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S J Buck (Kent, UK)
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Jazz at the Philharmonic
Jazz at the Philharmonic
Offered by ROCK ON RECORDS: Muchos VINYL + great 45's for your JUKEBOX!
Price: £16.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The Duke, his Orchestra and great music, 5 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This has been out for a while now (first issued 1997), but I only saw it recently and bought a cheap copy. For what I paid its a bargain. You get 51 mins of Duke and his orchestra recorded in the 60s, playing some well known classics and a few lesser known pieces. the track listing is:

1. Midriff
2. Ad Lib on Nippon
3. Chelsea Bridge
4. Happy-Go-Lucky Local
5. Blood Count
6. Harmony in Harlem
7. Things Aint What they Used to Be
8. Drag
9. Rockin' in Rhythm
10. (The) Second Portrait of the Lion

Every track I listened to I thought "thats my favourite" and then the next track came on... But as an amateur Pianist I like to hear the Piano so for me the last track, which is a tribute to Willie the Lion Smith is my overall favourite, as aside from subtle drums is solo stride Piano. The Duke could really play, as if you needed telling! But the whole album is a treat, with great playing from among others, Johnny Hodges, Sam woodyard and Cat Anderson.


Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Edition: Sheet music

4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but worth searching out, 28 Feb. 2015
My old copy of this is now falling apart, but if you can find a copy its well worth having. As a Pianist myself Elton was an early inspiration so as a teenager to find you could get the sheet music to one of my favourite albums was just heaven. All the songs from the original album are included.

Pianistically its a bit of mixed bag. Elton is a very good Piano player, but don't buy this if want an accurate representation of what he plays. Apart from perhaps the opening section of Funeral for a Friend there a lot of compromises to fit in the melody line, bass part etc. Also worthy of mention is that there is no transcription of the Piano solo on Bennie and the Jets, and part of Funeral for a Friend is just wrong.

But overall its a good volume and a lot of fun can had from the songs within.


The Johnny Mandel Songbook (Piano Vocal Guitar)
The Johnny Mandel Songbook (Piano Vocal Guitar)
by Johnny Mandel
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Great songs for the Piano, 20 Feb. 2015
Johnny Mandel is a superb writer of great songs, winning both academy and grammy awards for his music. This volume of sheet music contains some of his finest compositions, including the theme from M.A.S.H, Emily, The Shadow of your Smile and A Time for Love.

The others songs included are:
Living Without You
Where do you Start?
Cinnamon and Clove
El Cajon
A Christmas Love Song
The Shining Sea
First
You Are There
Close Enough For Love
Lovers After All
I Never Told You
Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
I Wish I'd Met You
I Won't Believe My Eyes
Unless It's You

The arrangements are very good, with lovely voicings and I believe are copies of Mandel's own hand written arrangements. But they aren't so complex that the average pianist/reader should be put off. I suppose in classical terms they are around the grade 4 to grade 6 level.

If you aren't familiar with Mandel's work then check out a few of the many great Jazz musicians who have covered his songs. Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans to name but two.

A highly recommended volume of sheet music.


Elton John - To Russia With Elton [DVD] [2014]
Elton John - To Russia With Elton [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Elton John
Price: £13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Elton and Ray in Russia, 13 Feb. 2015
Elton John was past his career high when this was filmed in 1979. Punk and New Wave were 'in' and Elton was seen as a dinosaur. Having announced his retirement from the stage 2 years earlier this was Eltons attempt to get back to basics.

The first half of the show is just Elton and Pianos. For anybody who is a fan this is reason enough to buy the DVD.
Its also worth saying that apart from a few chorus/tremelo effects the Piano sound is not cluttered with strings like on some modern recordings. His modern Piano generates a string sound based on what he's playing - which I don't like!

The second half of the show starts with Elton playing Funeral for a Friend and the entry of Ray Cooper. This is done in suitably dramatic style and Ray takes the show to a different level. Ray Cooper is a very talented all round musician and not only plays percussion (which he is famous for) but also adds more keyboards, vibraphone, marimba etc. He also has a great stage presence and on the evidence of this film almost steals the show from Elton John. With just the two of them some songs are transformed and I particularly liked the version of 'I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself' with Ray Cooper playing Marimba behind his back!

The documentary side of the film is pretty good and Elton John and Ray Cooper get to see many spectecular sites in Russia, and prove themselves to be a bit more intelligent than your average pop stars (we see them discussing which Grand Piano they would like at one point). I had the video of this recording many years ago and a key scene was cut from it. At one point Elton (having had a quite a lot to drink) and Ray jam on "I Heard it through the Grapevine" with a local band at the hotel they are staying in. Well this scene is back in the DVD.

Fans will enjoy this, and I suspect that it would make a good introduction to those people who aren't diehards as well.


