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By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Way back in the late '60s, your Saturday blogger was a callow teenager eagerly embracing the explosion of sounds that heralded the renaissance of popular music. It seemed an extraordinary time, when cultural and stylistic barriers were being breached on a regular basis and musical prejudices swept away as the '60s approached its creative zenith.
One of my all-time-favourite LPs (number 3 in the pantheon and treasured to this day) dates from that era. It was released in 1968 on the Marmalade Records label. It was recorded by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity and was titled 'Open'. A fusion of jazz, rhythm 'n' blues, rock and soul, 'Open' was a hip musical manifesto celebrating the joy of making music without boundaries and it remains a stunning tour de force.
The record label was the project of one Giorgio Gomelsky, a Russian émigré who arrived in London in the early '60s and established one of the jazz and blues clubs that fostered the emerging scene. He managed both the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds in their early careers before setting up his record label for "people with open ears and open minds" (or some similar phrase). His recording stable comprised jazz musicians (Brian Auger, Chris Barber, John McLaughlin), folk-rockers (Gary Farr, Graham Gouldman, Gordon Jackson), psychedelics (Blossom Toes) and the entirely wonderful Julie Driscoll (Jools) and many of the above collaborated on each others' recordings in a spirit of free-wheeling openness. This open ethos provided an invaluable springboard for my lifelong love of music, led to me writing about it, and fittingly led to me meeting, interviewing and thanking Giorgio Gomelsky in person.
Entirely unrelated to the above, this week's poem is inspired by an open vista I once took great pleasure in: a lovely field on the crest of a hill in the rolling Warwickshire countryside which, on a sunny afternoon after harvesting, reminded me of a Van Gogh painting...
Left Field
Eyes follow tracks
of furrows in the corn-stalks.
Stacks lie
neatly tied
in rows along the skyline
and the sun shines
through sheer clouds,
streaking the pale blue
of autumn air
sharp as crystal and clear.
Thanks for reading. Have a groovy week, S :-) Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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