jazzy_dave: (bookish)

Ted Hughes "Birthday Letters" (Faber and Faber)

As background Ted Hughes was probably one of the finest English poets of the 20th century.

He married Sylvia Plath in 1956 and was estranged from her upon her death by suicide in 1963.

This is visceral, confessional poetry of an immense power and feeling. It is the final work of a man who, knowing he is soon to die, cares nothing about displaying the soiled linen of their relationship; her weaknesses, fears, obsessions, his failings as he looks through the demonic power of his words to their inevitable conclusion. One is cut to shreds as he sifts the spikes and shards of their failings and failed relationship. There is bitterness too, Plath's father is certainly not spared, nor is Hughes himself but there are goblins and bees aplenty in that superlative, supernatural and ill-fated place they inhabited together. I wanted it to cease, I longed for it to be over, I never wanted it to end.

Hughes spared nothing. He was blunt and his verse often less than flattering but always the images conjured are powerful:

From 18, Rugby Street

, "And I became aware of the mystery
Of your lips, like nothing before in my life,
Their aboriginal thickness. And your nose,
Broad and Apache, nearly a boxer's nose,
Scorpio's obverse to the Semitic eagle
That made every camera your enemy,"

His word in "Visit" are stark and doom-ladenly prophetic

"Inside that numbness of the earth
Our future trying to happen.
I look up - as if to meet your voice
With all its urgent future
That has burst in on me. Then look back
At the book of the printed words.
You are ten years dead. It is only a story.
Your story. My story."

Looking back on that time and facing his own curtailed future (he died of cancer shortly after publication) Hughes left possibly his best work for the very last to be savoured after his passing. Given the subject matter that was just right.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Richie Tankersley Cusick "The Harvest : (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)" (Simon Spotlight Entertainment)

The Harvest is the novelization of the first two episodes of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (episodes by the same name, for that matter). As novelizations go, it's really not bad. Cusick manages to adapt the script into something very readable whilst also incorporating some of the charm and originality that the actors brought to the show.

Also, as media novelizations go, the writing -- while again, not bad -- seems to target a younger reading audience. In my opinion, it was at level with tween-ish YA. Content wise, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had not yet reached the maturity level that it would in later seasons, and the edgiest things in The Harvest are standard action-movie violence and mild references to sexuality.

This introduction into the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe (following the events of the 1992 movie flop) follows slayer Buffy Summers as she transitions into a new life and new highschool in Sunnydale, CA after being kicked out of her old highschool for events that those familiar with the movie will recognize. She thinks she can finally have a normal life, but her slaying duties reappear almost immediately -- along with a new watcher (a person meant to help train and guide the slayer as she battles evil creatures) and a new group of surprisingly resilient friends. Her first challenge in this new town -- which has more than its fair share of vampires and other nasties -- is to prevent "the harvest" -- the ascension of a particularly gruesome vampire from the church he has been trapped in underground for many decades -- and the evil that follows it. Many new allies are created -- including some that will become popular additions to the character lineup very shortly -- and the theme and style of the series is laid out.

The action is carried along smoothly with very little added to what is cut-and-dry from the script I imagine. Cusick attempts to add some internal monologue for some of the more major characters, but in most cases it falls kind of flat. One of the challenges of adapting media is obviously making it recognisable but not so true-to-form that the reader would be better off just reading the script. Cusick manages to get a good, steady rhythm going and sustains it throughout the entire novel and with a little more adventurousness I think this could've actually been a very good book. As it stands, it is passable and enjoyable for Buffy fans but not likely to lure any new folks in.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Simone de Beauvoir "Letters to Sartre" (Vintage Classics)

Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir (1908-1986), was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist, who was closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Existentialism.

These letters were published posthumously in 1990. The editor wrote in his Introduction, “the publication of her correspondence… demonstrated the radical incompatibility of her and Sartre’s whole conception of free human relations… with the somewhat rose-tinted, soft-edged public image she had herself at times helped to create… What provoked the outraged reaction of so many to the posthumous publication of these letters? At least three strands converged here. First, traditional sexism… Secondly… ideological Reaction: the posturing of intellectual yuppiedom… More significant was a third strand made up of former of still-would-be sympathizers, who now felt De Beauvoir had revealed herself in her letters to be dismayingly OTHER than the idealized image of her they had so long been nurturing…De Beauvoir’s letters to Sartre … are love letters … and they are concurrently the unsparing account of those other---‘contingent’---loves allowed for in her pact with Sartre… De Beauvoir herself is a validly heroic figure… [who] produced a work which stands and will stand as the baseline of all aspirations for equality between the sexes in the modern world.” (Pg. vii-ix)

Those looking for philosophical sophistication in these letters will mostly go away disappointed; but for those wanting insight into De Beauvoir’s mind and personality, and for details of her relationship with Sartre---as well as with various other lovers (female and male)---this collection will be a “page-turner.”

jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Washington Irvine "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories "(Penguin Classics)

I picked up this book in a charity shop mainly for its most famous short story "The Legend pf Sleepy hollow" which has been turned into a wonderful film featuring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton, as well as the excellent TV series of it.

