Post Modern Jukebox

I came across Post Modern Jukebox for their great cover of George Michael’s Careless Whisper (at the time, I was practicing that melody myself, badly, on guitar).  They are a rotating musical collective playing current songs with a 1930s jazz twist, brainchild of New York jazz pianist Scott Bradlee.  My daughter and I got into watching their prolific output on YouTube.  Try  Haley Reinhart singing Radiohead’s Creep or again singing All about the Bass with a three other vocalists.

They are still on a UK tour.  We saw them in snowbound Birmingham on 2nd March.  For me the star was diminutive, understated clarinettist and saxophonist Chloe Feoranzo.   I did not get the names of the guys – the bassist, the trombonist and the tap dancer.  The other singer shown below is Dani Armstrong (the linked video is not official – the best I could find is shot from the audience in another performance).  The unnamed pianist in this performance was not Scott Bradlee (a real franchise this operation!).  Ahead of Dani’s Chandelier, he slowly captured the audience’s attention by building a series of cadenzas, subtly shifting the key with each iteration.  Not pictured here is Emma Hatton, English singer who took on Haley Reinhart’s numbers on this tour.


These were drawn afterwards from memory and poor quality shots taken on my phone from far away.

As I say, PMJ is not a band but an ever-changing collective.  I would like it if they gave more credit to the singers and musicians they recruit as they roll through each country on tour.  They deserved the plaudits and I have had to scour the net and twitter to identify those I could.

#PMJtour #PMJofficial



Sometimes scientific and clinical experiments need a brand.

I am pre-occupied with writing a funding proposal for a clinical trial whose title includes the words “Gastro-intestinal Immune-RelAted side efFFEcts”.  From this my clever colleagues extracted and highlighted the letters to spell Giraffe which is now the trial’s name.  I drew a quick sketch to serve as the logo, at least for now.  I presented the rationale and scientific design at a national workshop last week – but the name is what grabbed attention first.


Here are three sketches using ink and water, undertaken in half an hour during a family outing then rebuilt in conte crayon later in the day.

Rabindranath Tagore, who, I learn, reshaped Bengali poetry and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, is the named  sitter for Jacob Epstein’s bronze bust.

Not so Marguerite Milward’s models: anonymous “dancing girl” and “Moorish camel driver” viewed as ethnographic types for the catalogue of humanity.  Social anthropology played twin roles in the twentieth century, exploring and understanding the cultural diversity of our one species and contributing to the hierarchical racial concepts that are the cornerstone of Empire.

A source on the net tells me that Milward, a rare woman sculptor, was Tagore’s guest for a time, invited to teach her craft and vision, and apparently playing a role in shaping the development of modern Indian art.

These busts are part of The Past is Now display at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  In a few simple exhibits, a discarded phone, a Birmingham-made bicycle, it shows graphically that the past is indeed now and the waxen cold hand of Empire reaches yet from the vault.


Hunched, edematous and dishevelled, angry, apocalyptic, snide, the only guy in the room who actually read books, less strategist than plotter …

The Republican establishment machine-man, despairing, scapegoated, mocked for his diminutive size …

The corporate Democrat, propelled as family to the highest of roles without qualification, aptitude, preparation or moral compass … drawn to rich power-men …


Impressions from Michael Wolff “Fire and Fury”