I've been reading David Gascoyne's A Short Survey of Surrealism, and a biography of Elvis Costello, as well as some of the prose poems of Micheal Rosen (In The Colonie.) A pretty eclectic mix; but then that's the way I am. I also am working my way through Ruth Padel's The Soho Leopard. She has an article up at www.poems.com at the moment which is the best defence of mainstream poetry I've read (it was first in PN Review.)
I went to a concert given by the saxophonist Gilad Atzmon on Wednesday, after Mike Butler (jazz critic) let me have a complementary ticket. It was great, full of some amazing playing from him and the band. The band included an acordian player, and a vocalist, who replaced the violinist. It was all very tightly played and Gilad's inbetween songs banter in dedicating songs to Bush, Blair and Sharon, or to Kenny G (owner of Starbucks, and boring MOR sax player), was wonderfully irreverent (Starbucks sponsor Manchester's Jazz Festival.)
He's also a writer, and I must try and read one of his novels.
I like the Manchester Jazz Festival: it never has names from the stratosphere of jazz like the Marsalis clan, but it always has some great music by small groups and big. And I don't miss the big names really; especially not Wayne Marsalis, who's a great trumpet player if you want something that's been done before.
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