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.

The Discordant Who? Atzmon and Debate

I read the other day that Gilad Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who? has been taken off the virtual shelves of the Guardian book web site. My first reaction was to be … Continue reading

28th February 2015 · 2 Comments

London Novelists 1930-1960

PATRICK HAMILTON’s father was a barrister, but an inheritance altered his perspective – drink, travel and mistresses then took precedence, his wife and three children ignored. When Patrick was twelve, … Continue reading

24th February 2015 · Leave a comment

Louis Armstrong: “The Beginning and End of Music in America.”

LOUIS ARMSTRONG transformed jazz in the 1920s and gave it a direction and purpose. He remains one of its most important figures, changing the nature of soloist and ensemble. He … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Spot the Difference Between a Bookshop and Nostalgia (Not Everyone Can!)

http://www.cherwell.org/…/we-should-stop-fetishising-indepe… is one student journalist’s take on Oxford’s small bookshops… Lily is bright (and groovy): bookshops have been fetishised into a commercial vacuum and have become part of the National Trust’s … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

The Scottish Renaissance: Salt in Your Porridge, a Sporin and a Scottish Accent

The early part of the twentieth century witnessed a growing cultural self-awareness in many places. The Harlem Renaissance explored black culture and radiated around urban America from its base in … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Under an English Heaven: Michael Garrick’s Jazz Praises

MICHAEL GARRICK’s Jazz Praises, composed in the 1960s, is a unique creation. Critic Derek Jewell endorsed it enthusiastically in The Sunday Times and it was broadcast on both television and radio. It … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Lists Galore: 1/ Favourite American Novels of the Early Twentieth Century

To make the autodidact completely at home in the Albion Beatnik, here’s a pointless list of twentieth century American novels we think you should have read. Sometimes they are even on … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Anna Kavan: Addicted and Addictive

ANNA KAVAN was born Helen Emily Woods in 1901 in Cannes, France, and was raised and educated in Europe and California. Her wealthy English parents were cold and displayed scant … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

A Chameleon Chasing an Audience: the Musical Life of Miles Davis

“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning . . . Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” Born in 1926, … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

The Legend of St Elmo: Elmo Hope & 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

Joe Harriott: Fire in His Soul

JOE HARRIOTT is no longer a forgotten father figure of modern European jazz. An excellent new biography of this seeringly brilliant and individual saxophonist has been published… Since his death in … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · 1 Comment

Interview with Verushka Byrow on the Australian Book Site editingeverything.com

The link for this interview is: http://editingeverything.com/interviews2/the-albion-beatnik-bookstore-interview/ VERUSHKA: The dictionary tells me that a beatnik is a usually young and artistic person from the 1950s and early 1960s who rejected the … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Anais Nin and Henry Miller: Compendium of American Sexual Neuroses

ANAIS NIN was born in France, although when she was eleven her father, a Catalan composer, deserted the family and her Danish mother took the three children to America – it … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

The Beat Generation

As with many movements, the BEAT GENERATION began with a few like-minded friends, in this case writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Gregory Corso. Although they were sometimes … 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

A Bookseller’s Pompous Manifesto

Publisher John Murray wrote in 1842 that “I am very sorry to say that the publishing of books at this time involves nothing but loss.” The plights of publishing and … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment