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Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester)

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Judgement
Judgement
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More "Point of Entry " than "Point of Departure.", 8 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Judgement (Audio CD)
Andrew Hill has always seemed amongst the most esoteric of Blue Note's roster of artists and the abundance of recordings he made for Alfred Lions in the 1960s almost seems to an attempt for the failure to persevere with Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols, two equally original pianists whose music took a long time to eventually chime with the jazz audience. At the time, Hill was considered to be very much of the avant garde yet, in reality, he was a visionary who seemed to plug in to Ellington's approach to the instrument and project it in to the 1990s and 2000's where he was able to employ of younger generation of musicians who had eventually caught up with him.

"Judgement" dispenses with the sonorous horns that were a feature of albums like "Point of departure," "Grass Roots" and "Black Fire" and feature a line up which mirrored the MJQ. On paper, the group appears a bit of a mismatch. Bassist Richard Davis always seemed to have his finger on the pulse regarding the more progressive jazz was being played at this time whilst not really being part of the Ornette / Taylor / Ayler school of free jazz. The partnering of pianist Hill with vibes player Bobby Hutcherson (then at his peak) was a match made in heaven and is as good as the latter's collaborations in the same format but with Herbie Hancock on piano. If there is an "odd man out", it was Coltrane's drummer Elvin Jones whose relentless drive and swing seems almost the antithesis of the more" reactive" drummers such as Roy Haynes or Tony Williams. That said, Hill's music often asymmetrical and angular music was always reliant on having a forceful drummer in the line up and, in this instance, Jones' style of drumming may have steered the music on a straighter course but the drive of this quartet is probably harder than anything else Andrew Hill recorded - or at least what I have in my collection by him.

I often think that the sign of a great record is the amount of "real music" being played. Hill's solo's on this record have a way on drawing you him. The flow of ideas and the shear originality of his improvised lines seem to reveal more with each listen. Even the child-like theme of "Yokada yokada" is features a Hill and Hutcherson delivering it separated by odd harmonic intervals, almost like a blues written by Bartok. It is probably churlish to single out any track yet "Judgement" is a colossal performance with Elvin Jones majestic on the drums. For once, Van Gelder's recording captures every nuance of the drumming and has a crispness that I wish was apparent on an album like "The Real McCoy" where the engineering somehow went wrong.

Andrew Hill has always been one of my favourite pianists. This album is something of a masterpiece and although I think that the dark and dense writing that was his hallmark is probably best served with other records (Try "Dusk" from the early 2000's for a truly fine example of this), "Judgement" probably has the edge on "Black Fire" which had hitherto been my favourite Blue Note record by him. Anyone wishing to explore the rich canon of Andrew Hill would be recommended to try "Judgement" first which is at once an opportunity to appreciate the uniqueness of his piano playing and composition as well the least abstract and hard swinging. This is a truly great album and, in my opinion, more rewarding than "Point of Departure" which is considered by many critics to be his masterpiece. Both albums are probably essential.


Calocoat Lens Cleaning Spray - Pump Action 25ml (2 x 25ml)
Calocoat Lens Cleaning Spray - Pump Action 25ml (2 x 25ml)
Offered by WestBase Direct - UK VAT
Price: £6.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I find keeping the lens of my glasses clean to be a real problem, Calocoat is the best lens cleaning product I have used and, unlike the Boots equivalent, it doesn't smear. The canisters are actually quite small but I find that 25 ml tends to last several months.


Eagle 13 A 2-Way Block Socket Splitter Mains Adaptor
Eagle 13 A 2-Way Block Socket Splitter Mains Adaptor
Price: £1.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money but note that some electrical products ..., 8 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good value for money but note that some electrical products with a "raised" plug where the lead projects out will be problematic as this 2-way block is designed for the traditional, flush plugs. There are no one / off switches with this plug. Good value for money and basic splitter.


Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor
Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor
by Adrian Goldsworthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Augustus reclaimed as the greatest Roman, 7 May 2016
Having read a great deal of books on Roman history recently, Adrian Goldsworthy's account of "August" was top of my Christmas list. My initial perception was that this book was a massive disappointment with the first 200 or so pages given to expertly researched accounts of the political machinations prior to Caesar Augustus's rise to become Imperator. The book does detail a lot of the same information from Tom Holland's and the extensive and detailed account of a confusing array of characters including the tiresome Mark Antony made this effort heavy doing. I was also really disappointed that the account was effectively a straight forward historical narrative with scant regard to the archaeological record to support some of the arguments. All in all, the first third of this book did seem remote, impersonal and a bit dry. There is almost a sense of this author solely writing for the benefit of other academics.

