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Impressions of Mary Lou
Impressions of Mary Lou
Price: £18.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Hick's Tribute To Mary Lou Williams, 21 May 2015
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This review is from: Impressions of Mary Lou (Audio CD)
Mary Lou Williams was an influential composer, arranger and pianist who was already playing with Ellington small groups at the age of 13. Born in Atlanta but raised in Pittsburgh, John Hicks has clearly been inspired by her, using Pittsburgh accompanists in this tribute to her. This is Hicks offering his contribution to her memory with seven of her compositions and five of his own originals. Mary Lou had a strong belief in spirituals and gospel as the foundation of jazz. From the rabble-rousing opener, 'Lord Have Mercy' to the stirring finale, 'The Lord Says' from 'Music For Peace', plus the meditative 'Medi 11', John Hicks plays with an emotion and dedication.

On his own material, Hicks nods to Monk, 'Not Too Straight', unsurprisingly, as well as other luminaries, Powell Ellington, Basie and Garner on other numbers plus Mary Lou herself, notably on, 'Ballad For Mary Lou' and 'Not Just Your Blues'. This is a John Hick's tribute album that has his own signature written on it. Dwayne Dolphin (d), and Cecil Brooks,(b), especially, deserve praise as wrap-around driving and sympathetic accompanists. An excellent and intriguing recording.


Five Days in Deauville (Kindle Single)
Five Days in Deauville (Kindle Single)
Price: £0.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Poker Tale, 20 May 2015
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A chancer and a dreamer who plays low-stake poker enters the big league. The narrative describes the roller-coaster ride of a gambler. Poker is a face-to-face form involving discipline, skill, nerve and a modicum of luck. During his journey in Deauville, the emotions and tribulations of the player are delivered in captivating style, encompassing historical and geographical features of the area. 'A moth drawn to a flame' is the punter's problem and initial drive that carries the player and reader through nightmare moments. Even without an intimate knowledge of poker, (the basics are described), the atmosphere is electric and the finale awaited on the flip of a card and nerve. A glossary of poker terms is included.


A Year of Broken Promises (An Irish Family Saga Book 2)
A Year of Broken Promises (An Irish Family Saga Book 2)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and Enjoyable Easy Read, 20 May 2015
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The opening chapter begins with James McGrother unable to alleviate the pain and grief of his uncle Pat, both fishermen, at the burial of his wife Annie who had reached 'a good age'. Despite this, the ramifications of the family emotions had longstanding effects, especially with Mary, James's wife, who becomes the cornerstone of the McGrother family, affected by tragedy. They move back to Ireland on a mission of help.

This is an emotional continuation of the troubles and dilemmas of an Irish fisherman and his family. Engaging and well-written with involvement of characters who are influential whose motives are not entirely what they seem. A further episode of the McGrothers' saga that holds the attention. The next chapter is awaited to be read.


Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome)
Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome)
by Gavin Francis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures in being Human, 19 May 2015
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Gavin Francis treads familiar territory to me that left similar thoughts, albeit 30 years before with junior appointments in neurosurgery and other specialities. His experiences in medical school accurately reflect the sudden realisation that bodies, both as anatomical subjects to a qualified doctor's real-life breathing people with illnesses and a host of social and medical problems are smoothly depicted. He sensibly orders his chapters from head to toe. This is a humane collection of his life as a medic. His descriptions are written with an insight and a prosaic account of his encounters with patients and his senior colleagues who deliver an expertise tinged with a realistic, sometimes reflective philosophical appraisal of those in their care. We all learnt from their formal teaching and personal anecdotes.

The author delivers his essays of his medical career and training with dignity, emphasising confidentiality, delivering the best of ability and care but ultimately patients as individuals along with their relatives and social interactions. Interspersed with his practice are portraits of founders of medical progress with a tour of their historical deeds. They are engaging and well-written.

He has combined a versatile career as a General Practitioner and an accomplished author. I took the hospital route, but my empathy with his thoughts are compelling. As Hippocrates stated, 'First do No Harm'. This remains a statement that encompasses all that the NHS and it's many medical and non-medical employees should strive to achieve. This is an excellent narrative of an observant and literate author and doctor who has taken his medical career embracing the subjective encounters. Entertaining, educating and frighteningly real. Another reviewer's experiences are a personal experience, faced with the dilemma of illness diagnosis and treatment. These worries are an intense experience of life from the other side of the bed. Managing children and loved ones with leukaemia (blood cancer), taught me more than anything I had encountered in almost 40 years of medicine. Excellent for anyone involved with medical care from patient to doctor or more importantly, general readership, written in a captivating style. The parting shot is understanding, honesty and communication.


Follow Your Gut: How the Bacteria in Your Stomach Steer Your Health, Mood and More (TED)
Follow Your Gut: How the Bacteria in Your Stomach Steer Your Health, Mood and More (TED)
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Summary of the Gut and Health, 19 May 2015
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This book is written by Rob Knight, Professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Colorado University in tandem with Brendan Buhler, an award winning science journalist. The 'Gut' has become important in implicating it's bacterial contents in ailments that have long been considered undefinable in cause. The scientific basis behind these are not only being published both in evidence based medical journals but also revealed in book forms that are readable with a potential massive interest and hopefully a simplified therapy involving diet.

