Linton Kwesi Johnson speaks at last night's Riff Shake Keane book launch: luminaries including Jeremy Robson also participate

The great poet and musician Linton Kwesi Johnson along with the revered poet/publisher/editor Jeremy Robson were two of the surprise additional unbilled speakers at last night's very well attended online Papillote Press Riff book launch, the fine …

Published: 29 Jan 2021. Updated: 9 months.

The great poet and musician Linton Kwesi Johnson along with the revered poet/publisher/editor Jeremy Robson were two of the surprise additional unbilled speakers at last night's very well attended online Papillote Press Riff book launch, the fine new Philip Nanton biography of Shake Keane hosted by publisher Polly Pattullo from her Dominica base.

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LKJ in his eloquent tribute mentioned working closely with Shake on a BBC Arena Anthony Wall documentary dating back to the 1990s and saluted the Vincentian's artistry both as a poet and musician.

Robson, mentioned in the film in Part 4 a little after the 6-minute mark in a YouTube cut who collaborated with Keane and also with Michael Garrick (both interviewed in Wall's film) recalled very good turn-outs for poetry and jazz that drew London crowds to the town hall in Hampstead and by the south bank of the Thames the Royal Festival Hall.

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Fergus McCreadie, Cairn

It was striking hearing Fergus McCreadie in a hardcore jazz club setting among an audience of people who hear the best jazz musicians regularly, and who know what's what far better than most. This was like 2018 hearing saxist Matt Carmichael's band …

Published: 29 Jan 2021. Updated: 9 months.

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It was striking hearing Fergus McCreadie in a hardcore jazz club setting among an audience of people who hear the best jazz musicians regularly, and who know what's what far better than most. This was like 2018 hearing saxist Matt Carmichael's band descend from Scotland to grab London jazzland by the short and curlies. I couldn't really see the pianist on the left hand side of the tiny stage from where I was standing at the back and couldn't see his hands at all. But I could certainly hear what he could do on the club's superb Steinway. Fergus looked like Jesus that night and sounded like Keith. Jeez you can't really sound like Jarrett unless you are potentially world class as a player by the way. The new artist photos feature a less biblical look. Turas that year with McCreadie, David Bowden on double bass and Stephen Henderson on drums had a sense of flow that was very mature and was probably the best jazz by any Scot I'd heard since oh hearing Tommy Smith's part on Mira back in 2014. On Cairn Fergus does go full tilt again into his material. The tunes are more the trio's than ever. And even better than on Turas, a sense of lilting very Scottish ecstasy envelops the totality of the listening experience. The band is the same, still Bowden and Henderson on the case, and so suddenly the trio is completely a thing. A joy. Disciples, you'll have even more company. SG. On Edition. Out today