10-08-06

Books & Films and some music

During my holidays i had my annual renez vous with a James Ellroy Novel. The time it was "Silent Terror", the autobio of a psychopath. It read well but i can't say i was really catched by it as i was 2 years ago with "The Cold 6000$". Got one more Ellroy novel ("Crime Wave") left for next year...

The i finaly read Paul Bowles "The Sheltering Sky". Although i saw Bertolucci's film already ages ago i never read the work it was based upon. I enjoyed it very much, the desert atmosephere came real with 42°C in southern France ;-). Anyway reading the book it awoke my enthusiasm to see the film again...

The last book i read was written by Hugo Pratt and is called "Cour des Mystères". It has the regular characters Corto Maltese and Rasputin and is based on his comics.

 

Last weekend upon my return from France we watched some films i recorded some time ago from tv: We started with Sidney Lumets "The Deadly Affair" featuring a marvelous James Mason as MI5 agent Charles Dobbs in London 60's cold war period. The other night we saw a small western called "Terror In A Texas Town" with Sterling Hayden and partly written by Dalton Trumbo. Not a long film but a beauty.  The following night we took a look at George Cukor's "Travels With My Aunt" which was not bad but could not leave a firm impression afterwards. Last night i watched a recent western called "American Outlaws" withCollin Farrell. Same problem here not bad but you don't miss anything if you won't find the time to see it...

 

Any music? Oh yes i took while being in France the opportunity to listen at the radio to some concerts from Jazz in Marciac : Kenny Garrett 4tet, Herbie Hancock 5tet and Brad Mehldau solo. On the other hand i listened especially at some Warne Marsh recordings from the 80's. The music united fluently with the summer weather and made the high temperatures more bearable...

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14-07-06

Holiday Time

With deep regret i have to announce the temporary closing of Tune Up due to my annual holiday which will take place here :

 

I updated the CD & Film choices as well the History Section so i guess you won't miss me to much. Nevertheless you're very welcome to back from august the 7th...

Till soon and thanks for your fidelity of dropping bye now and then.

Lexman

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Decline and Fall

On the good old Ebay I finally obtained a version of Edward Gibbons masterwork Decline and Fall Of The Roman Empire. I will recive it the coming weeks and will report while reading ... In the mean time you check out Tom Moran's Edward Gibbon Page or check the 'History' links section.

 

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D DAY 2006

I'm recently in contact with Mr. John Flaherty who lives in Normandy (France) and is a guide there. He wrote quite an intresting story of his last visit in june 2006 and gve me the permission to use it on the blog. Check out the new mentioned websites in the "History" section.

 

Here's what mr. Flaherty wrote in the Atlantikwall yahoo group :

 

Hello from a sunny Normandy
Possibly the best D-day in recent years.
Firstly the weather was wonderful, not always the case, and because it was not a major anniversary the Great and the Good (our politicians) were absent leaving the event to the Veterans and their friends. The main American ceremonies were held on Memorial Day, last week. But that did not stop a good number of American Veterans being in Normandy over the D-day weekend. The first event was the 82nd Memorial Drop at La Fiere near Ste Mere Eglise. As usual American, British and French airborne dropped in front of a large crowd. In Ste Mere Eglise there was a carnival atmosphere over the weekend with many veterans mingling with re enactors, most of whom seemed to want to 101st Screaming Eagles, one couple I met came from the former Yugoslavia in a jeep!
Over the weekend many small events took place and several new monuments unveiled. One of there was at Gourbesville, a small village to the west of Ste Mere Eglise. The monument erected by the villagers remembers the 300 American servicemen from the 82nd and 90th who died in the liberation of the village.
As always the main focus on D-day is the British and Canadian Beaches. The first ceremony was mass at the cathedral in Bayeux, followed by a service in the nearby British Cemetery.
We laid flowers on the grave of a sixteen year old Royal Marine Commando (Lawrence Waygood) who died with the first wave at St Aubin when his landing craft hit a mine.
He was an orphan who like many lied about his age to join as many young men saw it as the Great Adventure.
My favourite is always Pegasus Bridge where again at mid day the survivors of John Howard's Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light infantry gather to march over the bridge they captured in the first operation of D-day. Every year less of them make it to Normandy and this year only five were able to make the pilgrimage. The British Army flew an Apache Helicopter low over the bridge in tribute.
After their ceremony the 7th Airborne march to the other side of the bridge for a short service and laying of wreaths.
In the early afternoon the focus turned to Juno and the service in front of the Canadian Juno Beach Centre. This year children were involved in all the events, reading poems, and giving veterans flowers. Here the school children had adopted a grave in the Canadian Cemetery at Beny and told us the history of the battle for the beach on D-day. They had made crosses and decorated them in school and later that afternoon would visit the cemetery and place them of their chosen graves.
Four in the afternoon and Gold beach was next. This year many of the events seem to have been organised by the local French Mayors with the help of the French Military. I think this will be the case in future years as the veteran associations members become less able. Here at Asnelles the French organised a fly past with four Mirage jets, flying low and slow they dipped their wing in salute to the veterans. Then the flags of all the nations who participated in the D-day landings were raised, prayers, speeches and wreath laying followed.
At 18:00 the final and biggest ceremony was held in Arromanches, there must have been over 1,000 veterans in the town. Every bar was full of old friends, telling their tales. The Somme Pipe Band who are here every year led the veterans on their parade.
I had a drink with an old soldier from the Scottish Regiment "Seaforth Highlanders" who had been captured at Dunkirk and had spent five years as a POW. His friends told me not to waste my time with him as he was a D-day Dodger, such was the humour.
I also met a young man who was helping the veterans, he seemed totally out of place. He told me that ten years ago he was always in trouble with the police and had been given a community service order. This meant he had to give up his free time to do charity work. That was ten years ago and his sentence long passed. He was still giving up a week of his holiday each year to be with the veterans long after he needed to.
Throughout the day a French Frigate sailed up and down the beaches, occasionally firing just to remind us of the Navy's involvement on D-day.
A fantastic and moving day, I wish you could have all been there to experience it with me.
Photos, and I took over 1,000 can be found on my site www.normandy1944.org.uk and follow links to "Events"

