jazzy_dave: (Default)
A couple of modern classical pieces to end the night -

Erkki Sven-Tüür - Passion (1993)

Erkki-Sven Tüür- Illuminatio (Viola Concerto)
jazzy_dave: (bookish)

Hunter S.Thompson - "The Proud Highway: 1955-67, Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman" (Bloomsbury)

This is the fist installation of the Fear and Loathing Letters and hence is known as volume one.

I read a majority of this book during my travels over the last six months and often people around me thought I was crazy because of how often I would laugh out loud at his writings. It reminds me of the best of Spike Milligan's humour in many ways.

It was pure Hunter, same style of writing as his journalism, but with a more personal feel and added insights to what was going on in his life. I also felt like it took forever to finish, but I tried to view it as a marathon, not a sprint.
jazzy_dave: (jazzy drinker)
A couple of poems from the Beats

Hay For The Horses

Poem by Gary Snyder

He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."

How To Meditate

Poem by Jack Kerouac

-lights out-
fall, hands a-clasped, into instantaneous
ecstasy like a shot of heroin or morphine,
the gland inside of my brain discharging
the good glad fluid (Holy Fluid) as
i hap-down and hold all my body parts
down to a deadstop trance-Healing
all my sicknesses-erasing all-not
even the shred of a 'I-hope-you' or a
Loony Balloon left in it, but the mind
blank, serene, thoughtless. When a thought
comes a-springing from afar with its held-
forth figure of image, you spoof it out,
you spuff it off, you fake it, and
it fades, and thought never comes-and
with joy you realize for the first time
'thinking's just like not thinking-
So I don't have to think

jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Abbie  Hoffman "Steal This Book" (Da Capo Press)

I was very intrigued with the title of this book, and as it was only twenty five pence recent;y found in a charity shop it was a steal!

It is very much a construe cultural book of the sixties and seventies and is somewhat outdated now. However, it is fascinating to read about how the counter couture viewed itself in the heady days of the early 1970's.

Then maybe it is relevant again. Much of the information is out of date,yes, but not the overall feeling that we live in a dictatorship again (as Abbie celled the US in this book a "Latin dictatorship) with the twin evils of Trump and May,and that an underground socialist t revolution and anarchy is just what we need right now

An enjoyable mind changing book either way.

jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Patti Smith "Just Kids" (Ecco Press)

This is the second book on music i have read within the last few weeks,but like Coltrane, Patti Smith is one of my favourites, and her story i guessed would be a fascinating one. I was not wrong. This autobiography is about her enduring relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, and their development as artists during the 60's and 70's in New York City. It is as much about their special bond as it is about their work and how they came to be well known as well as how hard it was for them in the beginning. Often broke with insecure jobs and having to find money to pay for rent which was almost ninety per cent of their income, even in a low rent area of the city. Mapplethorpe eventually went to San Francisco but came back a changed man having had gay relationships, with his art taking a darker tone,and the relationship with Patti fracturing yet remained friends.

In a nutshell it is about how they found each other haphazardly. They shared apartments, studio space, and their souls with each other. The reader follows along on their paths of discovering their artistic callings and themselves as humans in the modern world. There are creative highs and lows - many examples of the "starving artist" are found in these pages - but together they weathered them all. Their deep friendship outlasted their romantic relationship and they kept in contact up until Mapplethorpe's death from AIDS in the late 1980's.

While the memoir is incredibly heartfelt and moving, the way that Patti Smith chose to transcribe it is what makes it truly memorable. Each sentence has a power and emotion behind it, so that the writing is not only powerful but powerfully poetic. You share in the tragedies and triumphs, and really feel their world. I am now looking forward to reading her next memoir "M Train".
jazzy_dave: (Default)
Ben Ratliff "Coltrane: The Story Of A Sound" (Picador)

Ratliff's stated goal in this book is to not focus as much on standard biography, but to chart the evolution of Coltrane's music. It's a short work, broken into two roughly 100 page segments, the first being a just-the-facts-ma'am recounting of the evolution of his music, and then the second part the story of how the music he created has influenced others.The book ends by charting Coltrane's influence amongst younger jazz players, who are a generation or two removed from direct influence. An interview with the saxophonist Marcus Strickland is particularly revealing, showing how Coltrane's music is viewed in today's jazz environment.

I enjoyed this book as a long-time fan of Coltrane. Ratliff is a clear and lively writer, who traces Coltrane's stylistic development in a lively and easily understood prose. Of course the reading is greatly enhanced if you have access to the work he discusses, so prepare for lots of good listening. There is enough discussion of critical reception and excerpts of interviews with Coltrane's colleagues to flesh out the musical story of a man not given to talking about himself much. This is not a straight biography, rather more of a popular work of critical assessment.


