Those of my fellow readers who are familiar with the music of Count Basie may think that there has been a development in my love life. Alas, like The Power of the Daleks, my love life is missing presumed lost forever. No, I just happened to be listening to some Count Basie as I started writing this, it is the Count Basie disc in the Ken Burns’ Jazz series, which is an excellent introduction for new listeners to Jazz. I recommend them all as they are really good overviews and don’t stick to a particular part of a musician’s career. If there is a fault to the twenty-two volume range it is the lack of a disc for a Male Jazz singer. The three big Ladies of Jazz song Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan are represented but no sign of Mel Tormé, Jon Hendricks or Oscar Brown Jnr… mind you female musicians like Martinia MacPartland are absent too, so horses for courses. I guess you could argue that Jazz Singing was predominantly female back then and to a degree still is today; for every Gregory Porter, Jamie Cullum, George Melly and Ian Shaw there is a Clare Teal, Claire Martin, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Norma Winstone, Amy Winehouse (or was in her case. Met her a few times, lovely girl, don’t believe all the crap in the media), Madelaine Peryoux and Jae Ryder. Anyway that is the main flaw in the range, however for newbies I suggest you start with the Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman discs instrumentalist wise. I would leave the Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane ones until last as they are a little more demanding.
Well you may have noticed I haven’t updated my personal blog for two weeks, nothing sinister in it, just had bugger all to say. Not a lot has happened worth talking about so I have kept quiet. I’ve bought a number of books in the recent British Library Crime Classics series which is an admirely series brining lost or over looked crime stories of yesteryear to a new audience. On the whole they are very good, if occasionally a tad old fashioned, but are good solid stories. It is a pity (as yet) there are no Sexton Blake stories amoungst the titles as there is a huge pool of stories there, but I imagine there is a rights nightmare there. I’m also reading “Who’s Next”, the memoir of former Doctor Who writer/script editor/producer Derrick Sherwin; it is an interesting read, especially once the story shifts from his TV career to him forging a new life as a bar owner with his son in Thailand. However, he does come across as a grumpy old curmudgeon at times: if it weren’t for an actor here, a writer there etc… I shall look forward to reading the rest of his story to date.
My sleeping pattern has been a bit off of late as I keep waking at stupid o’clock in the morning and unable to get back to sleep, my knee and back are partially to blame but overall, I just feel unsettled of late. I don’t know why, but I am getting twitchy and my temper is shortening of late and as such, I am sleeping so well. On top of that I am having a series of surreal and confusing bad dreams which, well is just plain odd. I haven’t watched any particularly scary films or read anything weird, but I seem to be having very detached dreams.
Soo.. in other news.
I am really enjoying the new series of Doctor Who, there has been a bit of a media wobbly about low over night ratings. Yes, they haven’t been great but with the show clashing with Rugby World cup and X Factor it doesn’t surprise me. Sport and things like the X Factor are shows you watch live rather than on catch up services, drama is different. Final viewing figures are proving more people are watching it on catch up services and online, no doubt the DVD/Blu-Ray Sales will be good. But here is another thing, the low overnights are still making it one of the best watched shows on TV, the way people watch is changing dramatically.
Music I have been on a little spree with various music DVDs purchased via Amazon and a visit to the reopened HMV in Telford means I am once again the Old Music Master. Today I purchased Diana Krall and Jamie Cullum’s latest albums and a Mel Tormé reissue. The specialist section has improved dramatically and there is a good range for jazz, blues and various specialist genres. Are the big chains realising that the money lies in us music nerds who like the physical product in our hands and are dedicated to buying physical albums?
I know I keep talking about it, but my review site the Idiot’s Lantern is going to arrive. I have veen noting things to review and it will be stuff available on home media. Don’t expect reviews of films currently being shown at the Cinema. This is because I want to be able to watch and digest the subject of my review and not judge things on first viewing. My first piece will be the Last of the Summer Wine movie “Getting Sam Home”, I know it is the fashion to belittle Last of the Summer Wine but the truth is it was really funny at times. Until about 1990 it was a really funny show with some good takes on old age. It is really interesting to watch the first four series as it is very character based. Series 1 and 2 with the late great Michael Bates are very very different, Compo is very much a dirty pervy tramp and Cyril is the total contrast. He is the prototype for the later third man and he isn’t quite how one expects the thitd man to be, but he is the most believable third man, but what strikes me watching the early shows is that the crazy ideas guy is Clegg. This is reflected in Getting Sam Home as Clarke wrote the novel in the early Seventies and Blamire was the third man. The script adapts for Foggy, but Clegg doesn’t act like the character he became. When they did the movie, the BBC released a reprint of the book where Foggy replaces Blamire… but just by name so Foggy isn’t true to character.
In final news, after the humiliation from Kasia I have finally decided to go back on the dating game. There is a pretty girl who works at one of my watering holes whom I may try my luck with. May, being the major word.