'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'
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Saturday 26 June 2010
A former GP nicknamed "Doctor Death" will not be prosecuted for assisting a terminally ill man to commit suicide.
Friday 25 June 2010
An inquest into the death of a baby who died after NHS doctors prescribed too high a dose of drugs has recorded a verdict of accidental overdose.
Wednesday 23 June 2010
Given the crippling costs of keeping 15 musicians in gainful employ, big bands are largely a thing of the past. But this sumptuous performance by Wynton Marsalis's stellar unit was a reminder that an orchestra remains a vital resource to any jazz musician. It offers both power and precision. Since the early 80s the New Orleans trumpeter has been exploring and extending the heritage of acoustic jazz, using 30s swing, 40s bebop and 50s post-bop as templates for his own creations and this final night of a five-day residency at various venues in London presented a panorama of those vocabularies. There were arrangements of legends like Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson and Jackie McLean and there were also original pieces by JALCO members such as saxophonist Ted Nash. His Dali suite, set in the tripwire time signature of 13/8, was a highlight for the intoxicating swirl of the horns, which culminated in Nash's alto becoming a dramatic echo to a stabbing improvisation by trumpeter Marcus Printup.
However, the presence of British guest musicians also raised the bar. Vibraphonist Jim Hart, tenor saxophonist Jean Toussaint and pianist Julian Joseph all took hard swinging solos and vocalist Cleveland Watkiss was imperious on an express train rendition of McLean's "Appointment in Ghana", in which his scat choruses revealed a timbral richness and phrasal trickery that had the horn players nodding in approval. In a delicious passage of his solo, Watkiss quoted the first part of the theme of Thelonious Monk's "Green Chimneys" at lightning speed before twisting its harmony in an entirely new direction. Yet what became apparent throughout the evening was the relevance of big band music to other genres, simply because of its enormous sonic range.
On slow passages the ornate, rippling textures evoked ambient music, on faster numbers, as the brass plunged deep into the low register, there was funk aplenty, and when the whole ensemble was in full flow, there was a soundtrack in search of a movie. Decked out in sharp suits and seated in three rows under the Hackney Empire's proscenium arch, Marsalis's orchestra indeed offered a big-screen spectacle for eyes and ears alike.
Saturday 19 June 2010
A retired civil engineer whose 40-year habit of tunnelling under his home led to him being removed to a top-floor flat in a tower block has died, leaving council bosses with a further bill after it was revealed he had continued his burrowing habit even when living several hundred feet above the ground.
Saturday 12 June 2010
Sunday 06 June 2010
Who'd have thought the opening of the new East London Line last month would give birth to a new cultural organisation in the capital? Yet the savvy people behind CultureLine (cultureline.org.uk) were quick to see the benefits that the new rail extension could bring to a string of attractions along the route.
Sunday 23 May 2010
The football is muddy, inelegant and occasionally bleak, but for the parishioners who flock there on Saturday and Sunday mornings, Hackney Marshes offers a game more beautiful than anything played out on high-definition television. In an age when a player can cost £80m and earn £200,000 a week, and when broadcasters pay billions for television rights, public pitches all over the country have become the spiritual home for a sport that has done its best to outgrow its roots.
Friday 21 May 2010
Friday 21 May 2010
Diane Abbott yesterday put herself forward as a left-wing contender to succeed Gordon Brown, arguing some of her rivals for the role had been "more focussed on winning the leadership battle" than on helping defeat the Tories in the election.
Saturday 24 April 2010
A man has been charged with murdering a woman and her two children almost 30 years ago, Scotland Yard said yesterday.
Sunday 18 April 2010
Tuesday 23 March 2010
Detectives launched a murder inquiry today after a 26-year-old Turkish woman was shot dead.
Thursday 18 February 2010
A midwife won a High Court appeal against being struck off today after a judge ruled she did not have a fair hearing.
Monday 08 February 2010
Monday 04 January 2010
With his dark-blue uniform, earpiece and walkie-talkie, Nochem Perlberger could pass for a police officer as he patrols the leafy streets of London’s Stamford Hill neighbourhood. Like an officer of the law, he responds to emergency calls, visits crime scenes and pursues suspects.
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