “heartbroken” and that Michael had “left the best of himself,” a clear reference to his friend’s music.
“[George Michael] had a voice that would transport u, he was the finest singer/songwriter of his generation & has left the best of himself 4 us,” Ridgeley wrote.
#GM had a voice that would transport u, he was the finest singer/songwriter of his generation & has left the best of himself 4 us. RIP GM xx pic.twitter.com/Gjcp55Chei
The pair officially got married back in June (before Phelps won his 23rd Olympic gold medal in Rio) in an intimate backyard ceremony in Tempe, Arizona with only five people present. Their destination wedding in Cabo ― with 50 guests, a mariachi band, an exquisite Julie Vino gown and party that went until 2:30 a.m. ― was the real deal.
“When we talk about our wedding, we mean our Cabo wedding in October with our parents, our siblings, our bridal party, and a few people who played an integral part of our relationship while we were together,” the former Miss California told Brides magazine.
The couple’s now 7-month-old son Boomer acted as the ring bearer, donning a Burberry ensemble for the occasion while holding a little bag with the rings.
“I think he kind of sucked on the bag a little bit while he was standing up there!” Johnson said.
The newlyweds also told Brides they live a “healthy, competitive” life together.
“Every morning when we wake up, whoever says, ‘I love you more’ first wins for the day — and we’ve been doing this for a couple of years now,” Johnson said.
Between a baby, a wedding and a record-breaking Olympic games, 2016 has been a big one for Phelps.
“It’s been a huge year,” he told Brides. “We just decided to do everything with a bang, and cram it all into a year! It was a hectic couple of months, but looking back, it was a great couple of months.”
The pre-seasons have become about two things: the clothes themselves and, in this age of Instagram, insta-access, insta-everything, how and when designers sanction their unveiling.
Along the way, the editorial embargo — once viewed by journalists as a last-resort deal with the devil to secure a major, sensitive story — is now applied regularly to the often fine, seldom scintillating array of tops, pants and dresses that comprise the resort and pre-fall collections. It’s — what’s the word? Ridiculous.
Thank the fashion gods that, even in these crazy times, some designers retain a sense of perspective, Michael Kors at the top of the list. Yes, he fears the fast-fashion knock-off machine. But as he sees it, the “big reveal” need not be an all-or-nothing affair. Thus Kors shows his full collection to both short- and long-lead press and designates a number of looks for photography, for pre-fall upping the count from six looks to 10. Nobody needs any more. (WWD does not see embargoed collections; we wait for the embargo to lift, so we can do our job, which is to report on what we see.)
While Kors’ pre-fall looked fresh, it picked up on a major current from his upbeat spring collection, inspired, he said
When it comes to gift giving, is there anything better than music? Not much. So for anyone looking around for music to delight potential giftees, here are four new CDs that would make any stocking proud:
Barbara Carroll Plays at Birdland – Barbara Carroll with Jay Leonhart (Birdland): At 93, the classiest femme musician in New York City has been playing local and other keyboards since 1947. If you can’t do the math, that’s coming up on 70 years. The incredible aspect of the astonishing fact is that she gets better and better. Hard to believe? Just listen to this new live recording with now longtime collaborator bassist Leonhart (no, not 70 years, too). Part of what makes Carroll so skilled at jazz is her early classical training. She swings but with that extra-special grounding. The popular composers she shows off here include Harold Arlen, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington (in a 10-minute-plus medley), Jerome Kern, Michel Legrand, George Gershwin and John Green (that’s Johnny Green to you, although the formal version indicates his “Body and Soul” authorship). (No lyricists mentioned here, because, though Carroll sings like a pert angel, she doesn’t go vocal anywhere on this outing.) If you want the measure of her supernal artistry, pay attention to how she explores the chromatics of Hampton’s “Midnight Sun.” She works the familiar descending sections of the melody for over nine minutes and, as she returns to them over and again, never plays the inspired chords the same way twice. Pure, unadulterated beauty.
****************** Stairway to the Stars – Gabrielle Stravelli Michael Kanan (garbiellestravelli.com, michaelkanan.com): Has Gabrielle Stravelli turned herself from audacious rock belter, which is how she started, into just about our finest jazz interpreter? Probably not, when the likes of Jane Monheit, Joyce Breach and Stacey Kent are around. But Stravelli is firmly ensconced in the echelon. Is Michael Kanan the suavest accompanist on hand today? Not really when ivory-ticklers like Bill Charlap, Tedd Firth, Billy Stritch and John McDaniel (see below) are working. But Kanan is right alongside them. All of which goes a way to explaining why the Stravelli-Kanen collaboration is absolutely impeccable. They do work a formula for most of the 10 Great American Songbook inclusions. She sings one time through with him supporting, he takes the musical break, and she returns for a full repeat or a bridge to finish repeat. Formulas can become tiresome, of course, but not when this duo sticks to theirs. And, oh brother, the surprising touches along the way. When, for example, Stravelli pays lovely attention to the Hoagy Carmichael-Ned Washington romantic prayer, “The Nearness of You,” her different versions of the repeated “oh, no” lyric are irresistible. The musicality she lends to the “Do Nothing ‘Til You Hear From Me” title phrase is ravishing. In a departure from their formula, Kanan begins the album’s title song with something that sounds like a classical prelude retooling. With tracks like that and every one of the others, any lucky auditor can only be grateful.
