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S J Buck (Kent, UK)
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Inside Llewyn Davis [DVD] [2014]
Inside Llewyn Davis [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Oscar Isaac
Price: £4.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars May annoy some, but you may love it., 7 April 2015
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Well this is an oddball movie, but its the Coen Brothers so what do you expect! I enjoyed it, but I could understand why it might not be everyone's cup of tea. The story follows Llewyn Davis as he tries to break into the big time on the folk circuit. Oscar Isaac plays the part brilliantly and did all his own singing, and did it very well. Sadly for Llewyn nothing is really happening for him. During what is a road movie of sorts we get to meet quite a few quirky characters in typical Coen Brothers style, including Justin Timberlake, and John Goodman as a Jazz musician. The music is well performed by the cast.

There is an interesting parallel with Martin Scorcese's "After Hours" which is similar thematically in some ways. If you liked that film and you like folk music you'll probably love this film.


Engraved 1oz Shot Glass & Absolut Vodka Blue in Silk Gift Box For 18th/21st/30th/40th/50th Birthday/Bridesmaid/Best Man/Usher/Wedding Gift
Engraved 1oz Shot Glass & Absolut Vodka Blue in Silk Gift Box For 18th/21st/30th/40th/50th Birthday/Bridesmaid/Best Man/Usher/Wedding Gift
Offered by Cr8AGift
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent quality for the money, 7 April 2015
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I bought this as a birthday present for my sister, who likes a drop of Vodka. The engraving was reasonably well done and the packaging was as nice as the photos indicate. No quibbles for the money I paid and given a suitable recipient I'd buy this again. The Vodka was good!


The Sting [Blu-ray] [1973]
The Sting [Blu-ray] [1973]
Dvd ~ Paul Newman
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A near perfect movie, 7 April 2015
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This is a near-perfect movie, which remains one of my all-time favourites. First and foremost it has some terrific acting performances notably from Paul Newman and Robert Shaw, both of whom are in scene stealing form. The poker game on the train is the undoubted highlight for me. Newman's pretend drunk is one of the best I've ever seen and Robert Shaw's unspoken fury is brilliant. Thanks to the script, the film, which is over over two hours long doesn't have a wasted frame.

The bluray is good and for a 40+ year old film it looks as good as I've ever seen it. There were a few places where I thought they maybe could have made a bit more effort, but overall its well worth having over the DVD. Extras are not exceptional, there are some interesting interviews, but the main reason to buy this is the film itself.


The Thick Of It: The Complete Series 1-3 & Specials [DVD]
The Thick Of It: The Complete Series 1-3 & Specials [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Addison
Price: £10.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Swearing - tick, very funny - tick, buy this - tick!, 5 April 2015
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The Thick Of It continues the tradition of great BBC comedy that pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable. As a portrayal of the workings of Government it may or may not be that accurate. Based on the interviews (with MPs) in the extras to this set it appears, that as you would expect, it is an exaggerated form of what really happens the day to day running of a Government department.

But in all honesty I don't really care whether its especially accurate or not, because it is very funny, mainly very well written and superbly acted by the entire cast. Sadly Chris Langham's minister only appears in series 1 & 2, but his replacement Rebecca Front is equally good in series 3.

Of course Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker is the headline grabbing actor in the show, and rightly so. His performance is brilliant, and as vitriolic and nasty as he can be, there is something engaging and likeable (strange as that may seem) about his character.

I don't think this show quite reaches the dizzy of heights of Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister, but it gets very close on occasions, and I for one will be watching the DVDs many times.


Zoot Sims Quartet in Paris (plus 3 bonus tracks)
Zoot Sims Quartet in Paris (plus 3 bonus tracks)
Price: £9.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Zoot Tenor!, 4 April 2015
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The first CD of Zoot Sims I've got in my collection, and it has to be said long overdue. A terrifically melodic and easy to listen to (without being easy listening) Tenor Sax player, backed for the most part by a French Trio. My reason for only giving 4 stars is the French Pianist, who is fine as a accompanist, but his solos I find rather weak and at times cliched. But Zoot Sims is in great form gliding through solos with effortless invention. On ballads he sounds a bit like Ben Webster sometimes, but he his just as capable of the odd distorted squeak to keep you interested. Although this advertised as being live, reading the sleeve notes it seems there is actually a good chance it was recorded in the studio.

The last four tracks feature the great Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke. Powell was past his best by this time but gives a good performance here. These additional tracks add some historical interest to the original album. I have played this half a dozen times since I purchased it and I'm certainly going to add to my Zoot Sims collection now.


Burgmuller: 25 Progressive Pieces Op. 200 (with CD) (Alfred Masterwork Edition: CD Edition)
Burgmuller: 25 Progressive Pieces Op. 200 (with CD) (Alfred Masterwork Edition: CD Edition)
by Johann Burgmuller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Back in the 1960s...., 4 April 2015
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As a child back in the late 60s I was lucky enough to be given Piano lessons by my parents and at my first lesson my teacher played me "Ballad" from this collection. Curiously enough she never played it as ballad as I understand it and I never have either. Anyway I had a copy of this which has slowly fallen apart over the years so I decided to replace it, even though I have moved on and can sight read most of these now. But its a bit like me owning all the Thunderbirds DVDs!

