Round the Horn

Another week is underway and I wonder how it is going to go, the school summer holidays kick in this week so I must try my best not to stand on the little swines dear sweet children as they clog up the town park and public areas.

Last week I had an unexpected Sunday afternoon off so I made the most of it and went to Jazz Club 90 to see catch the second set of JB’s Jazz and Blues Band, and very good they were too. I know I have said this before and probably will continue to do so, but while the Sports and Social Club has a much greater capacity and stage, I do miss the cosy intimate atmosphere of the Harp. Maybe one day they’ll get a new landlord who’ll do the right thing and put music back in the Harp and honour Terry’s legacy.

I’ve made a few music purchases over the past few weeks and indulged myself on the more experimental side of Jazz with three albums by the late great Alto Saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Two of the albums are ones released on the Atlantic Label which was the label which John Coltrane recorded the iconic Giant Steps and My Favourite Things albums, the other was released on the smaller label Original Jazz Classics. The albums are: Ornette!, Free Jazz and Something Else: The Music of Ornette Coleman, the latter one was Ornette’s debut album and is notable for having a full rhythm section and following the traditions of bebop in fitting new melodies around existing chord patterns. This is totally contrasted by Free Jazz, which throws chord structures out the window (and as consequence making the use of a piano, the main source of chord patterns, redundant). It’ll never be called Easy Listening and the album still divides people even today, but it should still be ranked as a milestone and is probably one of the Jazz albums everyone should own.

Still on the modern Jazz front I also purchased Kamasi Washington’s new album Heaven and Earth which is his second album under his own name and hopefully continues the promise laid forth in his debut album, the triple CD release appropriately called “The Epic” and last years EP “Harmony of Difference”.

My new Sax is going well, the tone is very good but I still need to iron out a few kinks here and there. Mostly down to breath control and levels of exhalation for various registers, though this may partially be down to the rather basic mouth piece and strength of the reed. Still I made a pretty good go at playing Mood Indigo, Petite Fleur and The Very Thought of You. Fun Times.

Bookwise I recently purchased Moon Rise: The Golden Age of Lunar Adventures and Lost Mars: The Golden Age of the Red Planet, two collections of short stories edited by Mike Ashley for the British Library, hopefully this will lead to a range of vintage sci-fi novels being released as a sister range to the Crime Classics. As you might of guessed, these volumes collect stories from the late Victorian era to the mid-1950s about the Moon and Mars. Obviously a lot of the stories have dated to a certain extent (especially the Moon collection) but there a fair few gems in there. Authors in the collections include HG Wells, Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham and JG Ballard.

While not wanting to appear ungrateful for the summer weather, I did rather appreciate the rain we had yesterday as it cooled things off a bit and been a godsend for my garden. No doubt Heather’s Guinea Pigs will be happy as it’ll mean the grass will start growing again and they can graze once more.


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