Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Miscellany: Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Cream Cakes, The O'Jays, Punk/Funk

Warning: contains improvisation

What are you looking at?

What do you want?

Free music, free pictures, free Jazz?

How's that? You don't like it? Never mind. 
LJ was taught by John Stevens at a music college. And as you know, I had the pleasure of performing with Derek Bailey. So they both mean something to us in a personal way. But is it 'Free Jazz'? Not really. It's Improv. And that can of worms will remain closed...

LJ's a wise bird in many ways. Yesterday, for instance, as we rode the 91 bus, she told me all about the use of cream in cakes and how too much is often used as a substitute for actual cake and that is not right. So many cakes, she said, overuse cream, the light, fluffy kind, making them no more than a sweet but empty experience. Whilst I agreed, I confess to enjoying cream so much that it's hard for me to acknowledge that a cake can be ruined by too much of the stuff. 

You can have too much of a good thing, though; that's a cliché but also a truism. Music: too much on my hard drive, for instance, to the point where it'll soon be full and I'll have to have another serious deleting session. Yet no matter how much I delete it soon fills up again. TV: too much of that right now means never escaping coverage of the death of The Wicked Witch. Yet lovers and haters, I suspect, can't get enough of the subject, the former basking in all the tributes whilst the latter fuel their hate a little more with every article.
Books: I have too many, and three bags full waiting to be sold. And so on.

Musical break:

That's from 1978, the year before The Wicked Witch ruined our lives for all those years. The year after 1977, which as you know is the Year Punk Happened, unless you were quick off the mark in '76. The girl who 'use Ta be My Girl' then was, like me, a big Soul fan, which meant the record is a direct link down the years to her and memories of hitch-hiking to and from her house and the Dali painting she had on her bedroom wall and Disco nights where we'd dance to the O'Jays 'cause I lived, musically, in parallel worlds where Punk and Funk ran simultaneously. You probably know that what went on to become Punk 'fashion' (plastic sandals and mohair jumpers) was born in the hipper Funk clubs. Back then I was still the rebel without a cause not long out of school, a young soul rebel, if you like, without the donkey jacket but, yes, like Dexy's Midnight Runners, a tendency to jump ticket barriers, as I remember them proudly confessing to a music paper. Today I'm a rebel who wears slippers, likes cream cakes, probably watches too much TV, doesn't play Punk records any more but still listens to Soul and Funk along with all the other stuff I mention here.

Talking of 'here', I tried to get LJ to take over for one post but she didn't fancy it, mainly because she's busy making a collage right now, but also because I think she's a bit shy, as if this is a big thing. Then again, she does have her reputation to maintain, meaning the one she has of herself because she has no online presence whatsoever and is the last person in the Western hemisphere not to even own a mobile phone, never mind be on Facebook, for which I admire her.

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