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Joost Daalder "Joost Daalder" (South Australia)
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1953 Jazz At Massey Hall Liv
1953 Jazz At Massey Hall Liv
Price: CDN$ 13.41
41 used & new from CDN$ 6.36

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest jazz recordings - a pleasant "must", March 17 2002
No serious libary of jazz recordings could possibly do without this one, and if one had to buy, say, only ten records, it would be hard to give it a miss. To me, none of the five musicians ever played better and more excitingly than on this occasion, and the music is both stirring and profoundly moving. I remember that until I first heard this, many, many years ago, I had not actually been a Parker "fan". He had always struck me as brilliant, clever, inventive, etc. - but generally just too intense. Also, many of the early tracks are too short for my taste. But here you hear "Bird" truly on fire in a way which is still intense, but not as exhausting as sometimes, as he has more time to develop his stunning solos. I still think that there is no better way to hear Parker than on this record, and it would be worth buying just for him. But all the others are great too: Dizzy tearing away with tremendous wit, suppleness and intelligence; Bud Powell marvellously "jazzy" and profound; and the other two crackling along in a melting pot that is a perfect fusion (before "fusion" as a genre came to torment us). Highlights? Difficult to choose, but "A Night in Tunisia" never sounds better than here, great tune though it is anyway, and "Hothouse" is an immensely moving theme, conceived - and here executed - with great originality. There are some other records probably as good (e.g. "Kind of Blue") - but I doubt they come better than this, recorded on what turned out to be a very special musical occasion resulting in a real treat.

A Night At The Village Vanguard
A Night At The Village Vanguard
Price: CDN$ 21.76
26 used & new from CDN$ 10.18

5.0 out of 5 stars To my mind Rollins's best, March 16 2002
I have alwys found this the most satisfying, and certainly the most stimulating, of Rollins's recordings. He chose on this occasion to work with just a trio of himself, bass and drums. A lesser jazzman could not have pulled this off, but in Rollins's case one feels never bored, as he keeps coming up with new, exciting, highly musical and well-expressed ideas, showing astonishing versatility and inventiveness. Listen to his work on familiar tunes like "A Night in Tunisia", "Old Devil Moon", "Softly as in a Norning Sunrise", for example, to hear how he rephrases and mines these classics: always aware of the essential melody, but always probing its implications. His rhythmical sense is second to none, as his venturesomeness in this area. The other musicians are also excellent in the way they respond to, and stimulate, the leader. I have never tired of Rollins's music on this recording (and not often on any of his recordings, for that matter), and here he shows himself clearly one of the most important tenor players ever, and certainly one of the leaders on this instrument at the time the recording was made. Indeed, the music he was producing at this time was possibly more gratifying to listen to than Coltrane's, even though Coltrane at his best could be yet more innovative, annd emotionally moving. This is an excellent recording, which I unhesitatingly recommend as a great addition to anyone's jazz library, and possibly as good a way as any to have Rollins represented as the essential musician he is, in any compilation of important jazzmen. - Joost Daalder

Saxophone Colossus
Saxophone Colossus
Offered by DVD Liquidations Canada
Price: CDN$ 9.59
9 used & new from CDN$ 4.40

5.0 out of 5 stars One of Rollins's best, March 16 2002
This review is from: Saxophone Colossus (Audio CD)
Sonny Rollins was at the time of this recording one of the greatest and most innovative tenorists. Today his stature is possibly somewhat overshadowed by that of John Coltrane, as Coltrane's individualism and innovative powers are very obvious. In his own way, though, Rollins also made a very important contribution as an innovator - perhaps especially in his handling of rhythm. In any case, he was certainly one of the most satisfying tenor players of his time, with a hard drive on up-tempo tracks, and melodious (never sentimental) lyricism on slower numbers. His phrasing was always interesting, articulate, and musical. This is an excellent record which shows him to great advantage, e.g. in "St Thomas" and "Moritat", though I personally think he is even more exciting when heading the trio on " A Night at the Village Vanguard", as, in truth, no pianist could really match him satisfactorily as a soloist, and he does not need a piano as an accompaniment. - Joost Daalder

Penguin Classics Complete Poems
Penguin Classics Complete Poems
by Andrew Marvell
Edition: Paperback
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Remains very satisfactory, Dec 29 2001
I have used this edition of Marvell's poems for many years in teaching. I also once wrote a brief article about a mistake in it, but for the most part consider the edition very satisfactory. The appearance of *Andrew Marvell: Pastoral and Lyric Poems 1681* (University of Western Australian Press, 2000) has led me to re-appraise Donno's work. The UWA edition is really a selection, and its text is less good than Donno's, though it offers far more - and very rewarding - annotation. This should be of help for specialised work. But Donno offers perfectly adequate help to the average student; she presents ALL of the poems, and she does so in a responsibly modernised, clear text. This continues to be the edition which most academic teachers will want to prescribe, and it is of significance to scholars, too. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University (South Australia)

Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
Price: CDN$ 16.65
21 used & new from CDN$ 8.48

5.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying recording, Oct. 11 2001
Personally I feel that this CD, which does not contain *all* of the famous tracks recorded by Mulligan and Webster together, is nevertheless quite adequate for anyone who wants a good, representative sample of what they achieved. And they certainly played extremely well as a combination. This is an exercise in real collaboration of people who obviously enjoyed playing together and did so very harmoniously. My own feeling is that Mulligan is sometimes more exciting, in other contexts, but here played in a rather more subdued manner so as to make sure that Webster was not in any way pushed into a secondary role. Webster is ultimately perhaps on this occasion the more interesting soloist, particularly when he produces his famous "whispering" sound. As others also say, he plays with great feeling, and very lyrically. Altogether, this is a very "quiet" collection of tracks, but that does not mean there is not plenty to enjoy; the music is quite beautiful. If you look for Mulligan in a more exciting and ebullient vein, then I'd go for the Berlin concert with Brubeck, or the excellent sextet of 1955-6. Which is not to say that his music is not rewarding on this CD. The other musicians on this CD are also very good, and everything is produced in very coherent, supple fashion. - Joost Daalder

William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, Deluxe Edition
William Shakespeare: The Complete Works, Deluxe Edition
by William Shakespeare
Edition: Leather Bound
13 used & new from CDN$ 6.72

1.0 out of 5 stars A false-economy buy, Oct. 10 2001
To buy an unannotated Shakespeare volume like this, where even the quality of the text is in doubt, is a pure waste of money. Anyone who feels it is good enough to buy an unannotated text should at least make sure to get a good, well-edited one: for example, a second-hand copy of Peter Alexander's edition (the so-called "Tudor Edition", originally published by Collins in 1951). The text prepared by Alexander remains one of the very best.
It really does matter what text one buys, as various editions differ greatly in the quality of what they produce. It is by no means the case that all editions of Shakespeare offer the same text, as one would expect if one bought a work by a modern author. Furthermore, it is impossible to read Shakespeare - even if you are a specialist in Renaissance literature - without plenty of help, none of which is supplied in this edition. A good edition, like that produced by David Bevington, or the Riverside, will contain the following helpful components as a minimum: a comprehensive introduction to Shakespeare and his work generally; reasonably full analytical/interpretative introductions to individual works; lists of further reading (referring the reader to other helpful commentators); and above all - most essentially - useful explanatory notes on words, phrases, and sentences difficult to understand. Of these there are a great many. Anyone who approaches Shakespeare as a modern reader without knowledgde of the language of his period will soon find all sorts of words and grammatical usages that obviously are no longer current. But even more treacherous are those many instances of words that LOOK the same, but MEAN something very different, as a result of the fact that the meaning of words changes over time.
For all these reasons, then, readers should spend their money on a value-for-money buy, whether new or second-hand, and not waste it on a worthless volume of this nature. If you don't want to buy a well-annotated one-volume Shakespeare, buy well-annotated editions of individual works - e.g. those belonging to the Arden series, or the Oxford Shakespeare, or the New Cambridge.
These reflections are not, of course, criticisms of Shakespeare as an author, but purely of a useless edition like this. ...

The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Where Are We Now in Shakespearean Studies?
The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Where Are We Now in Shakespearean Studies?
by William R. Elton
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 23.86

5.0 out of 5 stars A very good analytical survey of recent work, Oct. 2 2001
...Undeterred, I nevertheless wish to recommend it. It should, in fact, be in every university library at least, and most scholars would benefit greatly from reading it. I have myself bought a copy, and am very pleased with it. The contributors are on the whole very much in the forefront of Shakespeare scholarship, and write about their subject with great authority and acumen. Each scholar surveys an area of work on Shakespeare, which creates a sensible division of labour, and allows the individual concerned not only to outline the major developments of recent times, but to do so analytically and critically, so that the reader not only finds out what has happened, but also what at least one skilled reader has to say about it. Future volumes will adopt a similar approach, so that over time we should get a pretty full picture of developments in Shakespeare studies in recent years. As noone can - or would indeed be happy to - read ALL work on Shakespeare, even as it appears, it will remain necessary for all of us to receive guidance from informed scholars who have each intelligently read at least a well-defined PORTION of it over a number of years. That is the guidance which this book provides, and eminently so. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University (South Australia)

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary
The Compact Oxford English Dictionary
by J. A. Simpson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 274.05
21 used & new from CDN$ 147.43