Oscar Peterson - Tracks: Artist Transcriptions Piano by Peterson, Oscar (2013) Paperback
Oscar Peterson - Tracks: Artist Transcriptions Piano by Peterson, Oscar (2013) Paperback
by Oscar Peterson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but difficult!, 8 Feb. 2015
This is a book of sheet music, that gives you the a complete transcription of the Oscar Peterson solo Piano album 'Tracks'. The album is one of my all time favourites and as an amateur Pianist myself I've long been after the transcriptions of the 10 tracks on the album.

My particular favourite and the one that I have wanted to see written out is "Give Me the Simple Life". This starts in locked hands mode (as invented by Milt Buckner) and is a striking arrangement. The humorously titled "A Little Jazz Exercise" is also a gem. There are also some lovely ballad arrangements which show a side of Oscar Peterson that is frequently forgotten about.

You will need to a good reader and have good technique, or be prepared to practice these endlessly to make them sound the way they do when Oscar Peterson plays them. I'd certainly recommend getting a copy of the album. In classical terms 9 out of 10 of these pieces are around grade 8 standard. In a number of cases I think they are well beyond grade 8. The lovely version of "A Child Is Born" is the only exception, which might be around grade 6 or more likely grade 7. Still you wouldn't buy a book of Oscar Peterson sheet music and expect anything else.

Good luck!


Canon in D: Sheet (Alfred Masterwork Editions)
Canon in D: Sheet (Alfred Masterwork Editions)
by Johann Pachelbel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice medium difficulty arrangement, 8 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a nice Piano arrangement of the famous Cannon in D by Pachelbel. The piece starts off very simply and even a relative beginner to the Piano would be able to play the first page or so. As it develops it probably gets up to around grade 4/5 standard, but never really beyond the that. The basis of the piece is a very simple chord sequence which when I first started playing it I realised reminded me of something else very famous. After playing a few times I then just played the first three chords over and over on there own. Its the same as the first three chords of "Let it Be" by The Beatles. Anyway I digress.

So its not too difficult, its a wonderfully melodic piece of music, and I recommend it.


UPVC Window Handles - Inline Replacement Locking Espag - White
UPVC Window Handles - Inline Replacement Locking Espag - White
Offered by Security Hardware Ltd
Price: £2.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality for the price, 8 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At the price this was a great buy. It was easy to fit and replaced an old lock that had long since worked properly. How long it will last I'm not sure but for the moment I think the ratio price to quality justifies its high rating. I didn't bother to check whether this item would fit my window and took a chance. Luckily it seems they are mainly one standard size. There are more expensive locks which come with multiple sizes of spindles. But this one had just the one and fitted perfectly. Maybe I was lucky!


RAGE (PS3)
RAGE (PS3)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £8.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old but good., 10 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: RAGE (PS3) (Video Game)
Rage is a lot of fun, although being 4 years old now its beginning to show its age. The graphics are still good, but the expansive world actually doesn't seem that big to me. It is story driven and the concept of free roaming is there but its limited.

I've only been playing it for 4 days now, in single player mode and have a feeling that I'm not that far from the end of the game. Admittedly I'm only playing it at normal level, but I'm not particularly good; being quite old!

The array of weapons you get to use and the driving are fun. For large parts of the game you are in a special ark suit, which has a unique quality and allows you to effectively recharge yourself, and any enemies (who may think you are dead) get zapped when you miraculously come back to life!

So overall its showing its age now, but its still fun, and good value for money as you can get it very cheap now.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2015 4:34 PM GMT


Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Running Watch - Black/Red
Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Running Watch - Black/Red
Price: £79.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good gear, 8 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had mine for about 5 months now and am most impressed. The time I used to spend working out how far I should run and at what pace I should be running is now simplified, as the Garmin tells me everything I need to know.
Sure its quite basic by some standards, but I find it very accurate, and its pace measurement is very useful. Where I live it picks up the satelitte signal with about a minute or so, depending on the weather conditions. This is fine with me as it means I get to walk a little at the start which is always useful as a warm up.

The battery life is not good enough for ultra-marathons and even fully charged I'm not sure it would do a marathons. But since I've had the watch the most I've run is 10 miles. In May I'm doing an ultra and may take it along to see how long the battery will last. I'll post an update if I do.

Syncing it with the Garmin site on-line is fairly straightforward and this provides you with more information than the watch provides. Such as your route (on a map) etc.

All in all I'm very happy with it.


Blue Moves
Blue Moves
by Elton John
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Sheet music, 8 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Blue Moves (Paperback)
This is the sheet music volume that relates to the Elton John album of the same name.
The music is fairly accurate and includes all the songs and instrumental sections (including "Starter for" and the long section at the beginning of Tonight") of the album.
I'd put the music around the grade 5 to grade 7 area in classical terms.
It's fun to play, and sadly difficult to get hold of now at a sensible price, which is a shame as my very old copy is falling apart!


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