critiques of my books and music

me best green shirt pic

From the Rough Guide to Jazz by Ian Carr

A consummate saxophonist and a talented composer, Ramsden spent one year at Leeds College of Music, after which he joined singer/songwriter Tom Robinson, touring and recording with him, and having some success with the hit single “War Baby”. He has also played with Jimmy Witherspoon, NYJO, Loose Tubes, Dudu Pukwana and Bert Jansch. Ramsden eventually settled in London, and has since released two well-received albums, Above the Clouds and Tribute to Paul Desmond. He has also published a novel The Dark Magus and the Sacred Whore. (Serpent’s Tail).

Ramsden is a prodigiously gifted saxophonist –good chops, beautiful sound, plenty of power and even more imagination. Richard Palmer Jazz Journal

The neo-noir Matt and Sasha trilogy (Serpent’s Tail)

“Delightful.” Maxim Jakubowski The Guardian
“Agreeably distasteful.’ The Sunday Times
“A baroque and uproarious parody of every genre you could think
of you’ll laugh along till your piercings ache.”
Time Out
“Witty and absolutely hilarious.” Stuff
“Deliciously dark.” Desire
“Weird but great.” Front
“An excellent novel. Very, very,very funny.” Headpress
“Lashings of humour, generally of a hue blacker than a thigh-high
leather boot.” Big Issue

WAR SCHOOL “Conn Iggulden meets Douglas Adams in this funny, poignant story of a boy cast adrift in a parallel universe, trying to discover the meaning of life and, trickier still, a way to stop his estranged parents from fighting’ – John Williams

RADICAL DESIRE: KINK AND MAGICKAL SEX from the publisher and from
5.0 out of 5 stars Rad, Bad I’m totally Mad for this Book, 27 May 2012
Madeline Moore “Madeline” (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews
This slim (140 pages) book is part brutally honest, unpretentious and often hilarious autobiography,
REDACTED RUDE STUFF (which you can read on Amazon)
…part fine visual art (all illustrations by Ruth Ramsden) and part fiction (2 kinky short stories, here’s an excerpt from “Madam Petra”: Sometime, somewhere, we are always together. Exchanging fragments of dreams and whispered prayers. In the long, slow, sweet dance of desire. Warmed by a pussycat smile.) and entirely satisfying.

Radical Desire: Kink & Magickal Sex, is not so much a book as it is an experience; one that kinksters, new, experienced, or jaded, should not miss.


Rough Guide to Jazz entry on Above the Clouds

This haunting duo album was recorded live and unedited in St Thomas’s Church, Clapton Common, London with Lodder playing the Church organ and Ramsden producing ravishing sonorities on the soprano saxophone.
The lyrical brooding timeless atmosphere is sustained throughout.
(second track)

Jazz UK on Above the Clouds
A truly beautiful and original collection of Ramsden compositions, baroque and thirteenth century dance it won praises from The Wire to BBC music magazine with a heartfelt ‘amazing’ from Nigel Kennedy along the way.
Brian Blain

Above The Clouds (Naxos) was once played next to Mozart on daytime radio 3, how I wish I’d kept that edition of the Radio Times. It’s still available, the album, not the Radio Times, a snip at £5.

Critiques of Tribute to Paul Desmond
…a wonderfully expressive, airy alto player. Breezy, instantly accessible, but with a hint of the graininess that produces pearls. Jazzwise Chris Parker

I also toured and recorded with Bert Jansch, Kiki Dee, Roy Harper, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Tom Robinson among many other jazz, rock, blues, cabaret, show biz and theatre ensembles.
This Top of the Pops 2 vid of War Baby cuts off the start of sax intro, all of which you can hear when it was used on Ashes to Ashes (Yay! Loved that series), on the official vid (I look dreadful) on Youtube or on Tom Robinson’s site. Funny seeing my rubbish hair in 1983. When we spent three weeks in the top ten.


Enjoyed hearing it on the Daily Politics ‘what year is this?’ quiz – perhaps a surprising choice, as we only got to number 6 (if only the small indie label could have pressed more copies?) but it seems to have stuck in people’s heads.

there’s a better solo in You Tattooed Me, a passionate, haunting song from Still Loving You


Recent Jazz/House tracks have been laid to rest at and

More stuff, including the Dark Tantra Tarot, the world’s first fetish pack, a saxed up Get Carter and prettier pictures at


a review of a gig I played at The Spin, Oxford, my favourite venue.
They once had a placard billing me ‘An Icarus who flew too near the sun.’ Prophetic…

One thought on “critiques of my books and music

  1. Pingback: DREAD – the art of serial killing 99p e-book £4.95 paperback | A CURE FOR DEPRESSION MARK RAMSDEN

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