Thursday, June 25, 2015

JULY 5TH GIG AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB - THE ART OF THE TRIO



EXPLORING A NEGLECTED CORNER OF JAZZ AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB
This month's concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 5 July features a new band exploring a neglected corner of jazz - The Art of The Trio.

From Nat 'King' Cole and Oscar Peterson to Jimmy Giuffre and Tal Farlow, jazz has a rich tradition of that unusual format - the band without drums.
 
And now three of East Anglia's most respected jazz musicians have formed The Art of The Trio to explore the opulent harmonies and contrasting textures of the drummer-less trio through a specially selected programme of standards and overlooked gems.
 
Guitarist Phil Brooke, pianist Simon Brown and double bassist Owen Morgan have long been the first choice of both local musicians and visiting stars for their tasteful, intelligent playing and sympathetic accompaniment.

Here they have a rare opportunity to perform the 
winding lines of past arrangements by the likes of Nat 'King' Cole and Red Norvo, and new original arrangements by Phil Brooke.

Even with well known songs, the out-of-the-ordinary instrumentation leads to music that can be both complimentary and excitingly competitive.

The band’s full line-up features Phil Brooke (guitar), Simon Brown (piano) and Owen Morgan (double bass).

All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession).
 
 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

STORMING MAIDEN SPEECH BY NORWICH MP CLIVE LEWIS

A maiden speech in the House of Commons is meant to be non-controversial so that the new member of parliament knows his/her place.

What a breath of fresh air was the combative speech by new boy Clive Lewis today, MP for Norwich. Much of his venom was aimed at the Inspiration Trust, which looks likely to turn Hewett High School into an academy - as part of its ever expanding take-over schools chain. Details are in today's Guardian

Academies are the means of privatising schools. Most high schools in Norfolk are now academies, whereby the head teacher is said to have autonomy over the budget of the school, rather than the local education authority. Based on price-per-pupil - as is capitalist logic - academies have to keep expanding to create a profit (however quasi that profit is).

When the Berlin Wall fell to my cheers, state held assets were stripped for the oligarchs. What's the difference with privatisation?

And in the academy process not a thought about the happiness of the children in the process - they and their parents will not be consulted, nor the teachers, nor the wider community. "Consultation" is some sort of religious confessional, not a democratic process.

There are four ways academy schools can do this: a)increase the number of students by poaching them from other, nearby schools; b) become part of an expanding chain of schools; c) become a very specialist or international school (attracting other private funds); and d) by selling off assets of the LEA school taken over by the Academy.

Clive Lewis' argument with Inspiration Trust centred on the latter "robber baron" options.

In its entirety, his maiden speech in the Commons shone because it inspired others around him - particularly Diane Abbot MP. Didn't I mention - Clive Lewis is the new, young Labour MP for South Norwich, who brilliantly supports Jeremy Corbyn as the left wing candidate in the Labour leadership race.

More important than all is that he supports The People's Assembly march on June 20th in London. Four coaches or more are going from Norwich.

They say left wing MPs enter parliament to change the world but end up changed into establishment zombies by the parliamentary club. Prove me wrong Clive!
 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

PETER WYLIE, EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS, MERCHANT HOUSE GALLERY, LOWESTOFT, UNTIL JUNE 20th

I attended the opening of a remarkable exhibition of paintings by Peter Wylie at the Merchant House Gallery, Lowestoft, last week. Remarkable because the paintings are of virtually unpeopled buildings, specifically the great modernist social housing complexes of the 20th Century.

The paintings can be viewed on Peter Wylie's website

Corbusier, Zogolovitch, Erno Goldfinger and others are represented through specific paintings of high rise structures - given their human dimension by the artist (a light left on, a washing line, etc).

As a counterpoint, Peter Wylie includes paintings of a local project in Loddon designed by architects Tayler and Green - a social housing bungalow project.

The tower block was not played off against the single storey complex because both are within the Modernist framework of changing the World towards a housing equality. That is, architects had a huge part in Modernism - not just in terms of design but in shaping society.

Peter Wylie's paintings starkly illustrate what the neo-liberalism of the present is turning its back on. In London today, buildings erected are banks to invest in. Indeed, the super rich have moved their money into central city skyscrapers to provide better interest returns than the banks.

The exhibition runs until June 20th and shouldn't be missed.

NOTHIN' AIN'T WORTH NOTHIN'

 
 
 
"Nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free" Where's that from?

With a new computer I hope to bring lots of exciting things here very soon - from factual stories and poetry to an array of visuals. Back soon...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

MILESTONES GIG JUNE 7: THE BUTTON BAND



THE DISTINCTIVE SOUND OF THE BUTTON BAND AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB

This month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 7 June features the distinctive sound of a new and original band comprised of the best up and coming London jazz musicians – The Button Band.

Andrew Button is a guitarist and composer leading his London band on it's first UK tour through originals that reflect the influence of Bill Frisell, John Scofield and Loose Tubes.


Sometimes playful, sometimes melancholy, always quietly grooving, The Button Band play contemporary jazz, highlighting Andrew's free-flowing, lyrical style, including the flavours of not just modern jazz but also folk and country music.

