Arts and Entertainment

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All that jazz: Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding

With crowds low and the average fan age high, we ask: Is jazz a dying art form?

On the eve of the London Jazz Festival, Phil Johnson ponders the genre’s future

Film review: Diana - Naomi Watts stars in dark tale of love weighed down by princess’s baggage

Oliver Hirschbiegel’s biopic of Diana could easily have seemed cynical and opportunistic in the extreme. Hirschbiegel is a distinguished German director who made a very well received film about Adolf Hitler in his bunker (Downfall), but it’s hard to see how that qualifies him to tell the story of the “people’s princess”.

Like Psy, Karen Mok could soon be as big a name here as in Asia

Karen Mok: Hong Kong’s unstoppable queen of music and movies sets her sights on the West

Like Psy, she could soon be as big a name here as in Asia. By Adam Sherwin

Jim Godbolt: Colourful doyen of the jazz world

Jim Godbolt was one of those background figures who contribute much support to the jazz world, without receiving adequate recognition. Known as the author of two volumes on the history of British jazz, he worked in the music industry before beginning to write.

Why is British jazz always the Cinderella when it comes to tales of ‘Swinging London’?

As Grace Slick once remarked, ‘If you remember the sixties, you weren’t there!”

Vladimir Putin must find it hilarious that David Cameron won’t back Europe on Russia’s abuses

In his latest dispatch our columnist reports from a George Michael concert and has some advice for Andrew 'Thrasher' Mitchell, the under fire Tory MP

Album: Katie Melua, Secret Symphony (Dramatico)

Katie Melua's fifth album suffers from the opposite shortcoming to most female singers: rather than over-emote too flamboyantly, on Secret Symphony she seems emotionally constrained, stifling the songs in politesse.

Album: Jodie Marie, Mountain Echo (Verve)

It's interesting how many of today's brighter young talents, from Laura Marling to Duffy, have been reared not on the conveyor-belt exercises of stage school, but on more individually fulfilling engagement with the outré influences of older generations. J

Barney Rosset

Further to your obituary of Barney Rosset (28 February), Evergreen Review and Grove Press were oases in the deserts of Dullsville in the late 1950s, as far as international publications featuring avant-garde writing were concerned, writes Michael Horovitz. I particularly valued Rosset's championing of Samuel Beckett some time before he became a household name. And it was in an early Evergreen Review that I was delighted to discover the then still unknown student Pete Brown's first minimal poems, near-haiku with a Cockney music-hall punchline, which he had simply sent in on spec.

Goodbye to All That, Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London

Talk about a striking case of "Snap!". To be seen at the Royal Court now - on both the mainstage and in the Theatre Upstairs - is the spectacle of a helpless ageing man in a bed, hooked up to things like saline drips and catheters, and flanked by two women who are warring because of him.

Album: Carole King, A Christmas Carole (Hear Music)

There's an inter-denominational inclusivity theme to Carole King's seasonal offering. The star turn is "Chanukah Prayer", a haunting, jazz-inflected Jewish hymn on which she's joined by her daughter Louise Goffin (who also produced the album) and grandson Hayden Wells.

Album: Tim Buckley, Starsailor – The Anthology (Rhino)

Everybody needs Tim Buckley in their life, for self-medication as well as entertainment.

Album: Terri Lyne Carrington, The Mosaic Project (Groove / Concord Jazz)

The Project consists of a heavenly host of global talent who all happen to be women.

MP 'probably' took drugs at club

Conservative MP Louise Mensch has admitted she "probably" took drugs before dancing the night away at a jazz club with classical violinist Nigel Kennedy.

Tony Levin: Drummer who excelled with Tubby Hayes and became a leading exponent of free jazz

Although best known as the drummer in tenor saxophonist Tubby Hayes's quartet, Tony Levin was an adventurous musician who liked to move forward.

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