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Born This Day
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Jazz Baroness - BBC4

The long awaited documentary on the relationship between Monk and the Baroness Pannonica de Koengiswarter (nee Rothschild) provided fascinating viewing yet, at the end of the day, are we any the wiser? We know a little more about the lady, a little less about Mrs Monk, the shadowy figure of Nellie who seemingly accepted her husband's relationship with the Baroness. Was it as purely platonic as has been suggested? These are questions that will probably be never answered and, in my opinion, not important. What is important is the patronage she gave to Monk and other musicians without which a lot of great music may have never been created. We could do with someone like her today - particulary on Tyneside. Lance. PS: I've yet to watch the Jazz 625 Monk and Blakey programmes. Tonight there's Bird, Trane and Chet. Why can't they spread it out? You can get too much of a good thing.

3 comments :

Liz said...

I really enjoyed that programme, she fascinated me, such an unlikely mix - the Baroness & Monk - and yet, didn't it come over time & time again how loved & respected she was with the musicians? and I don't think it was just her money.. I thought Helen Mirren did a good job as the voice of the Baroness, she got that cut glass accent just right eg."Orf" instead of "off." Loved Monk's "Loverman (oh where can you be)"

Lance said...

I loved the comment by Chico Hamilton. "The only choice for me was to be either a Pimp or a Musician."
He compromised and became a drummer!

John T said...

Its a bit like jazz festivals and buses- too many at once and can you afford them. I now have a bus pass and I see its £70 for Whitley Bay Jazz Fest this year.There is a bus from Ashington to the Village hotel area - I think. You can easily get jazzed out so two concerts a month is about right for me. No more free bus pass trips to the town for the Monday lunchtime sessions though.


The Jazz Baroness programme was really enthralling. This was the first programme about Monk I had ever seen and I did not realise he had such a varied pad to his name. All numbers I have grown to like over the years, having started as a traddie. After watching this I feel I now have a very personal relationship with Monk's story. I had a bad period of depression about 15 years ago and went through the electro therapy treatment, which was just coming back into fashion then. It alone helped me turn my life around.The only after effect for me was that I became even more addicted to jazz!!

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