The Jazzman’s Axe

I am sitting here with a freshly opened bottle of Shepard Neame’s fine Kentish Ale Spitfire, which ironically has been labelled to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. I say Ironically because despite popular belief, the plane type which played the largest part in the battle was in fact the Hurricane not the Spitfire. It’s a very nice and unlike some cask conditioned ales doesn’t lose much of its character on transfer to the bottle as opposed to cask, its a mid brown coloured ale and has a very distinctive nose which has a slight hint of toffee about it.

In the mean time I have been frequenting the near by Wetherspoons for an escape from the house, it may lack the homeliness and character of places like the Cock Hotel, Fighting Cocks and the All-Nations or the air of comforting neglect of my old haunts the Harp and the Crown but the beer is kept slightly better than one might expect for the price and experiences elsewhere. I was drinking a nice Mexican style beer called Session Room which they are serving as part of their International Beer Festival range, the beer isn’t imported but brewed under license at one of the UK breweries, which one it is I cannot recall at the moment.

For my walks to and from the pub I have been downloading various items from my Amazon cloud and putting them on random shuffle so I get quite a texture playlist for my walk and a few things which seem to be digital bonuses, for example a remix of the title track of Gregory Porter’s Liquid Spirit. The albums I’ve downloaded are from a range of artists including the Allman Brothers Band, Sonny Rollins, Keb’Mo, Wynton Marsalis & Willie Nelson with Norah Jones and Eric Clapton; so as you can guess that is quite a varied sound on my ear phones. The Sonny Rollins album is one called ‘Way Out West” and is a trio album with the unusual line up of Reeds, double Bass and Drums meaning there is only really one source for the melody line making it a very involved album as there is no room for coasting. Fortunately it is a very intricate group and Rollins is well known for his amazing skills at improvising and it gives the rhythm section a lot more freedom to play around, tracks include standards like “I’m an Old Cowhand” and “On Top Old Smokey”. The Wynton, Willie and Norah album is a live album of a tribute concert to the Genius himself, Mr Ray Charles.

My cinematic visit this week was to see the new Terminator movie which if I put it simply is a good shit film. The plot is very much a recreation of Terminator 2: Judgement Day with elements from the first Terminator literally being thrown into the mix, with a virtual recreation of Arnie’s very first appearance as the Terminator, but the storyline takes on a parallel timeline aspect to explain the machinations of the previous movies. Arnie’s aged appearance is written into the plot to give it some semblance of rational. The film also explains why all the Terminators always arrive in the nude (and all the other time travellers as well), but the notable thing about the movie is the very brief but essential role played by Matt Smith (who is created as the much more formal Matthew Smith) which pretty much sets up the plot line and possibly opens the door for yet another Terminator movie.

I’ve not really made any progress with the book I’m reading though I am determined to plough on with it, I go through phases of taking forever to read a book and then read a large number n a very short amount of time. Odd eh?

The new and final series of the detective series New Tricks has began and the opening tale is a two part story which will write out the character Gerry Standing played by Dennis Waterman, this will be the last member of the original cast to leave so it may well be a very different season. I hope this final season is great finale and not an awkward limp to the finish like the final series of Two & a Half Men and Scrubs.

My writing playlist:
Night and Day- Fred Astaire
All of You- Matt Monroe
Miss Otis Regrets- Nancy Wilson
Samantha- Bing Crosby with Louis Armstrong
I’ve Got You Under My Skin- Shirley Bassey
Now You Has Jazz- Graham Dalby and the Gramophones
(yes this is a Cole Porter compilation)

Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster- a brilliant album where two Tenor Sax giants challenge each other. The robust tone of Hawks bopish improvisations are perfectly counter by the weeping tenderness of the ballad player extraordinaire Ben Webster.


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