Tuesday 13 November 2007

The Blue of the Night

The Blue of the Night is a wonderful evening program on Lyric FM. I'm not sure when I started listening to it first, but I think it was when my girlfriend, now my wife, moved to Japan in the late 90s for a year with work. I began listening to radio again, something I hadn't done for years. Back then I listened to two things - Tonight with Vincent Browne on Radio 1 and The Blue of the Night on Lyric. The first of these disappeared a few months ago (funny enough I was an audience member on one of the last shows before I knew it was coming to an end). Today I learned that the presenter of The Blue of the Night, one Paul Herriot, has also moved on. I had suspected it for a while - there has been a long series of stand ins for Paul over the past few months. He would only present the show about half of the time. I was kind of waiting for the bad news. And it is bad news. I will use first name terms here for a voice I feel I know so well - Paul's voice is smooth and calming with a hint of the North about it. On The Blue his every word was intoned especially for the pillowed ear. There was always just enough emphasis, or even playfulness, to make you want to hold back from sleeping for another track. And here was the main beauty : Paul played a delightful selection of triple plays that took us from the renaissance to modern jazz. From innovative trad to English folk. It was Paul who introduced me to Jacques Loussier who plays Bach with jazzy improvisation. To Liam O'Flynn the finest living piper. To Kate Rusby the sublime Celtic-English folk singer. To the magnificent harp strings of the great Andrew Lawrence King. And dozens more. This was always sweetened by occasional plays of my other favourites such as jazz scatter Kurt Elling and standards from Davis to Simone. Wonderful wonderful music. A serene and delightful way to retreat from the world at end of day. But alas, Paul has moved to a daytime classical slot. The voice of Carol Corcoran takes over at the Blue. Corcoran is another Lyric gem and I'm sure the Blue will continue to surprise and delight.

Thank you Paul and all the best.

Oh and that's Kate Rusby there in the pic, not Paul :-)

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