Having read that,the other stories and essays could be read in any order, and hence, as a book that covers different subjects it is one that does need to be read continuously. The fact that i first read this paperback way back in July bears this out.

So while most readers will be familiar with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and perhaps "Rip Van Winkle", the various less known works collected here are fascinating in the portraits they produce of life in England (Irving's residence at the time of writing and publication). In particular, the Christmas sketches clearly influenced Dickens's own Christmas tales. One of my favourites, which should also be of interest to others, is "The Mutability of Literature" in which Mr. Irving visits the library at Westminster Abbey, is dismayed the books seem to be solely collected but not read and is then startled when he takes on old tome off the shelf, opens it, and it coughs and begins talking to him. The book seems unwilling to believe that it is no longer popular, as it was well-liked in its time (hundreds of years ago). It's a very interesting way of making the point that tastes in literature change as the years, and centuries, go by. All in all, there are very few sketches that disappointed me, most provided at least some entertainment or interesting ideas, which, according to the appendixes Irving added to his editions, was his intent.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Graham Swift "Mothering Sunday" (Scribner)

IT is years,perhaps a decade, since i last read a book from Graham Swift. For some reason he fell off my radar until i spotted this book in a charity shop. Fortuitously, this find has reignited my desire to check out more of his novels,though this one is short enough to be called a novella.

Surprisingly nuanced, this is the story of Jane Fairchild, an orphan-turned-maid servant who is having an affair with the handsome heir in a neighboring English country house. The year is 1924; the First War has ravaged the country and everything is changing fast. But Jane is just a young woman in love with a young man, the two of them from such different spheres that she hardly even grieves the impossibility of their relationship. Swift's tale focuses largely on a single day but he captures a lifetime through the narrative, moving back and forth through Jane's life such that her character emerges in multifaceted light and shadow. That Jane becomes a writer provides an intriguing reflective vehicle for the author to consider truth, fiction, lies and stories as they meld into a novelist's craft. That a writer draws upon their own experience, their own story, is inevitable. So this story about one remarkable day in the life of an ordinary servant girl becomes a meditation on the novelist's material: the "stuff of life," and the novelist's intention: through fiction, through lies, to tell the truth.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)

James Garvey "The Story of Philosophy : A History of Western Thought (Quercus)

This is an excellent introduction for the novice to Western philosophy, being not only a text which offers insight and thought-provoking understanding of the great Western philosophical journey, but which also offers wonderful illustrations to help the reader cement that text into a greater understanding. So each chapter of the book is an enlightening text, with pertinent illustrations which help to put together what can be extremely complex ideas.

A useful primer book- very good introduction to the subject, easy to read, devoid of pretension and concentrates on the main aspects.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Jo Nesbo "Blood On Snow" (Vintage)

Olav tries to put what he does for a living on a professional footing: he refers to those who pay him as his clients, and those he kills as units. This is part of his own strategy to remain aloof and to depersonalise what he does.

When he is contracted to kill the client's wife, things begin to go wrong, and Olav makes a decision which means his client will be gunning for him, literally. Olav tries to play Oslo underworld bosses off against each other. But not everyone is as loyal as he thinks they are.

This book is is really a novella, and thus a quick read, a short snippet of Olav's life, not a Harry Hole novel. Even so, we learn quite a bit about Olav, his background, and what he does.

This is quite a taut little thriller which is wonderfully poetic, dark and thoroughly satisfying.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Humphrey Carpenter "The Envy Of The World : Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3" (Phoenix)

This is a fascinating account of one of Auntie Beeb's renowned radio stations,and is a subject which the biographer knew intimately, and the book reflects his knowledge and his passion.

Most people,i hope and assume, have heard of the international reputation that the BBC had during World War II for news, but not many remember the extraordinarily high standards it maintained where the arts, education and entertainment were concerned. The third programme was at the forefront of this revolution, at a time when it was recognised that the high arts had an important role in defining cultural identity and that society had a responsibility to promulgate an understanding and appreciation of high culture.

