Diana Ross plays the magnificent, tragic song stylist Billie Holiday, who while writhing in a strait jacket in a prison cell, awaiting sentencing on drug charges, reflects on her turbulent life. Raped in her youth by a drunk (Adolph Caesar), then compelled to work as a domestic in a Harlem whorehouse, Holliday is encouraged to try for a singing career by the bordello's pianist (Richard Pryor). She rises as high as it is possible to go in the white-dominated show business world of the 1930s, but can't handle the pressure and turns to narcotics. The film takes several liberties with the 44-year existence of "Lady Day." Among the Billie Holiday standards performed by Ross are "My Man," "I Cried for You," "Lover Man," "Them There Eyes," and the title song.
After the release of Jake Blues from prison, he and brother Elwood go to visit "The Penguin", the last of the nuns who raised them in a boarding school. They learn the Archdiocese will stop supporting the school and will sell the place to the Education Authority. The only way to keep the place open is if the $5000 tax on the property is paid within 11 days. The Blues Brothers want to help, and decide to put their blues band back together and raise the the money by staging a big gig. As they set off on their "mission from God" they seem to make more enemies along the way. Will they manage to come up with the money in time?
He was only 16 years old at the time of release, but you wouldn't know it from the way he plays guitar – this kid has the chops some seasoned professionals dream of, and has gained a lot of respect for them. The big problem comes when he opens his mouth to sing – he does a credible job of trying to nail down that rough blues vocal tone, but he more often than not sounds just like a kid trying to get to a grown-up voice. Meanwhile, his band is well-worn and the songwriting is definitely up to par.–by Steven McDonald
Listening to music intensely for over thirty years starts to have its effect on this guy. I must confess that many new blues releases sometimes make me sleep and listen at the same time. The earphones are the only things that prevent me from tumbling into a deep siesta.
Therefore, I announce with great pleasure, that I was delighted to find the debut album 'High Tide' from the East River Blues Band on my doormat. The four-person band from New York City has certainly created one of the best blues releases I have heard in the last few months. Singer, front man, and composer of most songs Dan Cumberland, bass player Bill Acosta, guitarist Ken Hughes and Tom Brumley on harmonicas form a steady base for guest appearances by Bill Mobley (trumpet), Dennis McDermott (drums), Gary Topper (saxophones), and David Bennett Cohen (piano).
Their play is more than inspired and it gives the band its own trademark sound…..