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13-07-06

L.F. Céline

Le Figaro has a recent article on the F. Vitoux bio which will be reissued in a Folio pocket. Read more about it here.

Enjoy!

Lexman

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12-07-06

John Cassavetes

As a birthday present we gave a good friend of ours a quite special book on the life and works of John Cassavetes. As a result he now tries to sue me for all money and time he will have to spend on obtaining the most obscure version of “Shadows”.

A lot of info on Mr. Cassavetes can be obtained at this website : http://people.bu.edu/rcarney/cassavetes/

Way to much info to read on one day + the stress about all new discoveries and where to obtain it…

We can help nevertheless by signing the following petition to get “Faces” released on DVD :

http://www.petitiononline.com/jch70/petition.html

Join all in this Cassavetes moment on Tune-Up…

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06-07-06

Don Lusher RIP

RIP Don Lusher (from BBC News)

Obituary: Don Lusher
Trombonist Don Lusher was one of the great stalwarts of  British jazz and big-band music.
Most notably, he played for almost 10 years with the Ted Heath Orchestra when the band was the biggest draw on the music scene in the 1950s. Later he formed his own group, The Don Lusher Big Band in 1980, in which he had five saxophonists, four trumpeters, four fellow trombonists and piano, bass and drums in the rhythm section.
Until just a few months ago, they would play tribute concerts to the great age of the big-bands. Don Lusher was at home in different genres including big-bands, jazz and swing. He would play in the orchestras that backed Frank Sinatra on many of  his
European tours.
Yet, jazz was an unlikely career for a child brought up in a Salvation Army family in Peterborough, a family that didn't smoke, drink or swear. He learnt to play trombone when he was six in order to join his father and grandfather in the Peterborough Salvation Army Band.
Listening to the big bands of the time on the radio inspired him, and it was after hearing the British band Geraldo, featuring Ted Heath on trombone, while he was serving as a conscript in the army during World War II, that Don Lusher determined on a musical career. 
"I was completely overawed by the sound and by the sheer  professionalism of
everybody connected with it," he recalled. He took part in the D-Day invasion and, after being de-mobbed, played with the bands of Joe Daniels, Lou Preager, Maurice Winnick, The Squadronaires, Jack Parnell, Geraldo and Ted Heath.
In his years with Heath, he made several world tours and five to the United States where he was influenced by Tommy Dorsey, Dick Nash and Will Bradley.
In fact, the band was more successful there than in Britain. On one occasion in Alabama in 1956, when the Ted Heath Band were backing Nat King Cole, he looked on as two members of the Ku Klux Klan came from the audience and attacked the singer on the stage, injuring his face. 
Not only did he develop musically with Ted Heath particularly in the way arrangements would be written to showcase particular musical strengths, he also learned about stage presence.
 Heath said to him shortly before Lusher left the band, "One day I would like to see you have your own band because you understand what it's all about."
Indeed, Don Lusher went on to lead the Heath Band but only after its founder's death in 1969.
As the big-band sound declined in popularity, Don Lusher turned increasingly to jazz, and became a member of the Best of British Jazz in the  1970s. Its first performances included Gordon Langford's Rhapsody for Trombone at the Royal Albert Hall.
That same year saw him premiere Gordon Carr's Concerto for Trombone at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, and in 1990, he performed Scot Stroman's Concertine for Trombone, Strings and Percussion at Lichfield Cathedral.
Don Lusher was a much sought after session player, was twice president of the British Trombone Society, and his Don Lusher Trombone Prize was awarded, for more than 30 years, in BBC Radio 2's National Big Band competition. He was a regular presenter on Radio 2 jazz and big-band programmes.
In 2003 Don Lusher was awarded an OBE for services to the music industry.
Story from BBC  NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/entertainment/5151400.stm

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