Disdain for Culture and the road to Fascism

A generation that is denied the opportunity to study literature, or attend opera, is unlikely to learn the lessons of such horrors. And that cannot be good for democracy, even the broken version of it that prevails, now, in England. Continue reading Disdain for Culture and the road to Fascism

Zoot Sims: #atozchallenge

A couple of years before I left school some of my class mates started bringing jazz records they’d purchased in specialist music shops in London. It was my introduction to a style of music that came to be known as Modern Jazz. A development from swing, this free flowing form of music was pioneered by various instrumentalists who had cut their musical teeth with one or more of the Basie, Ellington and Goodman bands of the 1940s. Zoot Sims and his brother Ray were members of the Benny Goodman band in 1946-7, Zoot on saxophone and Ray on trombone. Afterwards … Continue reading Zoot Sims: #atozchallenge

UB40: atozchallenge

(Most of what follows originally appeared as part of a longer post on a website called Bizarre Britain) You and a few mates with a love of music have been rehearsing together. Having chosen your genre you’ve driven the neighbours crazy practicing in your father’s garage. Now you are ready to bring your efforts to the attention of the public. There’s only one problem: what to call yourselves. All the best names have been taken. It was in situations like this that some of the most successful British bands found inspiration in the oddest of places. Late in 1978 a … Continue reading UB40: atozchallenge