Archive for August 26, 2012


Posted in Jazz with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2012 by telescoper

I haven’t posted any jazzy bits for a while. I don’t know why. Anyway, I just found this track, called Ablution, by alto saxophonist Lee Konitz . Unless my ears deceive me the pianist on this track is Ronnie Ball (British, by the way) whose comping  makes no attempt to disguise the fact that it is a variation on the famous Jerome Kern tune All The Things You Are, the unusual chords of which have made it a popular vehicle for jazz musicians to improvise on ever since it was written back in 1939. In the bebop era it was typical practice to base original compositions on top of the chord sequences of standard tunes, and this is a prime example although I don’t know in this case whether Lee Konitz managed to get away without paying composer’s royalties!


English Language O Level, Vintage 1979

Posted in Education with tags , , , , , , on August 26, 2012 by telescoper

Judging by the furore surrounding the last-minute marking down of GCSE English Language examinations this year, I thought it might be interesting to put the old scanner to work and show you the English Language examinations I took at age 16, way back in 1979. In those days the GCSE hadn’t been invented yet, and instead we had two different systems GCE  O Level (which I took) and CSE. Anyway, these be the papers what I sat.

The one thing that surprises me a little in retrospect is the considerable emphasis on poetry in the second paper, which I now think would belong more in an English Literature paper. However, there’s no doubt that my schooldays instilled in me a lifelong love of poetry and for that I won’t complain at all…

I’d be very interested in any comments about the difference in style and content between these and modern-day GCSE English Language.

P.S. If you’re wondering what happened to Page 2 of Paper 1, it’s completely blank so I didn’t scan it.