The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop can change a light bulb)

The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: is randomly decrepid and is neo-bankrupt: is so analogue it's anal.

Artur Schnabel: All Gas & Gaiters or Skittles & Bluster?

ARTUR SCHNABEL’s memory lapses in performance were legendary and he remained seemingly impervious to any embarrassment in concert; like a car driver never tempted to look in his rear view mirror to … Continue reading

27th March 2017 · Leave a comment

Fettled Hands: You Can Call Me Hal

Pianists each have a distinct touch and each have fettled hands. My pick of the best is displayed below. Dinu Lipatti could stretch an octave and five, brittle and perfect, fluttered his fingers … Continue reading

6th January 2017 · Leave a comment

A One-Night Stand with Erroll Garner

I am reminded by the recent release of lost studio takes by Erroll Garner, Ready Take One, that my eyes have been thrown always to the heavens with wonderment at … Continue reading

28th September 2016 · 1 Comment

In Search of Dinu Lipatti

DINU LIPATTI was a Romanian pianist who died in 1950 at the tragically early age of 33, when he succumbed to complication arising from Hodgkins’ lymphoma. Yet for all its brevity … Continue reading

2nd January 2016 · Leave a comment

From Straight Lines We Make Curves… An Appreciation of Michael Garrick

English jazz pianist and composer MICHAEL GARRICK, a pioneer in mixing jazz with poetry recitations and large-scale choral works, died in November 2011. For the non-cognoscente his compositions could be overly complex, … Continue reading

18th December 2015 · Leave a comment

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: Hobnail Boots and Angel’s Slippers

ARTURO BENEDETTI MICHELANGELI was notorious more for cancelling his own concerts than attending them, or for driving his Ferrari cars in the Mille Miglia road race rather than working in the recording studio. … Continue reading

18th August 2015 · 1 Comment

The Legend of St Elmo: Elmo Hope and Bebop Piano

ELMO HOPE is seemingly a forgotten pianist of the bebop era. His unfulfilled musical life tells us much about the jazz experience of 1950s America, but much more about the … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

“Son, You Hot!” Hampton Hawes and the Fire Inside

HAMPTON HAWES (1928-1977) was one of the greatest jazz bebop pianists. But at the summit of his career, celebrated as New Star of the Year by Down Beat magazine in 1956, … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment