Desert Island Discs – the angst ridden mawkish collection

After hearing any politician on Desert Island Discs I often reflect that my own choices would be unlikely to pass the focus group ensuring that I was appealing to whatever demographic I (or my advisers) had determined I should appeal to. Hearing Alex “Alex Salmond for First minister” Salmond today did not alter my view on that. However, for what it is worth, and prompted by the estimable Lallands Peat Worrier, here are my own choices.

1. Nils Petter Molvaer – Khmer

2. Keith Jarrett European Quartet – “The Windup”

3. Jan Garbarek Quartet (Mazur/Weber/Bruninghaus) – “Her Wild Ways”

4. Bach’s Goldberg Variations

5. Keith Jarrett – Koln Concert

6. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto

7. Bobo Stenson trio – “Polska of despair”

8. Hancock’s Half Hour – Twelve Angry Men

Bubbling under – Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, Summertime; Coltrane at the Village Vanguard – Impressions or Greensleeves; Vaughan Williams – Symphony no 4; Tord Gustavsen Trio – Sani; Garbarek – It’s OK to listen to the gray voice; Miles Davis & Gil Evans – Concierto de Aranjuez; Andy Sheppard’s Learning to Wave; or Jarrett’s sublime Someone to watch over me from the beautiful Melody at Night with You album.

Luxury item – lots and lots of pens and paper

Book – Alasdair Gray’s Lanark.

I have that crucial angst ridden nordic type demographic covered I think but guess that I lose the Stanley Crouch influenced jazz critics (not looking at any Scottish newspapers in particular). I might win a little favour from mid to late-period Geoff Dyer fans – but have probably lost the Larkin-istas.


About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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7 Responses to Desert Island Discs – the angst ridden mawkish collection

  1. James says:

    Lanark, really? Only read it once, must dig out my copy and look at it again.

  2. Predictably enough, I haven’t even heard of a number of those selections. I had the same thought as James, however. Why Lanark in particular? We know that the Maximum Eck wants his sand wedge to contribute to the soil erosion on his putative isle of golf. Give full and frank reasons, or I shall be forced to take the matter to my indifferent friends in the European Court of Human Rights!

    • Lanark has social realism and fantasy. It has the finest short short story of all (Kelman’s Acid embedded in the section on influences). It has a style and ambition that few books match. It was the key to my ongoing obsession with modern Scottish fiction, Gray is the crank that made the revolution. I don’t think it is his best book – but it is the one which has the ambition that means that it most bears rereading.

    • Which ones have you not heard of?

  3. Primarily, the Nordic jazzy material. I’m pretty clueless about the phenomenon of Jazz in general, without added specialisms. Interested in your answer on Lanark. I read it for the first time myself, last year. On my own – no doubt much anticipated desert island list – my natural indecision is keeping me worrying away at it…

  4. burkesworks says:

    I find ECM jazz too clinically hyperborean as a rule; sounds as if Manfred Eicher is recording Jarrett and Garbarek and Metheny and co in a studio made of ice (that said, one of my own undisputed Desert Island Discs is an ECM record, the rather un-jazzlike “Music for 18 Musicians” by Steve Reich).

    Faultless book choice though; “Lanark” is a multi-layered masterpiece.

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