The Yes List – Sharon Jones Brings Her Retro Groove Back
Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings get their groove on, Stanley Tucci’s new high note on Broadway, and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s most iconic photographs.
Sharon Jones Brings Her Retro Groove Back
Ex-corrections officer and armored car guard Sharon Jones knows a thing or two about hard living. Though she entered talent shows and sang some backup in the ‘70s, it was not until she was 40 years old that she got her first big singing break, backing soul legend Lee Fields on a 1996 record. From that gig, Jones got more, and soon formed the backing band that she still performs with, who now go by the name the Dap Kings. The outfit became best known for backing Amy Winehouse on her hit record, but they remained devoted to Miss Jones, and their last record as a band, 2007’s 100 Days, 100 Nights, remains one of the catchiest soul revival records to come out in the last decade. Now, the 53-year-old Jones and her Kings are back with I Learned the Hard Way, a brassy, loud, group of songs that have echoes of Aretha, Nina, and even Smokey Robinson in his Motown years. The record is joyful music for the summer days, and deep cuts for summer nights—and a testament that peaking in one’s later years is no myth.
Stanley Tucci Hits a High Note on Broadway
Stanley Tucci does it all. He acts, he directs, and now, he is helming a show on Broadway. Tucci has revived Ken Ludwig’s screwball comedy Lend Me a Tenor, in which a small Cleveland opera house has invited a moody and frankly insane world-class tenor Tito Merelli to sing on their stage. Hijinks ensue, with little love affairs, slapstick, and shy nerds emerging from their shells. The cast is high-functioning as a whole, but the standout scenes go to Tony Shalhoub as the short-tempered GM of the opera house, and Anthony LaPaglia, who plays the divo himself. Elysa Gardner of USA Today was full of praise: “Never underestimate the entertainment value of watching talented people make fools of themselves.”
Cartier-Bresson's Decisive Moments
The father of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson, observed the world keenly with his lens as a third eye, mirror, and sometimes weapon, and when he passed away in 2004, after almost eight decades of taking pictures, the world lost one of its most expressive photographic voices. Beginning April 11, revisit his astonishing career with " Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century," a new retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. The show looks back on his entire life, from his avant garde pre-war work to the time he spent as a POW in WWII, to his phenomenal years with the Magnum photo agency (which he co-founded), a collective of dedicated photojournalists covering times of conflict and war. Cartier-Bresson's work took the artist to India, Indonesia, the Nazi-camp liberation, China during the revolt, and post-Stalin Russia, and when not traveling the world, he shot portraits of dear friends—William Faulkner, George Balanchine—telling them to sit for a moment with the famous line that it would take "longer than the dentist but shorter than the psychoanalyst." Read Philip Gefter’s review of the show on Art Beast.