The Third Programme eventually became Radio 3 in 1967 when the BBC launched its pop music station Radio One.

"On my first night in the Third Programme, I had to leave a full minute of silence between one programme and the next. The idea was to discourage people from casual listening. They were expected to look at their Radio Times, choose what they want, listen to it, and then go away and do all the other interesting things that their lives were full of". Cormack Rigby.

"He who prides himself on giving what he thinks the public wants is often creating a fictitious demand for low standards which he will then satisfy". Lord Reith.

"It was the combination of public service motive, sense of moral obligation, assured finance and the brute force of monopoly which enabled the BBC to make of broadcasting what no other country in the world has made of it". Lord Reith.

This book is full of stories and personalities about artists of intense integrity and creativity, a conviction in the value of high culture and the educability of the masses. There is also a book by John Drummond i want to find that details his time on BBC Radio 3 and the struggles he had to introduce modern avant garde classical music to the station. Meanwhile, for radio fans, i highly recommend this book.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Stephen Kelman "Pigeon English" (Bloomsbury)

Pigeon English is the story of 11 year old Harrison Opoku, a recent immigrant from Ghana. He, his mother and older sister have recently moved to a flat in a rough part of London, while his father, grandmother and little sister are still in Ghana hoping to move soon, too. When an older boy is stabbed to death, Harri's and a friend decide to do their own version of the TV show CSI and find the killer.

The novel is told (mostly) from Harri's point of view. It is here that I can see why the book has been compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Through Harri's narration, we end up understanding more than he does about what it going on around him. I think this works in places, and in others have a harder time believing he'd be that naïve, even at his age. His enthusiasm and energy come through, as do his sometimes conflicting desires to be safe/fit in vs to be good/truer to himself. Without his father in the home, Harri feels it is his role to protect, to be the man of the family. Yet at 11 years old and in a tough neighborhood where gangs are a part of everyday life, this is not easy. Not to mention, he's just a kid - he wants to use reward money if they solve the crime to buy a Playstation, he likes to run, he's discovering girls...

There are also interludes narrated by a pigeon that watches over Harri. It took some time for these to work for me, but I slowly came around to the metaphor and the role in the story.

This is a good first novel, yes, with its flaws and not a particularly surprising ending, but a voice and story that kept me interested throughout.

jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Iain Banks "The Wasp Factory (Abacus)

Do not really know what to think of this book. It is very creative, but I somehow felt that it lacked something driving the story forward and I did not get drawn into the action, despite all the good things I have heard about it. Maybe another time.

Frank lives with his father on a small island in Scotland. He mounts animal skulls on poles, embeds wasps in candle wax, hunts rabbits with a flame thrower and keeps the skull of his enemy, Old Saul, in a bunker. The island is his domain and he rules it like a god. Now his brother, Eric, who sets dogs on fire, has escaped from his asylum and is on his way home.

Frank's a monster, a fledgling serial killer who capriciously decided on a different career track after his first three victims. His rituals and his ceremonies and his totemic objects make sense of the world and make sense of his own mind. His voice is sane, articulate, witty and intelligent. He uses it to describe his odd activities, makes them seem strange, unhealthy, perhaps, but essentially harmless. Then he seamlessly uses that same voice to describe catapulting small animals into river mud, the murder of his brother and two cousins or his attitude to women. One clings to the voice as a sign of potential redemption, but redemption is something you do, not something you are, and Frank is utterly aware of what he is and of what he has done. Or so he thinks.

The writing was very good, and the atmosphere was very engaging. I loved the way the suspense built as the story unfolded. I liked the descriptions of ceremony and obsession. It was intense at times and I found much of it to be disturbing. But the way the story fell apart at the end made it seem a little like a cheap slasher film. At first I was turned off by what I felt was shock tactics. Then I was convinced that it was justified, being part of a bigger meaning. By the end I'm not sure if it was just violence porn or not,much like I felt about "American Psycho".

I found the ending to be really unsatisfying. Mostly I thought "And?..." I understand what he was trying to do, and can somewhat appreciate it, but I would have liked it a lot more if it had been executed less clumsily. It almost felt like someone else had come in to finish the last part of the book and didn't really know how the story went. It's a weird combination of not tying up all the loose ends and over-explaining the thoughts and rationale of the main character that seemed out of step with the rest of the book.

