Okay, I admit it.
I've always liked Nigel Kennedy.
He's bonkers isn't he.
What with his vulgar tongue, trampy apparel and love of Villa.
He's about as phony as that boil he had removed on his neck; a pressure sore caused by constantly shoving a planed and shaped lump of wood into the same tender spot. Ouch!
Like most genius types he does seem to urk some people; some bold enough to suggest he couldn't be trusted to play at The Proms.
However, on the sixth of August this year, Kennedy performed to a packed Albert Hall, playing two of Bach's solo violin pieces, and then bringing on his band for the second half to play some very cool jazz numbers.
The Bach pieces he played that night (two partitas for solo violin: No. 3 in E Major & No. 2 in D Minor), despite his masterful interpretation, are not easy listening, and way beyond the parameters of this blog. But the jazz pieces are great, and well worth a listen.
J.S. still has a small part to play, as the opening tune is a Bach mash that shows he really could swing (something Jaques Loussier has known for a long, long time. [Go here]).
The band then move away from the Kappellmeister, and go on to perform three cracking versions of Fats Waller songs.
The sound of Quintette du Hot Club de France is readily evoked; but Kennedy's outfit are cooler, and the fiddle notes are a lot easier on the ear than Grappelli's soaring, busy, busy clusters.
The guitar is checked, too, but still brilliant.
Sometimes less really is more.
All in all, this makes for the perfect accompaniment to pottering about.
I've been listening to this quite a lot lately - the result of a lot of pottering - so if, like me, you like a bit of pottering about: potter to this.
Nigel Kennedy & Band - Prom 31, Albert Hall, London. 6/8/11.
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