Back again with very little to report, but I have the computer to myself for the first time in ages as opposed to writing upon my tablet so there is that I guess.
To mark the 85th birthday of Sonny Rollins I am currently listening to boxed set released by Proper Records of his early works as leader which has the rather lame moniker of ‘Sax Symbol’, yeah I can hear your eyes rolling, which is actually pretty good. Interestingly the first track he recorded under his own name has Miles Davis playing the piano as opposed to the Trumpet or Flugelhorn and listening to his piano skills makes me appreciate his trumpet work even more… But the focus quite rightly is on Sonny Rollins and the rather short track is pure Rollins. These early tracks are quite short but clearly show Rollins’ talent for improvisation and his robust tone on his Tenor Sax which pave the way for his, rightly attributed nickname, Saxophone Colossus. It is only really John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter and Joe Lovano who really can give Rollins a run for his money, though admittedly Lovano is to Rollins what Rollins was to Coleman Hawkins. It is rather unfortunate that Sonny Rollins name was dragged into a “satirical” article written in the New York Times, which at best was a bad piece of writing and at worst a offensive slur upon one of the last elder statesmen of Jazz, I’m not going to link to the article as I don’t believe that that particular piece of shit should be given a wider audience.
I will confess aside from this and two other compilations I don’t own a huge amount of albums by Rollins. I have Way Out West, Alfie and a cheap box set of five of his albums which includes the legendary album which was a collaboration with Coleman Hawkins, I think it is called Sonny Meets Hawk but confirming this would involve me going downstairs and I really cannot be arsed. One thing I do particularly like about Sonny Rollins is how he picks up on less known or less used songs for his show cases, I cannot think off the top of my head of a Sax player who has put tunes like “I’m An Old Cowhand”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “How Are Things in Glocca Morra” in their set list. The nearest I can think of is British sax player Tubby Hayes playing “the Yellow Rose of Texas” on a BBC radio broadcast in the mid-sixties.
Stepping away from Sonny Rollins and onto other subjects, well I haven’t done much since my last update, mostly work and a few Daily Prompts but otherwise not a lot. The new (and last) series of New Tricks is being to shape up pretty well despite what the idiotic critic in the Radio Times says… Seriously woman if all you do is moan about TV programs why the blood-and-stomach pills do you work for a major TV magazine??? I’m still a little unsure on Larry Lamb’s character who still at the moment comes across as a passive aggressive version of Brian Lane, but there is a return to the tongue cheek antics in the office and there appears to be a regain of the spark between the gang which was lacking in last years series. It looks like the series may well end on a high after all and not fall into the Two and a Half Men trap of a hyped and ultimately uninspiring finale.
So what else? Not a lot. I walked the doggies with my pops this after noon and Ben was really well behaved when he met a few dogs when he was on the lead which was unusual. This was the first time I personally have let Missy off her lead and oh boy did she run and run. She was mostly good though she did go off on planet Dog when we passed some hedges, I reckon she must have caught the sent of some thing, a Hedgehog or a possibly a Squirrel.
Well aside from the forthcoming Idiot’s Lantern (i am going to stock pile a few things so updates can be frequent), I have a few writing assignments which urgently need my attention, one is an essay on Dennis Potter’s Cold Lazarus for a Charity Anthology and the other is a bit of whimsy set by a fellow blogger if you fancy indulging here is the link https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/67408292/2527 You probably need to know a little but about British Radio Comedy to get the in-joke though.
Until next time….