It is a year since lockdown and during the whole period I have found it helpful to look upwards to the skies. It soothes and calms. It reminds us that the world goes on, mostly beyond our control. From our small roof terrace in Maida Vale and, when allowed, from elsewhere, this has been a year when clouds, mostly free from the vapour trails of aircraft, have become towering and tumbling symbols of freedom. But first: A wave of farewell to the old world we knew before lockdown. Now look upwards from the roof terrace. Continue reading “A Head In The Clouds: A Year Of Looking Upwards”
There have been days of light
There have been days of wind
There have been days of cold fingers
There have been days of leaf-dance
There have been days of silent watching
There have been days of flying crows
There have been days of chill wind
and warm breezes. Continue reading “Wytham Woods Days”
I’ve had the live album recording of this concert for as long as I can remember, first as a double LP then later as two CDs. It’s just about one of the best live albums ever, with Joni at the peak of her powers and she’s got a great little backing band! But I’d not realised that there’s also a film of the performance. And it’s a total delight! It doesn’t get any better than this.
Joni Mitchell – guitar, vocals; Pat Metheny – lead guitar; Jaco Pastorius – bass; Don Alias – drums; Lyle Mays – keyboards; Michael Brecker – saxophone; The Persuasions – backing vocals on “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” & “Shadows and Light”; Toller Cranston – skates.
Shadows and Light is Joni Mitchell’s 1980 double live album, recorded at the Santa Barbara County Bowl in September 1979 on the Mingus tour.
Three top tunes from Slim Gaillard, Dunkin’ Bagel, Chile & Beans O’Voutee, and Spanish Melody & Swing, with Bam Brown on bass and Scatman Crothers on drums. Come on in and get happy. Continue reading “Slim Gaillard Trio”
Bastien Weeger on saxophone and Julien Stella on clarinets, together called NoSax NoClar, recorded at the church of Notre Dame de Bon Port in Nantes.
Ever since they met on a train platform one day during a strike, Julien Stella and Bastien Weeger have never stopped intertwining their voices and imaginations in search of beautiful escapes. Their deliciously traveling music has the genius to invent its own imaginary folklore in the course of the dialogue, the two blowers mixing timbre, rhythm and harmony in the same gesture of a never ostentatious virtuosity and an astonishing maturity.
Three weeks later and we were back again, to begin again, this time from Ayot St Lawrence instead of Wheathampstead. It was early October and the wasps were still browsing drowsy on the ivy. Continue reading “Ayot & Ayot Again”
The River Lea at Mill Bridge in Wheathampstead one day last September. Another walk from the between lockdown daze. It seemed we were always walking back then, but nowadaze it’s let your fingers do the walking, typing keyboard dreams of freedom, stuck indoors again. Continue reading “Wheathampstead & Back Again”
The stage is set for March with an exciting new display of ceramic mosaics, tiles, plaques, mirrors and brooches by Joanna Veevers. The sign on the door might still say Closed, but if you see something you fancy just ring the bell.Continue reading “Ceramic Drawings & Assemblages”
Another Covid walk, this time back in early September last year. We’d been wondering about returning to Hatfield Forest for months, but each time we checked the National Trust website we were discouraged from visiting. The car park had to be booked in advance, and whenever we tried it appeared to be full. You will be turned away if you arrive without booking. So, in the end, we decided to drive to the nearby village of Hatfield Broad Oak and walk to the forest from there. Continue reading “Hatfield Forest”