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Reviews Written by
Dave Benn "milarepa_dave" (London)

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A Proper Introduction to Lucky Thompson: Just One More Chance
A Proper Introduction to Lucky Thompson: Just One More Chance
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £3.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post war jazz, 3 Sept. 2010
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Lucky Thompson was the first Africa American guest to play at Ronnie Scott club when it was in Gerard Street which is now London's China Town.
He had been proceded by Zoot Simms, those days when due to Musician Union rules musicians from USA couldn't get work permits in UK.
The tracks on this CD come from the post war period & show that the be bop revolution was established & how the music was wide spread across the US.
Those days saw beatniks who seemed to be disenchanted with a post war world snapping their fingers to music of this type.
It is not just a blast from the past but beautiful inventive music & as good as any from that period.

The History of King Richard III (Hesperus Classics)
The History of King Richard III (Hesperus Classics)
by Sir Saint Thomas More
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More from The Man for all Seasons, 3 Aug. 2010
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Here are the words of the most influencial man in the early reign of Henry the 8th. Here Sir Thomas More details the life of Richard the third in what must be regarded as maybe propaganda because Richard the third had been defeated by the father of Henry the 8th & any posible claiments to the throne had to be disgraced.
The text could have been a inspiration to Shakespear for his famed interpretaion in his play of the same subject.
More's use of language is aceptable to a modern reader & is a good look at these most troubled times.

Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching
Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching
by Livia Kohn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.25

5.0 out of 5 stars A closer look at the words of the wise man of Tao, 3 Aug. 2010
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{Lao-tsu and the Tao-te-ching} is a closer look at how the words attributed to the great man Lao-tzu as he departed from China many years ago. Livia Kohn & Michael Lafargue are the editors but also have articles in the book. A great scope is covered with this book covering the time span of hundreds of years & how this eninigmatic subject developed.
The varied subjects covered are writen by different scholars begining with {Ancient Myths} detailing how Lao-tse became regarded as a god. Later in the book in Chinese Interpretations looks in depth at comentaries by by Wang Pi & He-shang-kung & the ritual use of Taoism, viewing its philological interpretaion. The original Tao-te-ching says "The Tao which one can speak is not the eternal {or permanent} Tao." yet words are still a medium of comunication used to convey the obscure nature of the philosophy of this inspirational subject.
Later on is a section on is a section on Modern Reading which is a criticla discussion of the reception of the Tao-te_ching in the west & it's posible relevance to modern day life.
Later {Critical Methods} looks in depth on recent findings of the Tao-te-ching's linguistic structure & probable date of its origin; plus a hermeneutic historical enquiry into its original meaning.
Livia Kohn & Michael Lafargue edit this book which contans articles from twelve various different people who have gazed in depth into this topic.
For me this book explains this subject which though well known in world relgions has not been writen on in the west & considering that here we have an in depth look at this subject that can related to many modern ideas from science & physics to Indian Vedanta & Buddhism or Chi Gong & Tai Chi. Also how Buddhism became favoured in the Tang Dynasty & interpreted by the Taoist establishment.
Its a great book which is understanable for a lay man & well worth the expenditure.

Urban Spa Soothing Gel Eye Mask
Urban Spa Soothing Gel Eye Mask

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Health, 2 April 2010
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This product creates a weird sensation but once the eye socket has adjusted to the cold sensation around the eyes then it is possible to relaxe into the relief from eye strain. I use it straight from the fridge but it can be used at room tempurature.
Its a good investent if you suffer from eye ache be it from looking too long a the computer screen to just a wish to switch off the mind and slowly float down stream.

Jazz Canto
Jazz Canto
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £5.15

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz poetry, 2 April 2010
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This review is from: Jazz Canto (Audio CD)
This was recorded in the days of pre history that was well before the date that the Beatles invaded the charts & the phenomena that was called Beatnick grew as a sub culture devloping eventualy into the Hippy movement
In the Britain the beats seemed to have a different focus; in the the UK beatnicks seemed to be more interested in anti Nuclear movement & Trad Jazz a short lived British craze that was kicked into touch with the advent of the Liverpool Beat craze. Beaticks in USA seemed to be into modern jazz which was coupled with poetry at times.
Though the books of Kerouac gained popularity there was an almost social anthropology book "Holy Barbarians" at the time by Lawrence Lipman that narated events in Venice West LA. The events told in this book captivated me and changed my life from that moment on.
This was the period that Dylan Thomas had drunk himself to death and seemed to provide inspiration to many younger people wishing to find an alternative to the "Reds under the bed" attitude of the Senator McCarthy witch hunts. Author Lawrence Lipman organised a recording session of Jazz & Poetry which had certain appeal to the listener.
There are some gems here! Hoagy Carmichael reads one poem as does John the father of David Caradine.The musicians all seem to be from the West Coast Jazz School of the 1950's with Bud Shank and Chico Hamilton in attendence. there are some Dylan Thomas poems read but not by Thomas but this was the first time I was introduced to the craft and sullen art of the bard of Pembroke. This CD for me is a trip down memory lane as I started on my journey and still is fresh in inspiration. It could be of little popuarity these days but is well worth listening to as to how the Beat movement inspired the Hippies and blazed the trail towards the counter culture a decade later.
It could be archived alongside Michael Garrick's Poetry and Jazz recording see my review for this CD but on its own is worth regarding as a unique event in the combination of spoken word and Jazz.

