Elling is such a knock- 'em-dead singer that you're ready to forgive him anything, even this over egged tribute to John Coltrane's sublime 1963 album.
If Louis Armstrong burst upon the jazz world like a star in 1923, then the trumpeter Freddie Hubbard became one of its biggest comets when he did the same in 1959. The incandescent moment came with the issue of an album, Sister Salvation, made under the leadership of the trombonist and Hubbard's fellow Indianapolitan Slide Hampton. Suddenly, here was a fully formed virtuoso, crackling with a full, brazen technique and bursting with ideas.
Putting weather on one side, it's the little things you miss when you switch from taking les grandes vacances in Charente-Maritime to having your hols in Filey, North Yorks. By little things, I mean, of course, comestibles. Over the decade that we've been coming to the Yorkshire coast, it has become increasingly possible to persuade one's palate that it is on the Ile de Ré. The sourdough bread from Driffield farmers' market could not be matched at most boulangeries and the same goes for the butter croissants from our village Co-op. It is even possible to get rillettes de porc from the Ginger Pig butchers in Pickering, though the French would find both price and texture on the stiff side. But certain items remain elusive.
Although born and bred in Chicago, the diminutive powerhouse tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin enjoyed his greatest success in Europe. He lived for 24 years in a beautiful château at Availles-Limouzine, a village near Poitiers in western France. As Mike Hennessey points out in his 2008 biography Little Giant: the story of Johnny Griffin, you can count the number of master saxophonists from the Midwest who have ended up in such accommodation on one finger.