Jazz for People who Like Classical Music

So, basically, a little while ago I Tweeted and posted on Facebook the following question:

“What ONE CD would you recommend for someone who likes classical music and thinks they might like #Jazz if they found the right way in?”

Pleasantly surprised by the number of responses, and borderline astounded by the variety of directions from whence the recommendations came, I thought I should capture them for posterity and as a guide for others.  The recommendations were (in order of me finding them to cut and paste)…

  • If a 2CD counts, then combined albums for which Wynton Marsalis got Grammies for a jazz & classical disc IN THE SAME YEAR!
  • Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. And The Koln Concert by Keith Jarrett
  • (Kind of Blue got another supporting vote)
  • Miles Davis Cool, or John Coltrane Blue Train
  • Spaces in Between by John Surman
  • Fats Waller Ain’t Misbehavin’. He was classically trained and you can hear it in some of the piano solo pieces
  • Gil Evans. New Bottle, Old Wine; Miles Ahead; Porgy & Bess; or Out of the Cool. All great records! And I’m sure others will have suggested A Love Supreme
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Courtney Pine
  • The Mahavishnu Orchestra

I also discovered a couple of absolute bargain box sets on Amazon which cover many of these recommendations



Having been largely unaffected by Jazz in my life to date, but realising I will need to be au fait by the time I’m 50, I am enjoying exploring this new (and it would seem highly elastically-defined) genre.

For what it’s worth, and for the ones I’ve heard, I think the best recommendation, in the spirit of the question asked – ie the transition from Classical to Jazz, is John Surman’s Spaces in Between.  


Solace Summit 2011 – Musings

Last week saw the Solace Summit 2011 – a deliberate change in format from the normal “Conference” event.  I think it worked well.  One of the key changes was the creation of a communique as an output from the whole thing.  It’s here and it’s worth a read as a snapshot of some of the key issues, opportunities and challenges in Local Government.

My background musing from the conference related to the nature of “the public sector”.  It increasingly strikes me that a reframing of “the public sector” to include all of those organisations which provide public services (which I will temporarily define as state funded services) will be a useful part of the big solutions we need to find.

The Solace Communique talks about a different relationship with the private sector, and I think that’s right.  There are some things that the private sector, public sector and third sectors are good at that the others aren’t, and if we can find effective ways of combining the best of them then we may see a way through.

The public sector is very good at choosing and rationing, because these are things that can only be done with a democratic mandate, and can be very good at managing substantial complexity.  The third sector is very good at engagement and being, and being seen to be, values-aligned.  The private sector is very good at making long-term investment decisions, taking a portfolio of risks, and mobilising resources at scale.  Actual delivery competence, and user trust, varies widely across all three sectors, with far more variation within each sector than there is between them.  Despite this there are folk in all sectors who believe with a  passion that theirs is the only true path to service performance, and it’s the ideological underpinnings to that that represent the biggest human blockage to progress.

Some of the more innovative proposals that are being made in and around local public services combine all three sectors, or pairs in unusual ways.

I hope that something that may come out of this is a recognition that public service, and the ethos that comes with it, isn’t just a  function of your funding mechanism.  Not everyone who is directly funded by public money or donation is a saint.  Not everyone who works in the private sector is a sinner.  I’m increasingly seeing that we all operate under constraints.  As a local government officer I had to work within budgets and the democratically determined policies of my council, and did my best within those constraints.  As a trustee of a charity I was constrained by funding and specific deliverables that were required by our funders.  In the private sector I get arguably more freedom to innovate, explore and do things that I think are important for public service, but have to work within a constraint of making a profit proportional to the size of the risk.  If we can get a good mix across these skills and constraints then perhaps we can find our way through what is otherwise a very bleak prospect.  As they used to say on my History of Art course “Great Art Thrives on Constraints”.



Town Councils – 2

After my fictional blog looking back at the success of a Town Council from the vantage point of 2015 I was delighted recently when someone pointed out this – Frome Town Council’s strategic plan is written in a similar way to the blog.

It would be nice to think that the blog was mildly influential in this presentation, though it is a common device for strategies, moreso in the private sector perhaps.

Anyway, the main reason for pointing this out is that unlike my 30 minutes of localism fantasy (I clearly need to get out more) this is a very well worked through document, which definitely deserves a readership well beyond Frome, as an exemplar of what that particular tier of government can achieve if it puts it mind to it.

What has Twitter/Facebook Ever Done for Me?

Startlingly much, actually.

I have met a whole heap of people who I first encountered online, for example people at the same conference as me who, like me, were tweeting about various events.  I’ve also met friends of friends I’d be unlikely to have otherwise.

I have been invited to interval drinks by an orchestra to thank me for tweets about their performances.

And once after tweeting about a trip to Liberty to buy a tie only to find they were “between collections” I got an invitation from Liberty’s COO (whose wife is a Facebook friend – though I didn’t know she was related to Liberty) to come in, meet up, and get a tie.

And a recent tweet by me asking for recommendations for entry level Jazz CDs for someone with an interest in classical music brought forth a range of really good suggestions, including some from unexpected people.