RIP Charlie Haden

“No one wants to be remembered most for what they did at 22.” But if at that tender age you get the chance to change musical history with the Ornette Coleman Band, take it. Charlie Haden, who died this week at 76, did. Here’s David A. Graham on one of jazz’s most deeply musical and melodic […]

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Elmore Leonard Is Gone

What a loss. What spirit and humor and ear and humanity and comedy and, at times, excruciating tension. That scene toward the end of Killshot where the gun is on the table and the two bad guys are talking and laughing and she starts to think Maybe I can just grab it and shoot ’em. And it was always scarier because if you’d read a couple Leonard books you knew he was willing to kill off a good guy (or gal) right when you least expected; never saw it coming.

Good Lord. This will take some time to getting used to.

The Times does a nice job here.

Mr. Leonard’s narrative voice was crisp, clean and direct. He had no time to waste on adverbs, adjectives or tricky verb forms, and he had no patience for moody interior monologues or lyrical descriptive passages. His dialogue, too, was succinct, as in this passage from “Riding the Rap”:

“ ‘She isn’t home,’ Raylan said.

“Bobby nodded toward the red Toyota in the drive.

“ ‘Her car’s there.’

“ ‘She still isn’t home,’ Raylan said.

“ ‘Maybe she’s asleep or she’s taking a shower.”

“ ‘When I say she isn’t home,’ Raylan said, ‘it means she isn’t home.’ ”

It takes only three words — “Look at me” — for Chili Palmer, the Miami loan shark in “Get Shorty,” to strike terror into the hearts of the deadbeat clients he hounds for late payments. “You never tell the guy what could happen to him,” Chili explains. “Let him use his imagination, he’ll think of something worse.”

via Elmore Leonard, Who Refined the Crime Thriller, Dies at 87 – NYTimes.com.

Clip at the top from Out of Sight. Ima have to go on a Leonard jag now. Could get me through the winter.