Thursday, 31 December 2009


Oh lordy, lordy. More snow today.
Not, it has to be said, another "for F sake" worth. But another "oh, Jesus more?" worth.

Seriously affecting my return to running. That's been over a week now that we have had snow covering the place.

To be honest I don't mind it too much when it is just that - "snow". At least you can get out running in that. It's when it melts a bit then freezes over that the problems start.

For a few days I tried to get over this by going up the back of our bit into the hills. Now, that was good fun. Especially on Tuesday when I tried to go round the perimeter road of the new wind farm. In some cases I was running/walking/crawling through drifts that were about three foot deep!

Elsewhere on planet "holiday" I've just been getting into a nice groove consisting of jazz, coffee, cake, chocolate and strange flights of fancy....going wherever my CD collection takes me.

For example. Yesterday was the Godfather of British jazz's birthday. The truly mighty Stan Tracey was 83!

To celebrate I started off by playing one of the CDs I got for Christmas "Senior Moment". Recorded earlier in 2009 when Stan was a sprightly 82 year old this has more verve than a lot of albums by pianists a third of his age. As well as some new compositions ("The Grandad Suite") he re-visits some of his older numbers including "Afro Charlie Meets The White Rabbit" from Alice In Jazzland (a sort of follow up to the more successful "Under Milk Wood").

Anyway. Got into a bit of a "Stan moment" and then listened to his tribute to Duke Ellington "We Still Love You Madly". This I realised had a young(ish) Guy Barker on trumpet.

So this led to Guy's album "The Amadeus Project" getting a wee dust down. This too is a great piece. Or to be more accurate it's two pieces. The first of these pieces "DzF" is a piece of "music noir" complete with narration that tells the story of Bobby a young trumpet player who gets involved with all manor of hoodlums, gangsters and "lady's of the night". Very atmospheric and very evocative of 40's films.

And so it went on... the "narration" part of the suite is something that either works - or it dosen't (in this case it does). And this led me to another album I've listened to a few times where narration works - Alan Barnes "The Sherlock Holmes Suite" - 15 pieces all based on Holmes characters or stories and interspersed with narration. Love to see/hear this live.

With the Guy Barker album the narration is part of each track, but with the Alan Barnes one the narration is contained on separate tracks on the CD - so I've ripped the CDs but only ever load the music to my MP3 player. I might rectify that I think I'm missing something.

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