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The Miles Davis standard “So What” has been a modal jazz touchstone for 55 years, providing the harmonic canvas for myriad improvisations and reinterpretations.

DJ CAM: Substances

Columbia COL 485405-2

Letter: Retune your stereotypes

Sir: Dennis Bardens was most unfortunate with his Channel 5 retuner. My retuner was courteous, efficient and speedy. None of the equipment was damaged and there was no interference on any channel - except Channel 5, which looks like coloured corduroy. But who cares? The programme previews accompanying the test transmission don't tempt me anyway!

De La Soul: The Forum, London

Pop Music

A tale of two cafes

The one is ineffably chic, the other hopelessly passe. Adam Gopnik visits the Flore and the Deux Magots, those pillars of Parisian life, and reflects on the cruelty of fashion

Pop Albums: Jamiroquai Travelling Without Moving Sony 483999-9

Take away the hat, the Lamborghini and the media profile and you're left with a new role for Nicholas Lyndhurst in a sitcom about an amiable Trustafarian nitwit on a mission to explain the obvious to a weary world. Sid James would play the landlord who rolls his eyeballs downstairs in the parlour. Posh mum would be Penelope Keith, who wore a kaftan and slept with Status Quo in the Sixties. And Reg Varney would take the part of local councillor on the make. Things all start to go wrong one morning when Jay Kay (Lyndhurst) wakes up and remembers he has to make another album for the Sony Corporation and, uh-oh, his bedside notebook of social and ecological iniquities has gone missing. Oh well, nothing for it but to make an album about the metaphysics of having a good time. And that's when the fun really starts...

Pop Albums: Dana Bryant Wishing from the Top Warner Bros 9362- 45642-2

For a brief moment in the Sixties, rock poetry was hip enough to inspire a generation. These days, the idea of poetry in rock stretches about as far as pathetic rap brags, or Damon Albarn reciting doggerel in the Albert Hall - poetry playing a distant second fiddle to the brute fact of plastic pop celebrity.

BOOKS; NEXT WEEK

"Beyond Latour, the boat ran close to the bank as it headed up towards Pauillac. Ribbed vineyards ran away from them like green corduroy. A broken-down pier came into sight, followed by a patch of corduroy stained half-black. Then, a little higher up, a flat facade made biscuity by the sun, with a brief terrace half-obscuring the ground-floor windows. After a nudge of focusing, Emily detected that several balusters were missing from the balcony of the terrace, and others badly askew. Florence took the glasses. The facade had large holes gouged into it, there were some broken upper window-panes, while the roof appeared to have been given over to experimental agriculture.

ARTS : Twenty something

ROCK : At 21, James Lavelle is running one of Britain's most exciting record labels. Ben Thompson meets the youthful godfather of trip-hop

Pop Music: Return of the lover

Gregory Isaacs is back in town. Below, Phil Johnson runs him down eventually, while Nick Coleman, right, reflects on a wayward career

Never knowingly undersouled

George Benson wanted to get back to his roots. So he called Bluey.

RECORDS / New Releases: Massive Attack - Protection (Virgin, CD/ LP/tape)

Their first album, 1991's sumptuous Blue Lines, opened up a whole new imaginative world for British dance music, in the same way that De La Soul's Three Feet High And Rising did in America. It's lasted better too, perhaps because fewer others have dared to follow in Massive Attack's footsteps.

Bass Clef will dance to a new beat: Helen Nowicka meets Ed Piller, founder of Acid Jazz Records, who describes his plans for a more diverse arts, music and cultural centre

The Bass Clef, one of London's most famous jazz venues, is to reopen as a music, arts and cultural centre after its sale to an independent record label.

ROCK / No twists but lots of shouting - and a big tease

FIRST OF all: the end of the show. It's Friday night at Brixton Academy and Chaka Demus and Pliers ask: 'Are you ready for 'Twist and Shout'? Are you ready for 'Tease Me'?' They then tease the audience with 30 seconds of a soulful version of 'Tease Me', say good-night, and walk off. That's one way to guarantee you'll be invited back for an encore. You announce your two most crowd-pleasing smashes, then leave when you are halfway through the first one. Just to be on the safe side, the MC immediately arrives on stage: 'Do you want more Chaka Demus and Pliers?' Put like that, how can we refuse?

POP / On Pop

'We live in Brooklyn, Baby]' sang Roy Ayers (below) 20 years ago, and still does now, although these days 'We live in London' might be more accurate. Ayers's band is called Ubiquity - a prophetic name, indeed, since he seems to pop up at small, jazzy/funky venues all over this city with alarming frequency. The London-based rare groove revival in the mid-Eighties salvaged many a shipwrecked American soul career, Ayers's being one of them. Chief booty was the all-time classic dance floor filler 'Running Away' (the one that goes 'Shooby doo, run, run, run'). Copies of his early albums still change hands for tens of pounds between goateed acid jazz types.

Search for Britain's oldest employee

A CAMPAIGN to find Britain's oldest worker is to be launched this week by an employment minister, to underline the Government's commitment to encourage people to work beyond their normal age of retirement.
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Smash hit go under the hammer

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