Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Layer 201 Part 2 . . . Down Home Blues and Ofsted

Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 2

My Record of the Week – on Spotify – Down Home Blues by Gene Harris (piano) and Jack McDuff (Hammond B3). Fabulous vocals by various guests. “Hip-shakin', corn bread breaking, down home blues . . .”

Five star reviews on Amazon:


“This album helps you understand the difference between mere 'playing blues' and 'playing the blues'. Gene Harris and Jack Mc Duff (and the other the musicians on the album) play the blues with a great jazzy feel and with a clear love for this great music. Also, the album gives you one of the finest examples of Hammond B-3 playing that I know. In McDuff's playing you really hear the machine working and blowing, especially in the slow and delicate 'You don't know what love is'.
This album is an abslolute 'must have' if you love the blues. I have bought it for myself and I am now buying it for my father!”
“I love this album. It features the raunchy jazz organ sounds of Jack McDuff, along with the boogie woogie piano sound of Gene Harris. There also are a few guest singers who are great. There is a super jazzy swingin' vocal arrangement of "Stormy Monday" that just blew me away. I started tapping my feet & clapping my hands & singin' along. Harris & McDuff battle back and forth on their instruments creating a really unique & unusual sound. I have several other organ/piano combo CD's but I'd say, this is the best & my most favorite!”
“Captain Jack and Gene compliment each other in a momentous tribute to keyboard blues. This album will remain a pinnacle in the careers of each preeminent blues player.”
And it's thanks to the randomness of Spotify that I came across this good stuff. It's a very rare collaboration of virtuosos of the piano and the Hammond playing jazz/blues on the same album. Excellent guitar too.

Spotify search - "down home blues gene harris + jack mcduff"



An interesting letter in yesterday's Guardian, which seems to indicate the Graun may be carrying out a scrutiny of Ofsted and how it operates -
As an ex-headteacher who deserted the profession when it became evident that Ofsted was the untouchable body by which the government ensured its will would prevail in schools, I hope that your paper pursues its investigation into the manner in which Ofsted operates.

During my first Ofsted review, I chanced to be reading a novel by Alan Furst, from which I took a quote to show the inspection team. It concerned the Gestapo:

"They will believe only what can be proved, but themselves are able to prove whatever they choose to believe."

Yes, I know it was stupidly provocative, but it was fun.
Kevan France

Maryport, Cumbria


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