Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Perfection, almost.

Monday and I’m back at The Red Lion, Isleworth for my Jazz Club, although distracted.

This is Henry Lowther on trumpet – using a ‘mute’ to stifle the sound and I do like a trumpet played that way.

Henry also played ‘T.L.’, a tribute to a musician which, with its strong and haunting melody, I love. I've got that– on one of his CDs I won in the club raffle once.

Two musicians I hadn’t heard before were Peter Hurt on sax and Robin Aspland on keys. I certainly know Dave Green on Bass and Trevor Tomkins on drums.

I must admit I was distracted – I was talking to Sue (one of my Monday jazzfriends) about Haiku – a very precise and ritualised form of Japanese poetry, which she happens to be rather good at.

The rules say a Haiku can only have 17 syllables and those have to be divided into lines consisting of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. That’s picky.

Perhaps the most famous (although it has one too many syllables) is Ian Fleming's;


You only live twice

Once in your dreams and once when

you look death in the face.


I’m not a fan of Fleming but I do like that.

We decided that in the martial art of Haiku she has probably got a blue or a brown belt; proficient but not yet at the Black belt stage where she can kill just by carelessly mishandling a stanza. I only have a white belt myself, with a couple of those yellow stripes. Ah well.

Of course we had a go – exchanging poems written on old envelopes.

Here is Sue’s;


Trevor wields those sticks

Like a thing possessed,

like a professor professed.


Which is rather good – Trevor Tomkins teaches music at the Guildhall School of Music.

Here’s my effort;


The Trumpet is mute

But the saxophone is loud

In my Jazz heaven.


It’s springtime and in parks all over Japan, people are assembling to watch the Cherry Blossoms, pure and white. The Japanese may seem to chase perfection….but they are searching for that blemish on the perfect face.

The beautiful blossom is not enough; they are waiting for that special, still moment when the first few bleached white petals fall, driven by the very slightest of breezes to ripple down on a diagonal from the branch.

Just like in Haiku, the poem is not enough.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


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