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Bo S. Svensson "music of life" (Lund, Sweden)
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Critical Practice (New Accents)
Critical Practice (New Accents)
by Catherine Belsey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opening new Venues of literary reading, 15 Jan 2013
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Amazon's well written commentary below says what you need to know, with a surplus. I wonder, is it written by the author herself?
So what can I add? I really enjoyed reading this book, in its opening of new venues to an important discussion of modernist and postmodernist topics related to literature and cultural studies. One example: In the 1970'ies I and my generation of young inexperienced marxists read Althusser's complicated french theories on Marxism and Structuralism, found them to dogmatic and static (in German "Kapitallogik") and put them aside. Catherine Belsey's creative reading of Althusser suddenly makes sense to me in its own right and as a useful bridge to Derrida's way of using the structural language theories of Saussure and Benveniste. Prof. Belsey's book is very well written and therefore also easy to understand, the complexity of thoughts have been properly sorted out and outlined. But of course, the problems are still at hand and you will need to use your own way of dealing with them. This is no easy fix!


Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction
Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction
by Gillian Beer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating plot - Darwin's evolutionary narrative, 15 Jan 2013
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I find the book description by Amazon (below) very informative and accurate and can only add, that for me, personally, it is a very good read in its ambition to combine Darwin's plots with literary narratives from the same period. The Author has been very creative in his investigations and it is a joy to follow his thoughts. This new edition contains one new chapter in addition to the earlier editions. The concluding chapter 9: "Darwin and the consciousness of others". It also contains an updated select bibliography, further reading related to Darwin and a useful index.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 29, 2013 9:47 AM GMT


The Bridge
The Bridge
Price: £5.27

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non plus ultra!, 15 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Bridge (Audio CD)
The forever young genius on tenor Saxophone in his most formative years. After a beginning playing like a young god with the self destructive stars of the be bop generation he felt he needed a creative break as a person and as a musician, not smoking, not drinking, not taking drugs. The legend says that for a time a lone saxophone player was practising atop a New York City bridge in the dead of night, withdrawn from the jazz scene. Then in 1962 he climbed down from the bridge and recorded this album for the legendary George Avakian. With Jim Hall on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on bass and Ben Riley on drums he recorded - what did i say? - The Bridge, and a few standards and originals like Without a song, You do something to me and God bless the Child. This is so great! Do i need to say moore?
Bo S. Svensson, Lund, Sweden


T. S. Eliot and the Concept of Tradition
T. S. Eliot and the Concept of Tradition
by Giovanni Cianci
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Modernism and Tradition in high quality presentations, 15 Jan 2013
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The Concept of Tradition is very important in the literary work of T S Eliot, and the idea of tradition has been one of the key critical concepts in the literary modernism of the 20th century. Learned Essays of leading scholars in their field are here collected by the editor, Prof. Cianci, to explore this concept and compare it alongside theories of other major 20th Century critics. In the opening chapter the readers are reminded of the legal origins of tradition, as the enemy of time, change and death and as a desire to transcend the temporal limits. The images of an existing order over time is also central to T S Eliot as a moveable and thus partly changing concept in his reinvention of tradition as a Modernist concept after the so called "Great War", where a young generation of men were slaughtered 'en masse' on the battle fields of Europe and elsewhere.
The editor has divided the 14 essays into four parts: 1. Tradition and impersonality (based on Eliots Essay 'Tradition and the individual talent'), 2. Literary contexts (The French influences and Ezra Pound around 1919), 3. Art and anthropology (art historical and mythical contexts) and finally 4. A section of case studies (Eliot in the contexts of Duchamp, Ford Maddox Ford and Walter Benjamin). A good reader for my own purpose, to study tradition and myth in the context of a contemporary Swedish modernist writer. It supplies me with many fine ideas in an european context.


