Four years ago, not so long after the final Resnick novel, Darkness, Darkness, was published, I was invited to be a guest on the BBC Radio 3 programme, Private Passions – a sort of (mainly) classical version of Desert Island Discs, only, since this was to be broadcast alongside the London Jazz Festival, there was to be a somewhat higher jazz content than is often the case.
I was delighted to be asked [understatement!] and thoroughly enjoyed the process, from making the choice of music to be featured to the interview itself, which was conducted with little or no preamble or rehearsal, the presenter, Michael Berkeley, making me feel immediately at my ease. The pair of us sat in a relatively small studio space, listening together to the pieces as they were played on air, which meant that one’s immediate response was, well, immediate.
I wanted to choose music that meant something in particular to me, while being conscious of delivering a broad ranging selection I thought people might respond to, and which might include some pieces with which listeners might be less than familiar with – Jocelyn Pook’s Tango with Corrugated Iron, for instance, or James P. Johnson’s Victory March.
Here’s the full list …
Mean to Me [Fred E. Ahlert and Roy Turk]
Billie Holiday with Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra inc. Lester Young (tenor sax)
Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) [Mendelssohn]
Maxim Dmitrievich Shostakovich & Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
Victory Stride [James P. Johnson]
Marin Alsop & The Concordia Orchestra
Shipbuilding [Elvis Costello]
Elvis Costello with Chet Baker (trumpet)
Cello Concerto No. 2 [Shostakovich]
Sol Gabetta with Marc Albrecht & Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Tango with Corrugated Iron [Jocelyn Pook]
Electra Strings & Jocelyn Pook
Rhythm-a-ning [Thelonious Monk]
Thelonious Monk Trio
And, somewhere in there, I was asked to read my poem about Chet Baker, which, of course, I was more than happy to do.
The programme is now available to listen to for 29 days …