However, once we arrive at the point that Augustus emerges as the victor of the Triumvir the book becomes increasingly more interesting. The politics still remain a substantial element of the narrative yet the story of Augustus is fleshed out with information about building projects, contemporary poets and military campaigns. The density of detail sometimes obscures the sweep of this biography and the similarity in names as well as the continuing adoption of various relatives as "sons" does make the account a bit confusing. In the end the amount of information that is accumulated wins out so that Augustus emerges as a real person and , in my opinion, a dictator who initially gained power in the most ruthless fashion yet emerged as a one of the most important political figures in history. The author demonstrates his impact through such things as the ubiquity of coins bearing his image or buildings erected in Rome under his direction. As the narrative advances towards the years AD and incorporates increasingly familiar aspects of Roman history, the book became far stronger and much more compelling. Certainly this book gets easier to read as the story progresses and the earlier chapters should be "toughed out" to appreciate the strength of this author's argument regarding just how significant a figure the first Roman Emperor Augustus was.

My initial thoughts about this book were that is was a very accomplished and thorough piece of work yet the absence of an archaeological account to supplement the narrative weakened the argument. Although this short-coming is not entirely addressed , I am glad that I persevered with the book as the second half is compelling reading and, more importantly, managed to make sense of my cloudy knowledge of Roman history prior to the invasion of Britannia in 43 AD. Being a frequent visitor to the Gallo-Roman museum in Lyon (one of my favourite museums) I was pleased that this book helped explain not only the dubious character of Lugdunum's (Lyon) founder Plancus but also elaborated upon how these new cities dove-tailed into the grand scheme of Roman life.

In conclusion this is a book that is very much a traditional history book outlining the life in detail of someone Goldsworthy argues was one of the great figures in antiquity. The book is supplemented by a number of family trees and a list of the key personalities which is essential to keep track with who is who. The glossary of terms is equally useful in assisting the reader and an appendix which raises the some serious questions about the nativity of Jesus in the context of a supposed census by Augustus presents a fascinating contrast with the wealth of information about the Emperor
and the unreliable and conflicting historical narrative within the gospels of Mark and Luke.


Nonsentration
Nonsentration
Price: £17.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Reinventing the big band, 3 May 2016
This review is from: Nonsentration (Audio CD)
When this record was released in 1992 ECM was still managing to issue new albums that seemed to offer totally fresh possibilities for jazz. Jon Balke was a relatively young arranger when his Oslo 13 produced this quirky big band album and it ushered in a new generation of Norwegian jazz musicians such as Auden Kleive, Tore Burnborg and Nils Petter Molvaer that, at the time, threatened to usurp the contemporary scene in the States when it came to originality. I can remember a review upon it's release stating that nothing quite sounds like a Norwegian sax section and making some bold claims for this group. Anyone coming out of the music of Jan Garbarek or Terje Rypdal at the time could sense that the Norwegians were really on to something. Towards the end of the decade and on in to the next century Norwegian musicians seemed to manifest themselves on the jazz scene like Japanese Knotweed , the influence either descending in to the realms of folk music or plunging in to the milieu of Nu Jazz which, thankfully, went out of fashion as quickly as it came in. For me, both of these avenues were a massive turn-off and even the likes of Garbarek ceased to have any appeal. Oddly, this album seemed to have some real resilience and if it does sometimes seem like the big band equivalent of a piece of Ikea flat-pack furniture, the music on this disc continues to fascinate. It is an album that I have always loved.

I suppose that the music could bee seem as an extension of Gil Evans.The cool, icy minimal writing does invite this comparison but the ensemble also factors in four percussions who function as a unique section in their own right quite unlike anything Evans ever envisaged. The rest of the band consists of two trumpets, a trombone and three saxes with the leader's keyboards darting in and out of the ensembles or offering some deliciously funky bass-lines. The opening "Stealing space" sets the tone and the beauty of the writing abounds throughout the opening half of the disc. However, on"Disappear here" , Molvaer's processed trumpet turns up the heat albeit on a slow and very hot fuse and is as earthy as anything you could expect to find on ECM. Elsewhere, tracks like "The laws of freedom" or "The art of being" are almost free-dried, as if producer Manfred Eicher was trying to re-evoke Claude Thornhill's big band.