So, in my final estimation, not a great read at all, and hence i will try and stick to his science fiction in the future.

jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Henry Jacoby - "House and Philosophy :Everybody Lies" (J.Wiley)

Students of philosophy and fans of House alike are sure to relish this analysis of the popular television series. While philosophy texts may leave readers cold, this book brings the work of Sartre, Nietzsche, and Socrates to life by applying them to America's crankiest doctor.

It is written at an introductory level for educated persons or undergraduates so you will not necessarily discover anything profound about philosophy but you will find an interesting application of philosophy about a hit TV show, in particular the acerbic, but in some ways lovable, Gregory House, M.D.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Paul Rees - "Robert Plant :A Life" (Harper Collins)

This is a pretty straightforward account of the life of Robert Plant, front man for Led Zeppelin and a solo artist in his own right.

The book begins with a bit of Robert's background, his parents, school, influences and his attitude during those days.

Robert's teen years, his discovery of Elvis and the blues, his first group, how he met Bonzo and the formation of Led Zeppelin.

Of course, the author takes us inside the group's rocky beginnings to the peak of their success as a band, to the incredible tragedies that struck one right after another.
Once the group disbanded, Plant found he had a whole second career as a solo artist. Then once more he found himself walking in the ever present shadow of Led Zeppelin. Sometimes, Robert gave in to the pressure and sometimes he ran away from many request and offers regarding a reformation of the group.

But, Robert seems capable of finding a niche for himself repeatedly. His work with Alison Kraus is especially impressive.

As for Robert's personal life, I admit I knew very little. Robert's personality, even as a boy, was filled with confidence, bordering on cocky. As he became successful in his career that part of him became even more pronounced.

Robert's love life has been a little complicated as well. Robert' escapades were typical of many rock stars, especially on tour, but when he was not touring, he seemed to have a good solid marriage. However, there were some rather strange happenings, even while he was married, that would raise eyebrows even today.

Robert still maintains a larger than life personality and may always carry with him a piece of his "Rock God" status. I think now he seems to have found some stability, both in his career and in his personal life.

This was an informative book and an introspective look into the private life of a rock star. I admire his ability to try new things and to make mistakes. His career after Led Zeppelin was up and down, but he has had much more longevity than many other musicians of that era. I think some of that success comes from a willingness to take risk, and some of it goes back to all that confidence.

A good read.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Helen Macdonald "H is For Hawk" (Penguin Books)

Helen Macdonald, a skilled falconer, is devastated by the sudden death of her father. To drown her grief, she decides to take on the challenging task of training a goshawk, a particularly difficult hawk to train. In doing so, she comes across her old copy of the book [The Goshawk] by T. H. White (who also wrote [The Sword in the Stone] and [The Once and Future King]) and while reading it discovers the flawed man who couldn't possibly be expected to train the goshawk he acquired because of the emotional scars that he's suffered since childhood. The book moves forward through these two threads: Helen's training of Mabel, her goshawk and T. H. White's story.

To say that Macdonald's writing is exquisite just doesn't do it justice. It's incredibly beautiful and goes a long way in expressing her difficulty in getting through the very dark days when nothing seems to be going right.

"There is a time in life when you expect the world to be always full of new things. And then comes a day when you realise that is not how it will be at all. You see that life will become a thing made of holes. Absences. Losses. Things that were there and are no longer. And you realise, too, that you have to grow around and between the gaps, though you can put your hand out to where things were and feel that tense, shining dullness of the space where the memories are." (Page 171)

Memoir, natural history, meditation on life and death and absolutely wonderful. Very highly recommended.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Karen Blixen "Out Of Africa" (Penguin Modern Classics)

I have mixed feelings about this author's memoir of her time on a coffee farm in the Ngong hills, Kenya in the early 1900's. A non-chronological telling of many tales from her time in Africa and finally about her bittersweet departure. Mostly beautifully wriiten, the prose is very evocative of the land, although at times trending toward mawkish and overly mystical.

It is written during the time of colonialism and Ms. Blixen is quite paternalistic toward 'the coloured races". While I have no doubt she loved and respected the Kenyan people - frankly, many of her comments were clearly racist by today's standards. I am also troubled by her attitude toward the animals. In one breath she lauds the majesty of the elephant, the giraffe, the lion. The next, seemingly without remorse, she shoots said lion, describes how it falls, skins it and then proceeds to toss back some wine and dates - supremely happy with life. Oh and by the way, this lovely skin will make a great cape for Lord Hoity-Toity. There are many such scenes that were almost unbearable for me to read.

