Midnight’s Nephew

So here I am updating at silly o’clock in the morning after attempting to get an early night, waking up three hours later and unable to get back to sleep. Funny how I sleep better when the dog is curled up next to me even though tomorrow he will have to go in the B-A-T-H as he is beginning to pong a bit.

I completed my Xmas Shopping today which took a lot less time then I thought it would and posted my gifts to Katherine, I was expecting mad crowds and having to go all Dogtanian in order to get to the checkout but no it was very calm. For Christmas I bought my father a box set of adventure stories and a remote control helicopter, Mum a few DVDs including The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Quartet, Lewis series 9 and the complete series of the original Poldark, my Sister a box set of all the Jurassic Park movies and Nan a couple of murder mystery books.

I had a brief catch up with Mike after work on Sunday as due to bad luck he needed to borrow my Tenor for a few gigs over the festive period and since I currently am not using it I might as well. I still have my Clarinet and Alto if I fancy a blow over Xmas so it is no biggy. It was good to catch up with him and it seems he is in talks about getting a monthly gig back at the Harp which will be nice.

My cinema plans this week have been buggered by all the films I wanted to see being replace by Kiddie movies or Christmas ones… I hope this is simply due to it being Christmas week. Well there is Star Wars, but I will leave that until the kids go back to school I think, though a rather lovely young lady at HMV was recommending I go to a late screening as apparently there is usually only about ten people there.

However my viewing at home is going well and I have been a little bit on the serious side having been watching two Documentary films: Tubby Hayes A Man in a Hurry, which is a short but informative film about the late great British Jazz musician and Amy, a film about Amy Winehouse. Both are very good films which get to the nitty gritty about both of there subjects, the Tubby Hayes one suffers slightly from limited contributions from his contemporary players due to them having ahuffled off the mortal coil, but it does mean we get a much more objective look at his life and work. There are archive interviews from Robnie Scott and Tubbs himself which add additional weight to the film and interestingly enough the makers decided against over loading the film with concert footage and limiting the performance elements to clips and snippets, this approach may not please everyone but it gives the film a much more cohesive structure. I will admit I had totally forgotten about his brief appearance in Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, so it was nice to have it revisited. All in all a good film which despite a relatively short duration of 55 minutes packs in a hell of a lot about the great player and brings up lots of interesting little things, I can’t help but wonder what might have been had Tubbs taken up Art Blakey’s invite to join the Jazz Messengers.
Amy, another tragic story, interestingly though the film makers have decided not to make it a talking heads documentary and instead make use of letters, home camera footage and various other visual media to make the film and tell the story with the contributions being audio only. There is plenty of stage footage and the film doesn’t shy away from Amy’s widely reported drug and alcohol issues which ultimately lead to her premature death. However what is perhaps less known is she did clean her act up for a bit and it becomes obvious that her sudden return to booze was a cry for help as it transpires she was forced onto a world tour she didn’t want to do and was trying to be declared unfit medically. Also I get the distinct impression her dad did not help at all and started using her as a cash cow, seriously who takes a film crew on a family holiday? Especially when it is apparent all Winehouse wanted/needed ar that point was just have her dad be her dad instead of trying to be a PR agent.

Music wise I have purchased a few albums which include Miles in Berlin (Miles Davis), Waterloo Sunset, Love Me Tender (both by Barb Jungr), a four album on two dics set by Buddy Rich, the Essential George Gershwin and Ballads by Courtney Pine. The Gershwin collection currently being my album of choice for the car, it is a good broad cover of his work by many artists across a range of artists including Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, Elton John and even has the man himself on a 1924 recording of the Rhapsody in Blue.

Anything else to say? Not for now, it was nice having Beth back after she had her birthday weekend off. It seems she didn’t need Stinson’s Hangover Elixer Fixer… evidently she wasn’t celebrating correctly.

So as this will probably be my last proper post until the weekend: Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

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