5.0 out of 5 stars A priceless and immense storehouse of knowledge, Oct. 1 2001
Everyone who is seriously interested in studying and understanding English, of whatever kind and whatever period, should have this book. Anyone who is a PROFESSIONAL scholar of English MUST have it in order to carry out research, or even proper teaching. There is no equivalent to the OED, which is far more comprehensive than anything one might seek to compare it with. And this cheap edition is excellent value. I myself cannot use it without a magnifying glass, but that is only a minor inconvenience. The print is excellent for what it is, and not only is the price of the book low, but it is much handier to use than any other version of the OED.
The second edition (which this is) incorporates a fair bit of new material, but much more often on very recent words than old or "perennial" ones: for a reader like myself, chiefly interested in older words or older meanings of words still current, the essential work was in essence done, already, for the first edition.
A disappointing feature of the second (1991) edition (here under review) is that the opportunity was NOT used to do supplementary work in areas in which the OED's information had always been deficient. This is notably the case when one looks for explanations of words, or senses of words, held "indecent" at the time the original dictionary was compiled. Anyone who wishes to find out what e.g. bawdy quibbles in Shakespeare mean will have to look farther afield: the best (but very expensive and in some ways hard-to-use) book would be Gordon Williams's *Dictionary of Sexual Language amd Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature*, but Eric Partridge's *Shakespeare's Bawdy* is often helpful also, and much cheaper. But a good deal of work in this area still remains to be done: see e.g. Joost Daalder and Antony Telford Moore: "*Mandrakes* and *Whiblins* in *The Honest Whore*" (*Studies in Philology*, Fall 1997, 494-507). Another area where the OED is not strong is that of proverbs and sayings, for which one needs to consult e.g. *The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs*.
But to say that the OED is not complete is not to suggest that it often lets one down. It does not, and especially its work on the HISTORY of words (their etymology, developing meanings, etc.) will never be replaced, and provides help which simply cannot be found anywhere else. Obviously, one will never regret owning this monumental, informative and stimulating work.
Readers should NOT assume that an abridged version will be an adequate replacement or only leave out inessentials: it is "the complete article" one should buy, nothing less.
The history of the creation of the OED is a fascinating subject by itself. A book offering great insight into its main lexicographer, James Murray, is *Caught in the Web of Words*, by Elisabeth Murray, which is well worth reading. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University (South Australia)

A Dictionary of English Surnames
A Dictionary of English Surnames
by P. H. Reaney
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable if needed for research, Sept. 30 2001
Obviously someone who wishes to give a first name to a child is not the most likely person to consult this very learned tome: for those people P. Hanks and F. Hodges's *Dictionary of First Names* (also published by Oxford) is the appropriate book (though David Pickering's *Penguin Dictionary of First Names* is also very good). Obviously, if the first name you have in mind is also a surname, then this reference tool, too, is likely to be useful.
The amount of work that has gone into this volume is daunting, particularly when it comes to the mention of early sources in which names have been found. Some of that material is perhaps more of interest to the specialist than the general user, but in any case it is valuable. The Introduction, on names generally, is extremely informative and interesting.
For myself, I most often need to know what a surname might mean (most of them do have meaning), and I suspect that this is what others, too, frequently want to know. For example, are those many Australians who have the surname *Smyth* in effect carrying the surname *Smith*? Yes, indeed: the *y* is merely a spelling variant, which many welcome because it suggests a name other than *Smith* (though quite a few people called *Smyth* don't themselves know that *Smyth*= *Smith*!).
Does this dictionary reveal what one wants to know? It does, but not always in the handiest way possible. It has an entry *Smye, Smythe*, but not one for *Smyth*: one needs to know something about the early stages of the language to realise that if *Smythe* is an early form of *Smith*, then so is *Smyth* likely to be, and if one then turns to *Smith* one will find *Smyth* there. So not everyone will necessarily immediately discover the material searched for - but most people are likely to do so eventually. All in all , I recommend the book heartily, and use it often. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University (South Australia)

A Concise Dictionary of First Names
A Concise Dictionary of First Names
by Patrick Hanks
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but why use the reduced version?, Sept. 25 2001
Hanks and Hodges are real scholars, who however communicate their information clearly and intelligibly. I cannot see any obvious need for a CONCISE version of their *Dictionary of First Names*, first published by Oxford University Press in 1990 and regularly reprinted. That book is only just over 400 pages, so by no means too long. It is the longer version which I personally regularly use for my research - mostly in Renaissance literature - and I have found it an excellent source of reference. Those looking for names for their children, too, or wanting information about their own names, will rarely be disappointed. You find out readily what a name means, what its derivation is, who have been famous bearers of it, etc. Wonderful for browsing, apart from anything else! I also often use David Pickering's *Penguin Dictionary of First Names*, which is similarly useful, but which Amazon does not appear to supply. (A matter of copyright restrictions?) - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University (South Australia)

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