May. 29th, 2017 11:07 pm
jazzy_dave: (Default)
The afternoon was mostly a milky white blandness with a hazy sunshine barely breaking through.I listened to some music, mostly jazz based from Herbie Hancock, Bill Lawrence to Michael Garrick. After having a battered cod meal with jacket potato and garlic bread i then watched some episodes of Charmed on DVD.

I also did some reading, with just two chapters left on the current paperback on Thomas Cromwell.

Now folks, that black cat that i befriended is still hanging around the Quays. Only now he prefers being in the offices as he gets fed there and much fuss over him. He has now been given the name of Merlin, having first sneaking into our cluster called Merlin House.

At least the cat is not going hungry. Loves the attention though!
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Dan Falk "Universe On A T Shirt" (Penguin Canada)

I was rather disappointed with this book assuming that it would be at the cutting edge of what we know about the universe or at least speculate on it.As such, it is mostly a rehash of the history of science, from Galileo to Bohr.However, it does include a few dozen pages on current efforts such as string theory but there is not enough meat on this to get the intellectual juices excited. I was hoping it to be better, and hence you cannot always judge a book by its cover.
jazzy_dave: (Default)
James Baldwin "Blues For Mister Charlie :A Play"

Inspired by the case of Emmett Till, an African-American teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 at the age of 14, this is a dramatic look at southern small-town race relations at the mid-century point. As a play, though, it doesn't capture the usual power of Baldwin's prose. I don't think a reading can do it justice especially with the many characters on stage. Now,if only i could see a staged version of the play,then i would go back to re-read this paperback.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Of course, whilst i was in Eastbourne the last shop i visited just had to be right next door to a Waterstones bookshop .I succumbed ,and having read one book on Thomas Cromwell from a historian who seemed to put all the blame on Thomas rather than the King (Henry VIII),this book is a more up to date revisionist account.

jazzy_dave: (Default)
Robert Hutchinson "Thomas Cromwell: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII's Most Notorious Minister" (Orion)

This was an intriguing, easy to read account of the career of Thomas Cromwell, notorious chief minister to Henry VIII.

Robert Hutchinson sets out the main events of Cromwell's life and times without going into much detail. . Hutchinson brings to life the Tudor court in all its madness and corruption, illustrating how easy it was to fall foul of the king and meet a gruesome end. Some of it being very gruesome so i recommend reading without eating food in front of you.

This is really just a primer and he does write in an engaging style and hence this book would be a good starting point for anyone interested in Henry VIII's world or that of the Tudors in general.
jazzy_dave: (Default)
Ted Hughes "Poetry In The Making" (Faber and Faber)

This is a student friendly discussion of what Ted Hughes calls "imaginative writings" and are drawn from The BBC program"Listening and Writing". He selects various writings from contemporary modern poets to illustrate his essays and thesis,and in particular - Larkin, Dickenson, Eliot,Plath and himself, to convey a sense that poetry can be made by beginners and how to go about it. As a primer on how to write poetry and improve the creative process, this short book of 128 pages is ideal. It is also an effective introduction to his work and that of other poets who have influenced him.
jazzy_dave: (Default)
Pierre Bayard "How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read" (Bloomsbury)

This is a surprisingly thoughtful rumination on books.

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read,  by a hip French literature professor named Pierre Bayard,; because make no mistake, this is not exactly a practical how-to guide to faking your way through cocktail parties, but more a sneaky examination of what it means to "read" a book anyway, if by "read" you mean "understand, relate to, can recall details of, and can discuss with others."

After all, if we read a book as a child and then completely forget its story as an adult, do we still get to count that as a "read" book?

Bayard gets into all kinds of interesting questions like this, ultimately arguing that the most important thing we can do as readers is understand the entire time period that book is a result of; in the goal of accomplishing that, then, he argues that it's perfectly okay to just read the Cliff Notes of famous huge books you know you're never going to get around to actually reading, perfectly okay to discuss a book at a cocktail party you're familiar with but haven't actually sat down and scanned each and every page. This is how we learn, he argues, how we grow as both humans and patrons of the arts; every Wikipedia entry we read, every conversation we fake our way through, every BBC adaptation we check out, ultimately helps us understand the full-length books we do sit and closely read from the beginning to the end, which is why we shouldn't be ashamed of any of these activities but rather proud of them.

Funny, smart, and very French; a very fun afternoon of reading.

