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John Brown (New York, USA)

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (PS2)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (PS2)

4 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great game, but..., 1 Oct. 2007
I have been buying pro evo on ps2 ever since it started, but the frustrating thing is that it is always released on the last day of my holidays, like pro evo 2008. Some stadiums such as Old Trafford and the Bernabeu are also not on the new game, probably in persuasion to buying the ps3/xbox 360 version. They also obviously cannot be bothered to design any of the new stadiums, for example Wembley and the Emirates for the ps2, which is a shame. I will definately buy it but you should keep pro evo 6, as it is obviously not very developed at all from it.

The Complete Africa / Brass Sessions
The Complete Africa / Brass Sessions
Price: £11.22

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Coltrane recordings, 9 Aug. 2007
Never mentioned in the same breath as Giant Steps or A Love Supreme, or even Blue Train, the Africa/Brass sessions come together to rank as some of John Coltrane's most underrated recordings. Obviously the reason it has not got as much attention as the first two albums I mentioned is that it can not be considered as one of his ground-breaking records. Nevertheless, it acts as a fine bridge between Coltrane's middle period (Blue Train, Giants Steps etc.) and his later period (A Love Supreme, Sun Ship etc.). While his playing is by no means mainstream, it is still very listenable to those who find his post A Love Supreme work a step too far.

The material is greatly varied containing hard driving swing (Song of the Underground railroad and Blues Minor), a waltz (Greensleeves) and one of Coltrane's first experiments into dispensing a western time signature and in its place using a drone (Africa). The remaining track, The Damned Don't Cry, features a 12/8 head with a medium blues solo section.

Greensleeves is strikingly similar to My Favourite Things, and features Coltrane on soprano sax with a superb, if slightly haunting orchestral accompaniment. Next up is Song of the Underground railroad which is a frantically fast swing number which features Coltrane ripping through the changes as only he could. It is arguably the highlight of the album, and yet it is a wonder why the track is still relatively unknown all these years later. The Damned Don't Cry features a comparitively mediocore solo by Coltrane though the main theme is played intriguingly on trumpet by Booker Little. Blues Minor does exactly what is says on the tin with another storming solo from Coltrane (It was upon hearing this track that I decided to buy the album.). Africa is the most unusual piece in these sessions and was a sign of things to come from later in Coltrane's career. The discs feature three quite different takes of this piece and it is up to the listener to decide what their favourite one is.

It is worth mentioning how important the orchestra (conducted by Eric Dolphy) is to these sessions. It heightens the intensity of Coltrane's playing (as if it needed it) and it provides an interesting and, as I mentioned in the title, unique setting for his playing. For this reason alone these sessions are worth owning.

While the music is first class the one downside is the order of the tracks which are played in the order that they were recorded. By the third track you are already at an alternative take of Greensleeves! The solution to this is to make a mix CD (or something similar) of your own.

To conclude, the Africa/Brass sessions are a supremely accessible set of recordings of John Coltrane at his very best. Anybody who's a fan of him should own them.

Ray Brown's Bass Method: Essential Scales, Patterns and Exercises (Eagle Large Print)
Ray Brown's Bass Method: Essential Scales, Patterns and Exercises (Eagle Large Print)
by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The clue is in the title, 4 Jan. 2007
If you are looking at this page it is probably because you have an interest in playing, or learning how to play jazz on the Bass. However, those of you expecting the book to give a detailed analysis of the way that the great late Ray himself 'plays jazz' on the Double Bass will be greatly disappointed. He does not give samples of his own lyrical Bass lines, instead there are 5 or 6 pages dedicated to what he calls "Blues Patterns" - a series of very basic walking lines in the Blues. These are useful for a complete beginner but are unlikely to offer much even to the intermediate player. In terms of solos, he has written a series of exercises in all keys, which are certainly good for technique ( a point which I will return to later) but are most definitely not 'licks' from his own playing.

So is there a good reason for buying this book? There are many reasons why you should and many reasons why I have given it 5 stars. The title is 'Ray Brown's Bass Method'. And that's exactly what it is - a method for playing the Bass - not a method for playing Jazz. Invitably it leans towards the Jazz style (all exercises are pizzicato), and therefore the best way to describe the book is as a METHOD FOR JAZZ TECHNIQUE, and when viewed in this way it is truly a 5 star item. It starts with some very simple exercises (major scales) which are useful for a beginner, although I would recommmend a classical study book with it as well as the difficulty level rises sharply with some tricky exercises in tenths and extension exercises. The book covers almost all the techniques you need to have the facility to play Jazz - for example a C major scale played entirely on the A string tells you how thorough this book is. There are exercises in thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths and octaves, Ray leaves no element of technique untouched. I have been working my way through it and I have noticed my technique improve considerably as I seem to be able to get 'get around' around it so much easier.

In conclusion, if you want to boost your technique as a Bass player (this method could easily be used on electric as well) then you won't find a better book on the market to help you do it.

Ronaldo - A Legend In The Making [DVD]
Ronaldo - A Legend In The Making [DVD]
Dvd ~ Football
Offered by Unique_Item_Bazaar
Price: £6.08

3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what it says on the tin, 31 Aug. 2006
If you want to buy this dvd make sure that you read what it says on the synopsis - the dvd contains highlights of Ronaldo in action at France 98 and nothing more. This is not a review of big Ron's career as it suggests on the front cover (if you do want one I recomend buying the 'el fenomeno' dvd which is in italian). The DVD itself is good if you know what are expecting. It shows every half-decent highlight of the great man during the tournament accompanied with the slightly irritating commentary of Barry Davies. Extras include some statistics about the Brazil team and Ronaldo himself.

To conclude, you should only really consider buying this dvd if you are generally a Ronaldo fan - not just a fan of football.

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