This is a nicely produced version, and to get the CD with the pieces being played properly, is a benefit to anybody taking up the Piano. The book isn't for complete beginners, but you could certainly progress to it after a relatively short time. The pieces are around the grade 4 level and vary in style and speed. Highly recommended.


Her Greatest Hits
Her Greatest Hits
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £15.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Great songwriting and stylistically varied., 4 April 2015
This review is from: Her Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
As the previous reviewer said this collection is great. And don't think it's just Tapestry and few extra songs. Kicking off with the brilliant "Jazzman", highlighted by Tom Scott's fabulous Sax playing, the quality never lets up. Outside of the Tapestry tracks (4) and "Jazzman" my other favourites are "Been to Caanan" and "Sweet Seasons". That said "Corazon" is again something different and another track I really like.

Carole King is, or was, a brilliant songwriter and this collection is a better way to start your collection than Tapestry; great though that album is.


Jazz 4 Piano
Jazz 4 Piano
by Brian Priestley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars More great transcriptions, 3 April 2015
This review is from: Jazz 4 Piano (Paperback)
These are very good transcriptions by Brian Priestley (a professional Jazz player himself) and if you are a good reader, and/or have a lot of patience these will reward you. This is the fourth volume of what was originally a set of six books. There are still copies of the first volume available (which I've reviewed as well) on Amazon. You may struggle to find the others.

This volume has the following transcriptions:
This Can't be Love - Joe Zawinul
Yesterdays - Ray Bryant
Bill Bailey - Eubie Blake
Just One of those things - Joanne Brackeen
Isn't She Lovely - Monty Alexander
I Got Rhythm - Art Tatum
Speak Low - Sonny Clark
Grandma's Ball - Jimmy Blythe
When the Saints go marching In - Art Hodes
Blooz For Dook - Brian Priestley

Brian Priestley gives a one paragraph summary about each transcription at the start of the book, which generally includes a record label reference, so you can find the original recording. At least then you'll be able to hear what its supposed to sound like!

For non-jazz players out there interested in dipping their toes in the genre of Jazz Piano, these pieces are mainly in the high grades classical terms. At first glance this book appears easier than the first volume I reviewed, but don't be fooled these are still in the grade 7 to 8 region (or higher) in classical terms because of some ferocious tempos. Joanne Brackeen's performance is marked with a tempo of 1 crotchet = 360!!


Jazz Piano: Solo Piano Transcriptions from Recordings of Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson etc v. 1
Jazz Piano: Solo Piano Transcriptions from Recordings of Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson etc v. 1
by Brian Priestley
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Tough to play - but great transcriptions, 3 April 2015
You get what you pay for! These are very good transcriptions by Brian Priestley (a professional Jazz player himself) and if you are a good reader, or have a lot of patience these will reward you. The Amazon description is slightly wrong as there is no Art Tatum in this volume, although he is featured in volume 4, which is one of the other 5 volumes available. There were 6 originally - now you may struggle to find them now.

This volume has the following transcriptions:
Body and Soul - Duke Ellington
Tea for Two - Oscar Peterson
The Night Has a Thousand Eyes - Horace Silver
All the things you are - Bud Powell
All of You - Herbie Hancock
Frankie and Johnny - Errol Garner
When you and I were young, Maggie - Fats Waller
This is New - Chick Corea
Maple Leaf Rag - Earl Hines
Billy Boy - Ahmad Jamal

Brian Priestley gives a one paragraph summary about each transcription at the start of the book, which generally includes a record label reference, so you can find the original recording. At least then you'll be able to hear what its supposed to sound like!

For non-jazz players out there interested in dipping their toes in the genre of Jazz Piano, these pieces are mainly in the grade 7 to 8 region in classical terms. Additionally the difficulty of getting the rhythmic feel right will make these hard-work for anyone.


Jazz Icons - Oscar Peterson - Live In '63, '64 And '65 [DVD] [1963] [2008]
Jazz Icons - Oscar Peterson - Live In '63, '64 And '65 [DVD] [1963] [2008]
Dvd ~ Oscar Peterson
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.48

5.0 out of 5 stars The Maharajah of the Piano, 28 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An astounding find this, capturing Oscar Peterson at the height of his powers. In fact this whole series of DVDs is a Jazz treasure trove. With Oscar Peterson is his classic trio of the 60s. The 'relentless' Ray Brown is on bass and Ed Thigpen is on drums. Its all very good and in places unbelievably good. I'm only going to talk about one track - Ellington's C Jam Blues. I'd seen this on Youtube and hoped it was the version on this set as its amazing. Starting off with solo Piano intro and switching through the gears Oscar Peterson just burns up the Piano like very few others have ever done. My words can't describe how good it is. In fact I'd like to paraphrase a quote from a Benny Green's review of Peterson's great "The Trio" album. "I wouldn't dare compare Oscar Peterson's Piano playing with pre-raphaelite art, its far too good for that."

The will to swing; and never bettered.


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