Andrew graduated from the Middlesex University jazz course under distinguished trumpeter Chris Batchelor, studied in New York with guitarist Brad Shepic before moving back to the UK, ensconcing himself on the London jazz scene.
 
There he formed The Button Band in 2014 as an outlet for his flourishing composition and arrangement skills, keeping the music fresh and forward-looking with tenor sax maestro Andy Woolf, creative drummer Jon Ormaston and the original, sought-after double bassist Dave Mannington.
 
The band's collective CV shows the diversity of their musical interests working with players as feted as Bobby McFerrin and Mark-Anthony Turnage, Peter King and Kenny Wheeler.

This concert is the only East Anglian date on a UK tour to promote the release of the band's eponymous debut album.

The band’s full line-up features Andrew Button (guitar), Andy Woolf (tenor saxophone), Dave Manington (double bass) and Jon Ormaston (drums).
All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession).

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SIMON ARMITAGE VERSUS FRIDGE POETRY


It isn't Simon Armitage's popularity which puts many of us off his poetry, as this Guardian article suggests, but its lack of excitement and its increasing lifelessness.

There's a fantastic picture of what can be built with Meccano on the front of the box but when the lid is lifted our dreams turn to, well, Meccano.

Friday, May 22, 2015

POET KENNETH KOCH - INSPIRING TEACHER

American poet Kenneth Koch was an inspiring teacher

If only we had this approach in Britain, rather than the tick box analysis of texts that is becoming the norm.

With thanks to Martin Stannard for this link.
 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

WHO AM i? by RUPERT MALLIN

Half way through my life
I climbed into an old gorilla suit
left over from a jumble sale.

I hid in it, ate in it, slept in it,
went to work in it and worked in it.

Old now, I've discarded the suit
but cannot tell in the mirror
if this is me or a gorilla?

 

WHO AM I? by RUPERT MALLIN

I drag this bag
from corner to corner
of my life and am sick of it.

Only the police
are interested in what's in it
and the small boy I once was.

He'd love to look in it
and marvel at the junk of my dreams.

That's it, look inside.
Put your hands and arms inside.
Climb inside.
Short of breath, my boy?
Short of life?

 

UNSEEN POETRY

"There will be an extra Twilight Lesson this week on Unseen Poetry."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WHERE ARE YOU GOING? by RUPERT MALLIN

The tree at the end of Autumn's bridleway
A mist stained port
A bed with broken boards
Butcher's Alley as it was
Shelley's grave or that hollow in Great Yarmouth's cemetery
The tree tops in winter inked in by rooks
The River Wensum or an estuary heavy with mud
The garden hidden in Moscow's heart
That expansive esplanade
The Stones' pool party sober
The slaughterhouse by Chiltern Brook
A new car as they used to smell
That hollow tree in Hollow Ditch
The moment before I said "I do"
Snakes Lane or Leatherbottle Hill
The cupboard of bad times, Gallows Corner or Agnes's Gaff
Eating minty peas under a storm torn canopy
In a wilderness of weeds
A red telephone box
At a Russian kiosk
Thumbs up at Trotsky's train
Crying my eyes out at the station.

There is always a station or a terminus
Always walks through thorns in moonlight
Always rooks, wet ink, the rain
Always buttercups and endless skies

Monday, April 27, 2015

MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB, MAY 3 - BIG BAND SOUND OF HORN FACTORY

18-PIECE BIG BAND RETURNS 
TO MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB
This month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 3 May features a return performance by one of the region’s finest big bands, Horn Factory, playing dynamic music in an intimate setting that is all too rare.

Horn Factory was initiated by former National Youth Jazz Orchestra saxophonist Gilly Burgoyne in 1998 and is made up of eighteen of the finest jazz musicians from the region with proceedings being led from the front by percussionist and musical director Bob Airzee.

The bands varied repertoire reflects the rich history of big band jazz - classic arrangements from Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Buddy Rich to contemporary material by Pat Metheny and Michel Camilo and is performed with the attack that only a big band can muster.

Over the last few years Horn Factory have honed their skills, making numerous appearances at theatres, festivals, jazz clubs and several performances at Snape Maltings.

Since the band last performed at Milestones in 2012 there have been many requests for their return, making a packed room and exciting atmosphere guaranteed for this concert.

Horn Factory’s 18-strong unit features 5 saxophones, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones and a 4-piece rhythm section.

The power of a jazz orchestra in full flight on record or television is impressive but to experience it live, and in an intimate venue like Milestones, is exhilarating and not to be missed!
 

All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

EXCELLENT REVIEW OF FRANCIS BACON'S WORK BY JONATHAN JONES

An excellent review by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian today.

The exhibition he lambasts is the much heralded 'Francis Bacon and The Masters' show at the Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich.

