The fuel for all Bollani’s work is spontaneity and this is no exception – but the pianist has rarely treated his source materials with more respect. His inventiveness soon bursts out with the pounding vamp and pop-melody invitation of Heaven on Their Minds, its intertwined piano lines building to swing and stride-piano euphoria. Strange Thing, Mystifying is a country/gospel ballad with a Keith Jarrett feel, the darting attack of This Jesus Must Die deftly catches the original’s speech rhythms, Pilate’s Dream is hauntingly pensive and troubled, while the taunting King Herod’s Song (“walk across my swimming pool”) uncorks a swaggering Bollani’s affection for Fats Waller. The only vocal is the pianist’s deep-whispered, preoccupied recitation of the opera’s famous title lyrics. An exceptional piece of jazz virtuosity driven by a transformational childhood memory, this is a bountiful celebration of a great Italian artist’s … [Read more...] about Stefano Bollani: Variations on Jesus Christ Superstar review – jazz virtuosity driven by teenage love
Youths are the future
Finally, policymakers must stimulate the economy as soon as we can get back to work. One trade-off for many highly indebted countries is that the surge in spending now might leave no money for public investments for this near future. For all countries, the disruption in the production and supply chains might lead to large increases in prices. Responding to the bottlenecks that arise sector by sector will provide the grounds for targeted industrial policy, while a tempting way to deal with inflation is the imposition of price and wage controls. These policies are sometimes adopted during wartime, and there is a battle today – against a virus – but more often than not these policies lead to economic disaster. … [Read more...] about How do countries differ in their response to the coronavirus economic crisis?
Hayden concluded that a local authority has the power to arrange for vaccination despite parents’ objections if they are satisfied it is necessary “to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare”, according to section 33 of the Children Act 1989. … [Read more...] about Couple who opposed council vaccinating their child lose appeal
Some people reading the findings of this OECD report will be shocked and wonder just what is going on in our education and training system. To others, including myself and many employers, the findings are no great surprise, however sobering it is to see in print the relatively poor standards of literacy and numeracy among our 16- to 24-year-olds. The situation is nothing short of a disgrace and, more importantly, a serious brake on the future aspirations of our young people. … [Read more...] about English literacy and numeracy – nothing short of a national disgrace
On the other hand, the sudden collapse of the USSR was neither probable nor expected before the late 1980s. A prominent CIA figure interviewed by Professor Fred Halliday of the LSE thought that, supposing Andropov had survived in good health, there would still have been a USSR in the 1990s - clumsy, inefficient, in slow and perhaps accelerating economic decline, but still in being. The international situation would have been, and remained, very different. International disorder followed the collapse of the single Russian state that had been a great world power since the 18th century - as it had the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires after the first world war. For a few years even the existence of Russia itself as an effective state was in question. It is so no longer, but the necessary restoration of state power in Russia in recent years has been at heavy risk to the political and juridical liberalisation which was the major - I am tempted to say the only real - … [Read more...] about The last of the utopian projects