After Christmas you need something to look forward to, here are two gigs that old farts like me will love
If you rememeber the 80s, or have just read below, then Martin Stepehenson is coming back to the OUT to LUNCH Festival in January
Also playing, at St Annes Cathedral no less, is Mary Chapin Carpenter
Two excellent nights in prospect, use this link to see the rest of the festival
I have been a fan of Martin Stephenson (and the Daintees) for more years than I can remember, so his recent gig at the Black Box was a must.
He didn't disappoint.
All the old favourites and some great new songs had a virtually full house swaying if not all dancing, apart from Dennis and Nicola obviously!
Check out some great music on Tidal/Napster/Spotify and then buy an album
'Boat to Bolivia', 'Salutation Road', and 'Gladsome, Humour, and Blue' are albums to love, and play, and play.
Many of you know that I am a bit of a jazzhead and ask for some recommendations to get into it
Greatest accessible piano player to introduce you to jazz?
Oscar Peterson, buy the album Night Train, you won't regret it
Saw him live many years ago, will never forget it
Really the Greatest pianist?
Impossible to say, but Bill Evans is absolutely staggering, would have loved to hear him play live.
Earl Hines, Art Tatum?
Evans You must believe in Spring is a must
Greatest saxophone player?
These are impossible questions, the answer is probably Charlie Parker but most accessible is probably Ben Webster, buy King of the Tenors
John Coltrane also must be name checked, buy Soultrane, or if you're feeling really brave A Love Supreme
The greatest trumpet player is Miles Davis. No collection is complete without Kind of Blue, the biggest selling Jazz album of all time. Usually the biggest selling means Abba, Spice Girls, One Direction, but Kind of Blue is probably also the greatest jazz album. I also love Sketches of Spain, Birth of the Cool, and more.
The kick to actually write this after promising it many times was getting a new copy of Kind of Blue in 24 bit Studio Master and listening to it on a Linn Klimax system. Wow, still amazing on my millionth listen. That's a great part of music, you can play a piece again and again and always enjoy it and find something new.
I'm not a huge Sinatra fan, although I have most of the Capitol years on vinyl. Ella is hard to beat, try The Incomparable Ella, but I keep coming back to the soul, passion and hurt of Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Simone's Gold is a brilliant, especially for a compilation, Holiday's Body and Soul is a must, Strange Fruit is the saddest song you'll ever hear
Best starting point?
There a few great compliation albums out there, but dont stop there.
They are simply a beginning, a signpost to buy what you will enjoy even more
Buy The Best of Blue Note, or Jazz on a Summers Day, or Riverside Jazz, Keynote recordings
Out at a great gig last night.
Little known band from Saskatoon, google it, called The Deep Dark Woods. Atmospheric and intriguing with a touch of country, folk and melancholy. Check them out on Spotify/Napster, album called The Place I left behind. McHughs Basement was packed and the small appreciative audience enjoyed it all.
How do you hear about gigs like this? Well the William that recommended Sun Kil Moon also recommended them and I saw that they were playing at the last minute in the Sunday Times What's On guide. Lucky to see it!
* Check out Sun Kil Moon, ethereal mood music that's addictive, thanks William
We all love finding new good music, even if it is actually old good music. Music issues in this section are updates on great music that we have been listening to lately, or reminded of.
If you would like some advice or recommendations about choosing music do drop us a line. My number one tip is to get Napster or Spotify on a Linn DS or Sonos. This will allow you to experience lots of music for little cost and sift through what you want to buy to add to your music library, happy listening.
Check out Malcolm Holcombe, excellent, Thanks Brendan,
and then go to Roscoe Holcomb, no relation, Thanks Roger
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We are not ashamed to say that we are geeks about our gear, usually so that you don’t have to be.
We also know that some of you are also geeks and love this stuff, so this page is for those of you who want to know more about technical issues. This might be about amplifiers, turntables, speaker design, video switching, or anything that can be truly perplexing.
The solutions can be based on design or technical papers that can help to explain some of the intricacies of hifi designs, although some will just be old fashioned sound advice. Each issue is challenging, and will hopefully make you look at products and technologies in a new light.
Hope you enjoy it