****************** Renaissance – Cheyenne Jackson (PS Classics): The sometime Broadway leading man, who shows up in movies and on television and looks and sings like a contemporary version of John Raitt, demonstrates his recording prowess with a eclectic group of songs. Only one–the Anthony Newley-Leslie Bricusse “Feelin’ Good”–was first heard on the musical stage. The other 11 come from the pop arena over the last 70 years or so. “Besame Mucho” was hot in the ’40s, as was “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home.” The sultry Matt Dennis-Earl Brent “Angel Eyes” came to prominence in the ’50s, whereas Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” is strong ’60s stuff and the Elton John-Bernie Taupin “Your Song” and Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” are ’70s products. One of the choicest inclusions is “Red Wine is Good for My Heart, which Jackson wrote with Michael Feinstein. It makes a listener wonder what other dapper ditties the team may have up their sleeves. Jackson delivers Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” with such pained beauty (Tedd Firth is on piano, sparely) that it may demand repeated listens before moving on. A hallmark of the enterprise is the number of arrangers employed–Scott Whitfield, Sam Shoup, Jonathan Bartz, Fred Barton, Tim Beens, John Baxindine and Firth. The seven of them, their output conducted by Kevin Stites, account in great measure for Jackson’s unmitigated success here.
****************** Come Together: Barb Jungr & John McDaniel Perform the Beatles – Barb Jungr John McDaniel (Kristalyn): Full disclosure–This reviewer wrote the liner notes for the release from the new and powerful Jungr-McDaniel team. Needless to say, that’s all the more reason for this scribe to encourage those not already in possession of the masterwork to repair the lapse. At the moment no one working the cabaret circuit and related venues is better at it than Jungr. She’s valuable because she makes a point of exploring works of songwriters she admires–Jacques Brel, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, among them–and finding meaning and depth the creators may have no idea is there. Partnering with musical director-arranger John McDaniel, who’s as nonpareil as they come, she now gives Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison the once-, twice- and thrice-over on 20 instantly recognized songs. For much of the time the pair renavigates the Beatles, they are brilliantly pensive, proving the one-time moptops weren’t merely a teen phenomenon. One piece of evidence is “Eleanor Rigby,” and another the heart-breaking “For No One.” Jungr and McDaniel begin with “Got to Get You Into My Life” and end with “In My Life.” Between, they get rowdy on “Back in the USSR” and “Come Together,” and Jungr seizes a few opportunities to wail on her harmonica. As McDaniel sings in “Mother Nature’s Son,” you should “listen to the sound of pretty music”–except this music isn’t merely pretty, it’s gorgeous.
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Celebrate great American fashion with the gorgeous handbag from Michael Kors. Features all over MK logo exterior with leather belt straps, gold MK medallion on leather cord, and two large open side pockets. Bag opens to inside with MK logo lining, large zip close middle pocket for separation and storage, two open pockets on one side and a zipper pocket with two open pockets on the other side for storage. Also includes dust bag. Width 15.5, Height 11, Depth 6, Strap Drop 9. Style: 30S11TTT4J
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The petite version of its big sister, this take-anywhere tote from MICHAEL Michael Kors is perfect for every outing. Signature gold-tone hardware dresses up the casual nylon design, while the organized interior features plenty of pockets to safely stow all the essentials. Nylon with PVC trim Double handles with 8 drop Top zip closure Signature gold-tone hardware; front zipper; signature plaque at front Interior features zip pocket, 4 slip pockets and keyfob 14-1/2 W x 9-1/2 D x 8 D
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Michael Douglas and former O.J. Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro have been added as guests to Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview special on Fox. Douglas and Shapiro join a guest list that also includes Donald Trump. Fox revealed Monday that the Republican presidential candidate would join Kelly for her first primetime special on the broadcast network…. Read more »
Michael Caine has been in showbiz for decades, but he swears his career peaked after turning 50.
The 82-year-old actor sat down for an interview on British talk show “The Jonathan Ross Show,” which will air Saturday, to promote his new film “Youth” where he surprisingly revealed that not youth, but rather, age has helped his career.
He lamented being offered only “grandpa” roles at his age, and said, in his 60s he thought to himself, “uh oh, it’s over.”
“If you’re the star of the movie, you have to get the girl but then they started making pictures which was great for me and people my age, where you didn’t get the girl but you got the part,” Caine said. “So I didn’t get the girl, I then won two Academy Awards.”
Caine has had several nominations, but his two wins came after his 50th birthday — one in 1986 for “Hannah and Her Sisters” and another in 1999 for “The Cider House Rules.”
Other post-50 celebs have also seen achievement with age. This year’s Oscar nominees include several older actors and actresses, including Bryan Cranston, Charlotte Rampling, Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Jason Leigh — that’s representation by a post-50 nominee in every best actor or actress category.
It seems Hollywood might be sitting up and taking notice of older talent, despite Caine’s comments that the roles don’t come rolling in after a certain age. Other actors and actresses have also spoken out about ageism in Hollywood. Antonio Banderas called the pressure to stay young “ridiculous.” And similar to Caine, Meryl Streep recalled being offered more roles to play witches after she turned 40.
As for Caine, he said he didn’t have to worry about calling it a day in Tinseltown. “You don’t retire from movies,” Caine said. “Movies retire you.”