This explains the role of the trillions of microbes, (bacteria), that play a role in our immunity, defences against attack from unwanted agents, with the gut the obvious places for breaches of these guards. The authors explain the variations between us, from body size to illnesses. The emphasis is on intestinal gut bacteria that cause problems but also air-borne infections, the massive skin area full of bacteria, environmental factors, ethnic and genetics (hereditary influences), all interact. Taken on a tour from the nostril to the anus plus other portals of entry (genital and urinary systems), the extent of potential exposure to bacteria, viruses and food become apparent. Good versus bad and the balance between them are increasingly important. This leads to dietary advice with plenty of evidence that what you eat alters your bacteria and health from brain-related disorders, gut problems, allergies to skin problems and beyond.

Prebiotics, fermented foods, probiotics, appropriate use of antibiotics, avoidance of certain dietary elements are recommended plus basic hygiene such as hand washing. As a physician, I am excited by the 'Gut' international projects, currently involved in research that are promising in leading to a 'kind of microbial GPS', that may tell us where we are and where we should go. This is fully referenced for the scientific discussion. It is a concise and relatively short book and a companion to other excellent recent publications. Eminently readable and understandable. Illustrations add to the book's attraction.


Twisted
Twisted
Price: £3.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jaw-Dropping Intrigue, 18 May 2015
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This review is from: Twisted (Kindle Edition)
This is a tense and scary tale. 'Twisted' is the title and the narrative reflects this roller-coaster ride as it takes the reader from a gentle start to a turbo-charged journey full of thrills and breath-taking moments. Throw in vigilantes, psychologists and so-called experts who tackle the mystery of a string of murdered young girls. The 'alpha-twelve gang' are the beginnings of London's underbelly that takes us through a thriller. Dr Christopher Kellan is involved with Donny Smith a potential culprit. Their interactions lead to a gripping and dangerous heart-stopping adventure that flows along with the stream of tension. What happens next and who is doing what and why produce gasps. Hold onto the railing whilst you are carried along. Excellent.


No Safe House
No Safe House
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 18 May 2015
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This review is from: No Safe House (Kindle Edition)
As a sequel to, 'No Time to Say Goodbye', this Linwood Barclay novel falls short of the author's excellent standards. The prologue is an indication that this may be an engaging and suspenseful novel. The continuation of the Archers' saga with Terry, Cynthia and daughter Grace become entwined with a previous acquaintance, Vince, a criminal who turns the neighbourhood into 'hell in a handcart'.

The body count rises in proportion to the detriment of the plot, at best interesting, at worst incredulous. After a third of the book, hoping for more development, after 450 pages plus I was still not captivated, especially with the ending. This is disappointing, with some merits, with a few twists and perfunctory turns, from a tremendous author.


Wasps' Nest: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
Wasps' Nest: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
Price: £0.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classy Short-Story, 17 May 2015
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It always amazes me that these superb stories originated in newspapers. From the Daily Mail in 1928, the title story was published. John Harrison loved his garden that Poirot comments, 'By all that's wonderful'. Murder ensues as expected in Agatha Christie's stories here and we're not always stepping into the obvious. The gardening world is not all about vegetables. Bodies also inevitably occur that intrigue Hercule. Hastings is still at hand as his companion and a Sherlock guide, but the master is still amidst the intrigue of the story that baffles us all, but not the Monsieur. Excellent short read.


I Remember You
I Remember You
Price: £15.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Recording, 17 May 2015
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This review is from: I Remember You (Audio CD)
This was recorded in 2006, shortly before the death of this wonderful pianist. Having spent years as an accomplished accompanist from Art Blakey, David Murray to Betty Carter, he became a leader in his own right in the 1980's, both as a player and composer. This recording is solo Hicks with a powerful performance encompassing many meditative moments. Played live in front of a night club audience, Hicks dazzles. Opening with Monk's 'Reflections' and ending with the composer's 'Nutty', John Hicks is reflective and melancholy. I have no knowledge of his physical condition but his playing brings memories of Strayhorn and others. 'I Remember You', 'Solar' and his tribute to Billy Strayhorn's 'Upper Manhattan Medical Group', are just sublime. His playing of these standards and others: 'A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square', and Cole Porter's 'All Of You and 'Everytime We Say Goodbye', come across as intensely personal performances in an appropriate atmosphere , full of joy and poignancy, opening his emotions. A fitting remembrance to add to his glorious repertoire. An underestimated artist, he deserves further acknowledgement. A superb record.


Pie 'n' Mash and Prefabs - My 1950s Childhood
Pie 'n' Mash and Prefabs - My 1950s Childhood
Price: £4.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Memories, 17 May 2015
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This book is written with a London emphasis, rightly so. It also extends to other parts of Britain. My experiences as a 50's child in Birmingham take me to similar environments. My Nan had been allocated a two-bedroom pre-fab when WW2 broke out: temporary but permanent as it happened to many. Her Welsh roots were given to her many grandchildren. A cwtch ,(cuddle), came with a story and pie 'n' mash. I never had the chance to ask her the where's and why's it came from. It fitted in with her tales: 11 children and two world wars probably was enough. Her daughter, my 92 year old mother, recollects old tales of London before the Black Country and Birmingham. This book is a marvellous account of those times. Misery and mastery of the culinary arts using whatever was available. The prefab fascinated me. Corrugated iron and plaster, I thought, but within was a home and a welcome. This book captures the times to perfection. Absolutely love it.


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