Overall, this was a worthy read. I am left with some conflicting emotions about the author for sure. And I can't say I always found this an enjoyable or engaging read - but in the end quite powerful and sad.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)

Stephen Alford "The Watchers : A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I" (Penguin)

An interesting and engrossing book detailing the activities of the network of spies and informers, the ‘Watchers’ of the title, set up and run by Walsingham, Essex, Burleigh and Robert Cecil to protect Elizabethan society from the catholic threat. Alford cleverly illustrates the perceived magnitude of the threat when he describes an imagined assassination attempt on Elizabeth by catholic agents and the ensuing chaos when she dies from her wounds.

Alford concentrates on the ordinary men in the network, the ones recruited and paid ad hoc – many ended up in debt - the double and, in one case, triple agents, collecting information and sending it back, by letter, to their masters. He details how letters were intercepted, decrypted, and sent on their way – a device used most famously to break the Babington Plot and to force the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots – how torture was used for force confessions, and how catholic spies were become double agents.

Its easy to draw parallels between those Watchers and the recent revelations of the lengths today’s Elizabethan watchers will go to in order to protect society and there are lessons here - the manipulations and use of entrapment in the Babington Plot is a good example - are a timely reminder that we should also consider just how far we want the state to go to preserve our way of life. Thought provoking.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Kurt Vonnegut "Slaughterhouse 5" (Vintage)

This is one of those books that everyone must read. I just regret that it took me so long, especially as it is an easy read and short. But in it simplicity, it is deep. On the top, it looks to be a science fiction novel about a man adrift in time - going back and forth in his timeline, experiencing each moment out of order with continuity. On the other hand, this could be a book about a man whose experiences with war made him so unhinged, that he's living in a world of his making. Either way you take it, or both ways, the story is profound.

In fact you could sum this up as the absurdity of war, the absurdity of the world and the people in it. Time travel and extraterrestrials have nothing on the absurdity of us.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Noam Chomsky "The Essential Chomsky" (The New Press)

"The Essential Chomsky" is a collection of 25 pieces of writing from Noam Chomsky which covers a critical review of "Verbal Behaviour" by B. F. Skinner published in 1959 in the journal "Language" to Chomsky's afterword from "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy" from 2006. Chomsky is best known in two areas, one being his career as a linguist, and the other for his outspoken liberal views in which he holds the United States and the West to the same standard which others hold the rest of the world, and there are examples of both contained in this collection.

Chomsky's skillful dissecting of Skinner's work clearly demonstrates the way Chomsky's mind works as well as the thoroughness with which he examines every subject. It also is a good choice because one avoids any political bias when reading it. With his political pieces, of course such emotional attachments to one's position exist, and so it would be much more difficult to set a baseline with one of those pieces.

When looking at the political pieces, Chomsky uses the same logic and thorough examination tactics that he used in his review, and that he also brings to the other writings on linguistics, with varying levels of effectiveness. For example, his brief look at the war crimes committed by the Allies in World War II fails to work for me in some of key areas: he seems to ignore the fact that there are issues with almost all tactics used in war, and the inherent immorality of war; he fails to deal with the reality that
Germany and Japan were both trying to develop nuclear weapons and so there was a need to end the war before they were successful; he fails to deal with the reality that Japan was teaching their "civilians" to fight against the invaders, which then calls into question whether or not they would be considered "civilians" or "enemy combatants".

That being said, I believe he is right to discuss these issues, because tactics like firebombing, and using nuclear weapons should never go unquestioned, and while one may be able to justify some events, other events may be questionable. Dresden in particular is one event which has caused great debate over the years, and undoubtedly still will for some time to come.

Chomsky's more thorough look at Vietnam and events since then is far more devastating to the perception of the U.S. and the West than the discussion of World War II. Chomsky meticulously looks at the statements made by our leaders as to why we were involved in these conflicts, and systematically eliminates those which can be shown to be false, leaving behind a rather unappealing reality of what has motivated the U.S. government over the years. Of course, one has to read these sections carefully as well, but here Chomsky offers alternative behaviors which may have had a significant impact on the situation in the world today.

The linguistic sections are also quite good, but many of them are fairly advanced and in some cases require re-reading to fully comprehend the discussion. "Language and the Brain", for example, is a wonderful look at what is perhaps the most amazing function of the brain, i.e. the capacity to take a grammar and to utilize it unlimited ways to communicate with others. Even if you don't like Chomsky's very liberal views on politics, it is articles like this that make reading this book worthwhile.

