José James’ “Yesterday
I Had the Blues” : Best known for his earthy and soulful mix of jazz and post-D’Angelo R&B on his 2013 breakthrough “No Beginning No End,” this singer’s sound takes a vintage turn with this deft tribute to Billie Holiday, which commemorates the late singer’s 100th birthday this week. James’ elegiac take on “Strange Fruit” is a thing of beauty, as is his band in pianist Jason Moran, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Eric Harland.
“Going Clear” on HBO : We’ve grown used to the shadow of Scientology and its real estate holdings, with little visual accompaniment for reported investigations (including in this paper) apart from sidewalk personality tests and puzzling appearances by Tom Cruise. This striking film by Oscar winner Alex Gibney reveals some of the odd and possibly even cruel behavior by some in the church, making one wonder just how much can be justified by faith.