Persian Fire: The First World Empire, Battle for the West
Persian Fire: The First World Empire, Battle for the West
by Tom Holland
Edition: Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars Greek History, 2 April 2010
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Well put together and with repeated listening the true heroic story and facts can sink into the brain. These CDs are constantly playing for six months now.

Poetry And Jazz In Concert, Before Night/Day Ep
Poetry And Jazz In Concert, Before Night/Day Ep
Price: £27.97

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz & poetry, 10 Jan. 2010
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I had this recording in the pre Beatles age when Michael Garrick Quintet in a jazz & poetry LP of an event was staged in 1961 with the added enjoyment of Joe Harriot on trumpet & Shake Keen playing sax.
Here you can hear a the late Adrian Mitchel, Dannie Abse & Jeremy Robson reading their works accompanied by the Michael Garrick Quintet. There is also an added bonus of Writer & Poet Laurie Lee author of {Cider with Rosie} reading his poems that use the flavour of juicy west county apples with the soft country burr of his West country accent.
Gaze into the world of English bohemian beatniks long before the word Hippy had come into general use. Here is a glimpse into our cultural past. For me this was a fond memory. Thank you Vocational creating enjoyment for an aging geezer.

Dr Andrew Weil's Mind-Body Toolkit
Dr Andrew Weil's Mind-Body Toolkit
Price: £19.28

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your inner being demands ease, 26 Dec. 2009
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Here is a great audio mental work out from DR Andrew Weil beginning with basic breath meditation techniques led by Dr Weil then added to with mindfulness techniques by Jon Kabbat-Zinn author of {Full Catastrophe Living} director of the famous Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre.
The 2nd CD ends with sound therapist Kimba Arem which is proceeded by by Martin Rossman MD leading a worshop into using imagination to aid relaxation.
It is just the ground work of basic meditation with added work out for your own good.
Stress reduction should be practiced in the work place with meditation rooms to aid workers in any industry be it factory or banking & commerce.
Our well being as species demands a sense of ease within the frantic game play of our work day life.
Put on the CD follow the instructions and take it easy in inner peace as you move forward in time.

The Chachnamah - An Ancient History of Sind
The Chachnamah - An Ancient History of Sind
by Rana Saad
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Sind history, 26 Dec. 2009
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This is an account of how Islam took over the reins of power of Pakistan in the 7th century but which reads like any struggle for power with all the intrigue of Italy in the renaissance.
A drama that would have pleased Shakespeare or Sophocles and is a translation of a work by Ali the son of Muhammad Kufi {1216} that recollects events of the 6th century when Sind was ruled by Buddhist Kings. Due to intrigue led by Brahmins the Arabs seem to have been invited into the region to defeat these Buddhist Kings. The Brahmins then would administer the country for the invading Arabs.
The Hindu population was left alone but the Buddhist had been driven out of the region then eventually the whole of India. It was doubtful that the invasion could have occurred without the involvement of Brahmins.
The story begins with a court romance and the Queen becoming romantically enamoured by a leading councillor from this a coupe occurs and the Councillor becomes King which is not liked by the Brahmins. From this dissatisfaction eventually the Arabs are invited to help change the government.
The way the story follows has a flavour off the Arabian Nights because it is written about a king as if a story teller was telling the story and is in reality in his praise begining with the words;
"The reciters of stories and the authors of histories have related as follows. The town of Alor was the capital city of Hind and Sind. It was a town adorned with various kinds of royal buildings, villas, gardens, fountains, streams, meadows and trees (and was) situated on the banks of a river called the Mehran. In this beautiful and splendid city there lived aa king whose name was Sahiras son of Sahasi Rai. This king had innumerable riches and immense buried treasures. His justice was well known in the world and his liberality and bravery (were) widely spread. The limits of his dominions extended to the boundaries of Kashmir, on the west to Makran, on the south to the sea."
The events narrated in this book are the start of a country that eventually after partition created a country of Pakistan though with this the ancient country of Sind was divided. This book reads like an old romance with all the court action and intrigues in a time when before England was invaded by and Vikings Europe was struggling with the end of the Roman direction that led to a form of stability. It is not just another forgotten history but an obscure insight into a forgotten history from a little known part of the world.

The Classic Tracks
The Classic Tracks
Offered by HANG LOOSE Records
Price: £9.20

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the early Big Bands, 23 Dec. 2009
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This review is from: The Classic Tracks (Audio CD)
The period covered here on this wonderful CD range from 1926 to 1937.
As flesh as a daisy with great jazz solos that bubble along like a free flowing stream of music from a long forgotten age.
Here is a personnel which is like a Who's Who of jazz greats destined to become stars in their own right as the era of Big Bands changed into small ensembles.
The earlier stars like Buster Bailey, Benny Morton & Don Redman are here with Fats Waller showing up in the band of 1926 along with the genius of saxophone Coleman Hawkins.
As time elapsed into the thirties Rex Stewart, Benny Carter & Henry "Red" Allan joined the band. Roy "Little jazz" Eldridge also arrived on the scene as the Second World War approached.
A decade later some of these guys would be blowing up a storm with Jazz at the Phil; they don't make them like that anymore.

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