Archive for March 2017

Songs from the Vault – at the movies (continued)

It’s time for another edition of ‘songs from the vault’, continuing the theme that I started last month: tunes from the movies.  So, without further ado…

Last month I kicked-off with the theme from Get Carter by Roy Budd.  How do you top that?  I won’t try but Julio Iglesias’s La Mer is a pretty great starter for ten.  I first heard this during the closing montage in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011), the film based on John Le Carres’ novel of the same name.  It stands on its own without the film so why it’s not available to download is anyone’s guess!  [SPOILER ALERT: the clip shows the end of the movie]

From spy to samurai or samourai!  Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 film Le Samourai is a favourite of mine.  Those in the know will know that Alain Delon is a favourite of Tim’s from the Office!  Anyway, the main theme by Francois de Roubaix captures the mood perfectly.

Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (2007) was almost a great movie but for my money went a bit astray half way through the movie.  The movie also gave us a fantastic soundtrack by Underworld and John Murphy.  One of the standout tracks on the soundtrack is Kanada’s Death, Pt.2 (Adagio in D minor).  If you haven’t seen Sunshine, you’ve very likely heard it elsewhere as it’s used for loads of’ movie adverts.  You can hear why.

A bit of change here.   I’ve never seen the french movie Cavalcade (2005) but Michel Legrand was responsible for the soundtrack, including the track ’60 seconds’, which has become a bit of a chill-out track .  Legrand owes a lot however to Ennio Morricone from whom Legrand borrowed heavily.

Once upon a time in the West is one of my favourite films and you can hear Legrand’s source of inspiration…

Last but by no means least is one of my favourite pieces of music, full stop (and I can play it on the piano too!).  It’s Openings by Philip Glass from his 1982 album Glassworks.  It’s featured in the movie Breathless (1983), a remake of the 1960 french movie A bout de souffle.  Breathless not only features Philip Glass but also Richard Gere and the comic strip the Silver Surfer, my favourite comic character.  What more can anybody want?

I hope you’re enjoying the movie themed approach to songs from the vault, not least as there’s probably a couple more to come in due course!

Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny

Some of you may be aware that I play jazz and classical piano, well, try and play.  Over the last few years I’ve played in a handful of combos around London.  One of the bands I’m proud to play with is the Hoxton Jazztet: we rehearse in Hoxton, play jazz, and there’s some history associated with the word ‘jazztet’.  We’re not wedded to the name but it works for now.

Anyway, I’ve been playing with the band for almost two years.  Late last year we thought we’d grasp the nettle and record some tracks with a view to getting some gigs.  Just when we were on the verge of our first gig I had an unfortunate fall, fracturing my wrist amongst other things and putting that first gig on hold.  It won’t be long until our first outing but in the meantime I thought I’d share the recordings with you.  The four tracks are meant to give you a flavour of the music we like to play.  The tracks aren’t perfect but hopefully not too smelly (the title is a Frank Zappa quote BTW)! They represent a good afternoon’s work and we’re generally pleased with them.  For what it’s worth, my favourite moment is the outro to Maiden Voyage, where, just after the five minute, I take it upon myself to play some random chords which came out rather nice!

If anyone likes what they hear, want to book the band or know of any good venues to place (preferably around North and East London) then please contact me through this blog.  Thanks.