My daughters boyfriend strolled into the dining room the other day and nonchalantly said, 'every time I step in here it feels like I'm in a Woody Allen film.' Taking it in the spirit that I trust it was conveyed I reflected for a moment on just where my eclectic track lists have come from.
Who remembers Tower Records in the old Swan & Edgar building on the west side of Piccadilly? My it was a storehouse of treasures. I spent many a rainy Sunday afternoon browsing through the dusty recesses of the place discovering wonderful little musical nuggets. They would be the sections like 'Easy Listening on discount,' or 'pre 1930's Jazz.' It was never crowded there. Just the odd cleaner, lost student trying to find their way to whatever head banging druggie thing was of the moment and the odd bloke who had said to his wife earlier, 'shall we go for a drive dear?' That would be sort of man who kept his highly polished Ford Cortina with his driving gloves in the glove compartment in the same parking spot outside his Sutton semi that he'd parked it outside since he bought the car in 1968.
Of course not everyone is as appreciative of my music as is the daughters boyfriend but then we can't really expect the uninitiated to fully appreciate, for example, one of the best collections of pipe music in West Hampshire at their first exposure. It takes time. Time didn't really help my old flat mate though. Tim took to hiding my CD's, (wasn't he a rascal) but I think he took it a tad far when he started throwing them out of the window or into the liquidiser during our legendary bachelor dinner parties.
Tower Records has of course long gone. We now have iTunes and I'm a huge fan. I don't now have to drive to Piccadilly on Sunday afternoons, rub shoulders with students looking for the latest head banging druggie thing or bump into the man from Sutton with the driving gloves. I can go on musical journeys and explore, test and try at my own pace and leisure and oh my oh me, we do find some sparklers.
I'm here to share then and just between us, I think this man, Harry James, with Kitty Kallen singing, is just an unbelievably technically accomplished trumpet player who is in danger of being forgotten, certainly by anything resembling the mainstream which would be something of a travesty. He's not Louis but my, he's brilliant in his own right. Pour a cocktail, put your feet up and please, enjoy............