As I said in my opening paragraph, I don't feel that Norwegian jazz quite delivered on it's promise and whilst my tastes have now moved elsewhere, Jon Balke's "Nonsentration" remains both a rare outing for large ensembles on this label and also a genuinely original approach to big band writing. Sometimes ECM's quest for the introspective or quest for "the moment" can misfire spectacularly or fail to maintain their interest. This album is a massive exception and still sounds fresh and original after nearly 25 years.


Betron B550s Noise Isolating in Ear Canal Headphones Earphones with Pure Sound and Powerful Bass for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Nokia, HTC , Mp3 Players etc (Black)
Betron B550s Noise Isolating in Ear Canal Headphones Earphones with Pure Sound and Powerful Bass for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Nokia, HTC , Mp3 Players etc (Black)
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £24.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality ear piece, 2 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is really good value for money with the sound reproduction being very impressive. The only grumble is that the earpieces are a bit on the large size and do not remain in place quite as easily as the pair which came with the Pure pocket radio that I had. I found the delivery service to be exceptional.


Head Performance Crew Branded Sport Socks (Pack of 3)
Head Performance Crew Branded Sport Socks (Pack of 3)
Price: £7.80 - £18.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Socks for squasg, 13 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Decent enough sports socks with a snazzy design. Fitted perfectly and good value for money for 3 pairs.


Kahil El'zabar Ritual Trio - Live at The River East Art Center [DVD] [2006]
Kahil El'zabar Ritual Trio - Live at The River East Art Center [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ EL'ZABAR
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 31 Mar. 2016
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Kahil El'Zabar is a new discovery for me and the presence of tow other musical heroes on this disc make this a winner. The late Billy Bang was a conduit between swing era violinists like Stuff Smith and the avant garde but despite his progressive credentials, there was always something appealing about his playing that made his music accessible. On this DVD he was clearly enjoying working with this trio and the love and admiration between the four musicians is tangible, Bassist Yosef Ben Israel holds the band together whereas the leader lays down some infectious grooves on a wide range of percussion instruments. The surprise package for those not in the know is Chicago tenor legend Ari Brown, a musician who has consistently impressed me and an absolute master on his instrument. Although he seems to be little known in the UK, for me Ari Brown's appearance on this disc was as big a draw as Billy Bang. It was nice to be able to watch him perform live and having previously enjoyed his music on CD, he is fantastic in this performance.

The film editing and production is so-so and the speech given by the leader 2/3rds through the set could have been edited out but this is otherwise one of the best jazz DVDs in my collection. Kahil El' Zabar is compelling both musically and visually on this film but, as consistent as the music is across the four, lengthy tracks, the opening "Big M" is a master-class in how to take the kernel of a small idea and expand it into something truly remarkable - this track is the very essence of what is great about jazz. Recommended.


Where's Boris?
Where's Boris?
by Various
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining enough., 31 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Where's Boris? (Hardcover)
This provided some good entertainment for an hour albeit the narrative that was akin to "Have I got news for you" was more amusing than the illustrations. Nice to see someone giving Boris the stick he deserves as opposed to the usual fawning covering of this dangerous maverick you get in the press. The cameo appearance of such worthy lefties as Ken and Russell Brand made me laugh. Well worth the few quid spent before Boris's political career slides down the toilet having back the wrong horse in the European debate. I would not have grumbled had the satire been more cruel but funny none-the-less.


GENUINE FM REPLACEMENT CAR ROOF AERIAL MAST WORKS WITH Amplified radio signal
GENUINE FM REPLACEMENT CAR ROOF AERIAL MAST WORKS WITH Amplified radio signal
Offered by Extreme Auto Accessories
Price: £8.21

5.0 out of 5 stars This arrived the next day from AutoPower and was quick ..., 31 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This arrived the next day from AutoPower and was quick and simple to fit. The aerial has improved the radio reception on my Audi A1 and it is now possible to get clear reception on medium wave. For what it is worth, I went with the bespoke model of aerial having learned my lesson with a cheaper alternative for my Roberts DAB radio that did not fit as proclaimed. For the sake of a few quid, I think this was worth guaranteeing not having any hassle.

Difficult to give both the product and trader anything less than 10/10 in this instance.


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