Four Classic Albums (Nothing But The Blues / Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre / Ellis In Wonderland / Thank You, Charlie Christian)
Four Classic Albums (Nothing But The Blues / Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre / Ellis In Wonderland / Thank You, Charlie Christian)
Price: £5.86

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perennial Herbs in Ellisland, 31 Jan 2012
I am pleasantly surprised by these four classic albums, a must for guitarists and music lovers alike. They are recorded between December 1955 and June 1960, the golden fifties of American jazz music, after be bop. The sleeve notes by Nat Hentoff and Herb Ellis himself give you all the relevant inside informations you will possibly need.
After many years neglect I have now discovered Herb Ellis as a wonderful soloist with great musical taste and a wonderful guitar sound, behind his almost anynomous appearance as a loyal part of the Oscar Peterson trio and in Norman Granz' JATP. Harmonically and rhythmically Ellis works in the succession of the founder of modern electric guitar playing, the inimitable young dead swinger Charlie Christian. The rhythmic time and harmonic excellence with which Christian played his notes set him apart from all others. One of the four Albums, "Thank you, Charlie Christian" pays tribute to the young master. In the original sleeve notes written by Ellis he points that out, and also mentions Wes Montgomery as a guitarist in the same tradition. At times Ellis reminds me a little of Montgomery too. In this Album Herb Ellis' Quintet makes use of jazz cello. The timbre of the pizzicato cello blends well with Ellis' guitar picking.
The first Album, "Nothing but the blues", is what it says, classical blues without extras, aided by Ray Brown's magical bass, round, full and steady, and Stan Levey on drums. Roy Eldridge on trumpet and Stan Getz makes it a Quintet. I am especially fond of Getz here, the cool player, but with his roots still in the old school, as well as Ellis, who is doing great work together with his team buddy, Ray Brown.
"Herb Ellis meets Jimmy Guiffre", has Guiffre arranging for a ninepiece band with Bud Shank and Art Pepper on alto,Richie Kamuca and Guiffre on tenor, Jim Hall rhythm guitar besides Ellis, Joe Mondragon on bass and Stan Levey on drums. It is the perhaps most interesting Album of the four. Guiffre had recently listened to Coltrane and Monk and, influenced by them, had started to write music with less economy and more freedom. The four saxes (reminding in sound of Woody Herman's "Four brothers", but with a much more advanced tonality) are used here building sheets of sound around the soloists, in a fascinating way, which makes me think of Gil Evans experiments in sound at the same time.
The cooperation between Ellis and Guiffre went back to their student days in Denton, Texas. "Ellis in Wonderland" is a septet built around the Oscar Peterson trio, with Guiffre, Charlie Mariano and Harry Edison as compliments. Ellis, Peterson, Brown and Stoller are as tight as ever, swinging like mad, and Ellis guitar is agile and swinging. Jimmy Guiffre surprises me with a sound quite close to Stan Getz.
To sum it up, I am impressed by the relaxed easy swing, with a keen interest for the combined handicraft, displaying the musical sense of not showing off in front of the madding crowds, but playing together for the love of it. Highly recommended!


Bass On Top (2007 Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
Bass On Top (2007 Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
Price: £6.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. PC at his best!, 7 April 2011
This is my favourite recording with one of the best bass players of all times, wellknown for his strong and beautiful tone and rock steady beat. In the fifties he played with the first famous Miles Davis Quintet, recorded with Coltrane, with Rollins, with the Wynton Kelly trio and others. He died prematurely 1969 of drugs at the age of 33. On this record he demonstrates his speciality as a soloist, to use string bass playing fast bebop phrases on "The Theme", Miles Davis signature song, and on the slow almost dreamy Yesterday. At the age of 22 he made this excellent Quartet recording, produced on a beautiful day in July 1957 by Alfred Lion in Rudy van Gelder's famous intimite studio in Hackensack, New Jersey. Kenny Burrell on guitar, Hank Jones on piano and Art Taylor on drums cooperate beautifully with Mr. PC. Their instruments blend beatifully with Paul Chambers bass and the sound makes you think that the musicians are playing in your own living room. What more can you ask for your listening pleasure?


