Music Blog

February 3, 2011

Published in Jazz Journal, Feb. 2011

Michael Bublé: The Biography

By Juliet Peel

Piatkus, 2010, £7.99

Juliet Peel, "experienced show-business journalist and writer, with extensive contacts in the celebrity world", has produced a biography of the "international singing sensation" who's blessed with a "huge and loyal fanbase", it says in the blurb. I hope they enjoy it. Although crass enough to be at times unintentionally amusing, the book's musical and artistic content is sparse.

Bublé's repertoire is the Great American Songbook popularised by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, and explored most searchingly b...

May 19, 2010

As part of the composer's 200th birthday celebrations, the second Chopin Forum – the first was in 1999

 – was convened by Chopin scholar John Rink, who, with fellow-participants Jim Samson and Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, edits the New Critical Edition of Chopin published by Peters. Other participants were performers and teachers Kenneth Hamilton, Ronan O'Hora, Peter Donahoe and Kevin Kenner, plus piano restorer David Winston. With the possible exception of Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger's very scholarly account of Chopin's first Paris concert in 1832, almost every Forum presentation had a lively general appeal....

October 19, 2007

Jazz pianist Paul Bley is usually known for his spacious, restrained lyricism, honed with his formative years in the Jimmy Giuffre group and later with music composed by the women in his life, Carla Bley and Annette Peacock. In Bley’s 75th year, Andy Hamilton reassesses his career, highlighting his founding role in cementing the early 60s free jazz avant garde with Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra, and his pioneering synthesizer and electronics improvisations at the dawn of the 70s. 

"As time moves forward, the albums become more autobiographical, and lose a preset agenda. Now it's more a case of...

February 21, 2007

"I was labelled a free player when I first came to New York. Ornette Coleman and free jazz,

that was no problem for me – I would jump on that train too, and have a good time!" But Sonny Simmons has a curious ambivalence towards the free jazz that made his name: "I got sucked into the avant-garde when I was a young cat. I said 'This is the lick, I'm going with it'. But actually, I'd just as rather just play beautiful melodies, with my own compositions, with a groove. That's my true heart. Avant-garde and free, man, that's cool, but it only goes so far.... People want to hear a snap [he clicks a groove wit...

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