Monday, September 08, 2008

Blue Monday


Once upon a lost time in the early 1990s there was a TV play by Alan 'Beiderbecke Affair' Plater in which the lead character, a jazz club owner and musician played by the wonderful Jack Shepherd, describes this piece of music in the most beautiful and eloquent way. He says something about what it does technically, which is complicated, and rather more about it being, sort of, 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma', to misquote Winston Churchill; that there is something in it that is always elusive, always just ahead of you and just out of reach. There's a thematic link to the plot of the play, which centres on a daughter's search for the father (Shepherd) she didn't know she had.

No-one I've ever mentioned it to remembers this play, and there are no clips of it on YouTube.

Why am I thinking about it on a dull London Monday? I have no idea.

Thelonius Monk - 'Misterioso' (1948)

12 comments:

  1. You know I think I remember that play being advertised but decided to whatch paint dry instead.

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  2. Sorry - I couldn't help myself.

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  3. I remember it - James Bolam, and a woman that I used to confuse with the Oxo mum. Didn't watch it really, as was always on my way out - but mum and dad seemed to enjoy it. Around the same time as Bit Of A Do, Only When I Laugh but never saw these either

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  4. Ah, no Mondo - that was 'The Beiderbecke Affair' (or one of the two sequels, 'The Beiderbecke Tapes' or
    'The Beiderbecke Connection') - San Quentin High school woodwork teacher and trad jazz-loving Trevor Chaplin (Bolan) and English-teaching Conservation Party candidate Mrs Jill Swinburne (Barbara Flynn!)caught up in municipal corruption in 'the moonstruck limits of outer Leeds' - a kind of comedy 'Edge Of Darkness' and Plater's finest hour.

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  5. I've had a thing for Barbara Flynn ever since that show

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  6. cor and there's me all jazzed up too - i can barely remember where i live these days so i'm no help at all. sorry.
    but hell this is a good tune.
    x
    ps
    bought them moptops sing scott lp today - ta for the tip. i don't deel too weird getting something new when it sounds so old. and new. anyway...

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  7. Moptops Sings Scott is in fact what they are called to true cognoscenti (sp?) x

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  8. Fell in love with Barbara Flynn when watching "A Family At War" a thousand years ago. Anyone recall that weekly drama?

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  9. And wor Babs was in that? Well I'll be jiggered.

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  10. Add me to the Barbara Flynn fan club.

    Those Beiderbecke series were required watching in our house, and watched one of the series again only last year. It's turned into a charming period piece - the 80s seem so long ago already.

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