More Jazz

May. 4th, 2017 11:30 pm
jazzy_dave: (Default)
Yep,more jazz - as i know some of you like my jazz posts -

Graham Collier Music - Song Three (Nine - Eight Blues)

Sun Ra - That's How I Feel

Kenny Garrett - Oing Wen

Track No. 3 from Kenny Garrett's remarkable album: "Beyond The Wall". My personal favorite, right there with Kiss to the Skies. Enjoy

Kenny Garrett - Alto Saxophone
Pharoah Sanders - Tenor Saxophone
Mulgrew Miller - Piano
Bobby Hutcherson - Vibraphone
Robert Hurst - Double Bass
Brian Blade - Drums

The singer is Nedelka Echols on this track.

Carmell Jones - I'm Gonna Go Fishin'

Joe Chambers -- The Almoravid

jazzy_dave: (Default)

Hanif Kureishi "Intimacy" (Faber and Faber)

The narrator was a repulsive character, and the topic is supposedly semi-autobiographical; however, the writing is quite good.

Jay, like the author, is a London playwright who has decided to leave his partner, who he has never married, and their two young sons, who he loves dearly. However, he is bored in this loveless relationship, and sees no hope that it can be salvaged. He is most happy when he is with his current girlfriend, a young woman who excites and challenges him sexually, though she is not his social or intellectual equal.

This short novel, set in London in the early 1990s, describes the mind set of one restless but decent urban professional approaching middle age, who is not ready to settle into a monogamous, steady relationship. I found Jay to be quite superficial, self-absorbed and immature; however, his desires and attitudes remind me of those of a cousin of mine, and couple of former acquaintances, and are spot on with their views. This book may not be for everyone, but it is a well-written, accurate work,
jazzy_dave: (black jazz)
Some more tootling tunes -

Sarah Vaughan - Jive Samba

Ella Fitzgerald - Sunshine Of Your Love

Jon Lucien - Rashida

Eddie Jefferson - Jeannine

Sarah Vaughan - Inner City Blues *Make Me Wanna Holler)


jazzy_dave: (jazzy drinker)
Couple of jazz tunes for you -

Neil Ardley - The Dong With The Luminous Nose

Ivor Cutler narrates this Edward Lear poem.

Don Rendell / Ian Carr - Dusk Fire

jazzy_dave: (jazzy drinker)
A much warmer and sunnier day in the end and tomorrow will be as good from the forecasts. I will be travelling early to do a coffee shop visit in Canterbury, then up to Whitstable for a food retailer visit and then Ashford for a pub food and drink visit.

So an earlier night to bed.

A couple of CD's came in the post today - three classic jazz albums -

I have listened to both already .. excellent British jazz from the sixties and seventies.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
George Orwell "Books v Cigarettes" (Penguin)

This collection of essays was published by Penguin UK a couple of years ago as part of its Great Ideas series. It consists of two long and five short and humorous essays, including the title essay. In "Books v. Cigarettes" he determines that his yearly cost of buying books is less than the amount he spends on cigarettes and alcohol, and argues against those who claimed that the cost of reading was prohibitively expensive for the average working man. Other short essays include a hilarious look at the life of a book reviewer, and his barbaric treatment in a Paris hospital.

The two longer essays make up the majority of the book. "The Prevention of Literature" is a critique of left-wing postwar orthodoxy, which at that time strongly favoured Soviet communism and limited intellectual freedom. "Such, Such Were the Joys", which chronicles his experiences in a boarding school in late childhood, comprises over half of the book. His middle class parents are unable to pay full tuition, and he is allowed to attend the school at reduced fees, due to his academic promise and the expectation that he will gain a scholarship to a prestigious private school—or so he claims. He and the other lower tier boys are constantly tortured and belittled by the headmaster, his wife, and the older boys in the school. He has nothing good to say about anyone there, and you can't help but think that it couldn't possibly have been that bad. His experiences at St. Cyprian's appear to be the genesis for his interest in social justice and anti-totalitarianism, as he expounds upon the lessons he learned during that time at the end of the essay.

This would a worthwhile read for anyone interested in Orwell.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
John D. Barrow "The Book Of Nothing" (Vintage)

He may use flowery language to convey his thesis on the aspect of nothing and that to some he tried to cover so much stuff that it never lingered anywhere but when you are dealing with the vacuum of space in a non technical way to lay readers then you have to take time (in both senses of it as well as spactime) to convey such complex cosmological information. It may be heavy going at times but i did enjoy this book.

Perhaps not the best book to describe such things as the vacuum state,inflation, black body radiation , the cassimir effect or the value of the cosmological constant (lambda), so with this caveat i would suggest other books to read first.


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