Placed next to the great works of Titian to Picasso, Bacon's work appears to be a sham. The aesthetic problem is what drew so many of us to Bacon's work as fans: the notion of chance in later Modernist painting. Bacon talked a lot about 'chance' in his many published conversations with David Sylvester. Bacon's chance of brush stroke and drip seemed for many of us to penetrate the flesh to illuminate the deeper character (and even soul) of his subject.

Yet Bacon's chance was all about manufacturing the grotesque, posing as the defining experience of the age. George Grosz didn't have to invent grotesque figures. He experienced them. 

Jackson Pollock, one of the greatest Modernists, in my view, employed his drip effect as if carpet bombing the planet and the human mind.

In contrast, Bacon seems detached from his subjects and confuses the narratives of the great masters with underlying references to contemporary culture in the age of cartoons. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

THE INFLUENTIAL JOE SOAP'S CANOE MAGAZINE ARCHIVE IS NOW ONLINE

Poet Martin Stannard edited the influential joe soap's canoe from 1978 to 1993. It is now available here in PDF files.

As it evolved, joe soap's canoe became an unusual mix of British and US poetry and reviews. Spanning from the 1970s to the 1990s, the magazine not only spotlighted voices from both sides of the pond, it reflected a vibrant poetry scene through the widespread publication of independent magazines and books. Over twenty years on, none of us back then could foresee the impact of the internet on poetry, for good and ill. 

Do cast your eyes over these 16 canoes. There are some gems.



 

MUSIC IN NORTH EAST SUFFOLK AND NORWICH

STEVE TILSTON + LITTLE BIG MOUTH
 
Rare appearance in Lowestoft for the long-time leading singer, songwriter and guitarist on the English folk scene. Not to be missed...
 
Friday 17 April, 7.30pm
Seagull Theatre
Morton Road
Lowestoft
NR33 0JH

Tickets £10 / £8 (Tel 01502 589726)
 

THE JOHN WARD BAND + WOODLAND CREATURES + NICK MURRAY BROWN
 
The respected local singer / songwriter and band return with original songs old and new to boil the blood and moisten the eyes. With great support.

Saturday 18 April, 7.30pm
Seagull Theatre
Morton Road
Lowestoft
NR33 0JH

Tickets £7 / £6 (Tel 01502 589726)
 
 
PANGAEA
 
The 'world jazz' quartet returns with more grooves and improvisation to its regular haunt.

Thursday 23 April, 8pm
The Stanford Arms
Stanford Street
Lowestoft
NR32 2DD

Admission is free
 
NORWICH INTERNATIONAL JAZZ WORKSHOP AND CREATIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL

Listen to and participate in some great music. Concerts, workshops and jams throughout the day featuring a few big names from the national scene including The Perico Sambeat Quartet. If this is a success there could be an even bigger festival next year!

Sunday 10 May, 4pm-midnight
Maddermarket Theatre
St John's Alley
Norwich
NR2 1DR

Various admission prices - Box office 01603 620917



AND FINALLY, DONT FORGET...

Sunday 3 May, 8pm
Horn Factory Big Band
Milestones Jazz Club
Hatfield Hotel
The Esplanade
Lowestoft

Admission £7 / £6
Visit http://www.milestonesjazzclub.co.uk






Friday, April 10, 2015

WHY I SUPPORT THE TRADE UNIONIST AND SOCIALIST COALITION AT THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTION

For many years it has been said that the British Left is in disarray, composed (or decomposed) of warring fragments, with workplace struggles on the back burner and capitalism's global neo-liberalist ideology so dominant. However, as austerity has hit us hard and will hit us harder after May 7th's General Election, The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has come together to stand 135 parliamentary candidates in England, Scotland and Wales. This is the biggest Left electoral challenge for generations.

What is so impressive is that very different and diverse organisations and individuals have come together on The Left to make this possible - The Socialist Party, The Socialist Workers Party and The Independent Socialist Network, together with the RMT trade union, ex-Labour councillors and many trade union activists. TUSC is also standing a few TUSC/Left Unity candidates, which shows how the Left should embrace each other, rather than get sucked back into the moribund Labour Party.

Labour, moribund? Ask the Scots! Labour in power led us to war, brought in PFI as the wedge to privatise the NHS and schools, introduced university tuition fees and promoted corporate business interests against the working class. Labour's historic role is to control the working class in service to big business and the Two Eds will continue this process in power. 

Artist, artisan, academic, arc welder, hospital cleaner, house bound carer, student or claimant TUSC is your obvious 'X' in the box. TUSC is for the 99 percent not the tiny elite Tories serve and Labour embarrassingly protect. Every TUSC vote will count from May 8th in building campaigns against austerity and the grinding poverty of increasing homelessness and ever growing food banks.

***

Sadly, in Norwich North and South, we've not got a TUSC parliamentary candidate, which actually says something about the Left in this "fine city." It says there are too many in left leaning campaigns, organisations and trade union branches who cling to some sort of 'third way' via the Labour Party. They want the Labour Party of Owen Jones but this isTony Blair's party! It is belief in rhetoric over the deed!

***

I will be voting for Mick Hardy in Norwich North. He is a disability rights activist and is standing as an independent.











Wednesday, April 01, 2015