On Saturday evening we watched 3:10 to Yuma - the original Glenn Ford, Van Heflin film of that title made in 1957, as opposed to the Russell Crowe, Christian Bale 2009 remake. They are both good movies, with faultless performances from both sets of leading actors, however for me it’s only the ’57 film that deserves to be hailed a classic Western. The earlier version lacks the extremely dark post-modernist ending of the later film. The short story upon which both scripts were based was penned by Elmore Leonard, which I haven’t read but most certainly plan on doing. Judith remains keen on watching any kind of cowboy film and has recently been observed by myself (still nursing some very grave suspicions - see earlier post Could the Aliens who Abducted my Wife Please Return Her!) at bedtime excitedly turning the pages of a compendium of short stories entitled The Giant Book of Western Stories. Weird, huh?
On Sunday we went to see the extraordinary jazz singer Gregory Porter at the Assembly Rooms, Tunbridge Wells. He possesses one of those rare voices that isn’t really definable, no matter how many adjectives can be strung together to assist with this purpose. But I think if you’ve ever heard him sing you’ll know immediately what I mean. The wife and I don’t really typify your regular jazz lovers, but then Gregory Porter doesn’t typify the regular jazz singer. I’ve heard him described as a ‘Jazz’ singer who possesses a ‘Soul’ voice. I suppose both of us have a deep and abiding fondness for classic soul and perhaps this is why he appeals so much. His aura as a performer radiates great warmth, which is not an inconsiderable feat at the Assembly Rooms, as this is not a venue that could ever be classified as intimate. Apparently, Porter, who grew up in California, planned to be an American Football player but his plans were scuppered by a shoulder injury. It’s hard to believe that someone with such incredible vocal talent might have considered a career in any other field. It’s also difficult to understand why Porter, born in 1971, has taken all this time to receive anything like the recognition he deserves. We first saw him on the Jools Holland show and certainly hope to see him again whenever he tours the UK. The four musicians supporting him were equally superb and deserve mentioning too: pianist and music director, Chip Crawford, drummer Emanuel Harrold, bassist Aaron James, and alto saxophonist Yosuke Sato. It was a tremendous evening. I highly recommend listening to this man, take a look at the Gregory Porter website where you get the opportunity to hear a few tracks. Enjoy!