Royal Pains - Season 1 - Complete [DVD]
Royal Pains - Season 1 - Complete [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mark Feuerstein
Price: £8.91

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, 7 April 2011
Flat characters in a story about the charm of living a luxurious life in big villas under the sun, with beautiful rich women, a lazy brother who likes driving hot cars, sipping on a drink laying in the sun, from time to time saving a beautiful and grateful woman with a quick injection shortly before she would have given up her breath. Lousy stories, day dreams for ignorant teenagers?


Four Classic Albums (At Music Inn - Vol 2 / Odds Against Tomorrow / The John Lewis Piano / Odds Against Tomorrow - Soundtrack)
Four Classic Albums (At Music Inn - Vol 2 / Odds Against Tomorrow / The John Lewis Piano / Odds Against Tomorrow - Soundtrack)
Price: £5.88

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen to this unique Pianoplayer and Composer!, 11 Jan 2011
John Lewis (1920-1981) played a prominent role in Miles Davis's 1949 nine-piece orchestra, whose recordings for Capitol Records were later dubbed "The Birth of the Cool." In 1947 Lewis replaced Thelonious Monk as the pianist with Dizzy Gillespie's fabulous first big band, which also toured in Europe. In 1952 Lewis formed The Modern Jazz Quartet with Milt Jackson, Percy Heath and his buddy from the caldron of World War II, drummer Kenny Clarke, who stayed in Paris and was replaced in 1955 by Connie Kay. MJQ stayed together for 22 years, as one of the best known and highly regarded small bands in jazz. But I find that their most creative period was in the 1950'ies. Their very best recording must have been the six tracks in this album, which they recorded at Music Inn in 1958 with highly sensitive Sonny Rollins as added attraction in Bag's Groove and A Night in Tunisia. Using a minimalist style somewhat reminiscent of Count Basie, Lewis plays with crispness, clarity and balance in a musical counterpoint with funky Milt Jackson, superbly smooth Percy Heath and cat walking Connie Kay.
Included on this CD are also an album with Lewis's pianosolos from 1957 and two recordings of John Lewis's compositions for the motion picture "Odds Against Tomorrow" (1959), starring Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan and Shelley Winters. The first recording from Oct. 1959 features MJQ, and the second from July 1959 consists of the Soundtrack from the Picture - I prefer the second one, a very good early example of the effort to meld classical and jazz music into an independent form. With Gunther Shuller, the renowned classical conductor and jazz historian, Lewis spearheaded the "third stream" movement of the late 1950s, and Gunther is one of the four French Horn players in the 22 piece Studio Orchestra, including MJQ, but with Bill Evans replacing Lewis on the piano.
Lewis was an exceptional artist from an exceptional period. His wonderfully balanced music, like that of the other top jazz artists from the early postwar years, embodied his persona and expressed the aesthetic values of a fighting generation which emerged and matured at a time when belief in the ability of human society to better itself through the elimination of social inequality and racial discrimination was widespread. "Odds against tomorrow?" When will we see another generation of jazz musicians who have as much to say?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2011 1:44 AM BST


Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
by Northrop Frye
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterclass of literary criticism, 28 Nov 2009
The wit, style, learning to open up new and unexpected perspectives in the vaste study of literature. Four essays containing four brilliant corners (Historical, Ethical, Archetypal and Rhetorical attempts) in closing in on the field of studies. Authoritarian, wise, demanding and controversial, as an established masterteller of tradition should be. Not a book for beginners, but for more demanding practitioners a must.


The Deleuze Dictionary
The Deleuze Dictionary
by Adrian Parr
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary for Creative Use, 6 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Deleuze Dictionary (Paperback)
Deleuze presumes that being is creativity, keeping with Nietzsche's observation that the world is emotive and sensory. 'The Deleuze Dictionary' has helped me to study and write on literature in a new and more creative way, different from mimetic and structural approaches. The many entries, written by specialists, enables me to search for cross references and to find new approaches. I agree with the editor A. Parr in that this dictionary "comes to being in its use" - it produces infinite openings in your own thoughts of the work of art you are dealing with, closer to the fluxus of sensuality in the text.


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