Whether you are interested in his works on Linguistics, or those of a political nature, Chomsky is fairly consistent in providing a dispassionate discussion of the subject. Of course, his political views might irritate or even infuriate the reader at times, but he never relies on personal attacks or other cheap tactics and instead he stays focused on the subject under discussion. I have always enjoyed reading Chomsky, because he often challenges my views, and forces me to rethink my positions to make sure they have a solid rational foundation and are not built on emotion or personal biases.

This is a very good book, but of course as it provides a little bit on a large variety of subjects, it doesn't have the depth on any particular subject. Still, it does give the reader an indication of where to go for more with regards to the pieces provided, and then also includes a good bibliography of Chomsky's works.

jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Tracy Chevalier "At the Edge of the Orchard" (Penguin)

Not a great fan of historical novels but this is a good book and an easy fast read. Good historical fiction in general should be of fictional people doing real things in real places, with a few real people thrown into the mix in my pinion. This novel nails it in that sense.

Robert Goodenough is brought up, at least to age 9, in the Black Swamp area of Ohio. His family, from Connecticut, is trying to make a go of homesteading there in the 1830s. The need for 50 fruit trees to prove the claim is his father's biggest concern, as he loves the Golden Pippins his family originally brought from England.

At age 9 Robert unexpectedly strikes out on his own. He moves around, regularly changing jobs, and he finally ends up in California. There he meets William Lobb, and becomes a tree collector, shipping trees and seeds to England. William Lobb was real, tree and seed collecting was really a thing, the sequoia dance floor and bowling alley trees are now part of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and the Black Swamp really was not a great place to homestead.

Not as good as "The Girl with The Pearl Earring" but one that will satisfy.
jazzy_dave: (Default)
For today the music i have selected ,and still on a Brasilia theme is the debit album by Dom Um Romao which i found in a charity shop in Gillingham. for just 50 pence - and what a great album it is.

Dom Um Romão - Dom Um Romão

"Dom Um Romão" (1990), compiles two previous albums by Muse - "Dom Um Romão" (1974) and "Spirit of the Times" (1975). This record was latter re-issued by Vogue (Samba de Rua, 1990), 32 Jazz ("The Complete Muse Recordings", 1999) and Savoy ("Complete Muse Sessions", 2010).

Dom Um Romão (1974)
00:00:00 Dom's Tune
00:08:43 Cinnamon Flower (Cravo e Canela)
00:13:45 Family Talk
00:19:31 Ponteio
00:25:40 Baun-Blek-Blu
00:30:23 Adeus Maria Fulô

Spirit of The Times (1975)
00:38:30 Shake (Ginga Gingou)
00:41:27 Wait on The Corner
00:47:38 Lamento Negro
00:51:32 Highway
00:55:53 The Angels
00:59:53 The Salvation Army
01:03:52 Kitchen (Cosinha)

My CD copy is a European edition.


On the French Vogue label it  is called "Samba de Rua" Same tracks but different cover.
Between 1971 to 1974, he was a member of Weather Report.

Great find though!
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Stefan Zweig "Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman" (Pushkin Press)

This story within a story begins at a guesthouse on the French Riviera, where a scandal has just erupted: two of the guests, a seemingly respectable wife and mother and an attractive young stranger have fled together after speaking together for just a few hours.

There is a raging debate among the guests about the morality of the situation. Should the woman be seen as a pariah, or were her motives of the heart pardonable? In this early 20th century setting, most of the guests believe the woman has committed an unspeakable act, but the narrator, a single man, doesn't think so. Mrs C, a respectable, white-haired English woman in her 60's, after a brief exchange with him, decides she must come clean about her past and proceeds to tell him a story from her younger days, when, within a 24-hour period she let her carefully constructed world of proper widowhood fall to pieces for stranger with a death wish. She had met the stranger in question at a casino, where she spent the evening observing the hands of the players and was taken in by his in particular—the most expressive she'd ever seen. Fascinated, she watches the stranger lose a huge sum of money, then, when he gives every sign that he has decided to do away with himself, she comes to his rescue and falls into a vortex of passion for which her life as a proper English lady had not prepared her: "Perhaps only those who are strangers to passion know such sudden outbursts of emotion in their few passionate moments ... whole years fall from one's own breast with the fury of powers left unused." But can one really expect true love and dedication from an addict?

A succinct very short novel (around 100 pages) by Zweig filled to the brim with timeless human drama. Strongly recommended.


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