Bobo Stenson Trio Indicum

Bobo Stenson Trio

Indicum starts out conventionally enough with a rendition of Bill Evans’ Your Story, a gentle piece that lulls you into a false assumption that is quickly upturned in the next number. That tune is Indikon, a band composition that is distinctly scandiwegian in the absence of blues influences and the presence of a compulsive rhythmic […]

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin Live

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin

Nik Bärtsch is a restrained fellow, you’d not guess from this that he’s a keyboard player, it sound’s more like the bass player’s band. This is because Bärtsch avoids taking a lead role, he is immersed in an ensemble which twists and turns in unison like a flock of starlings over the sea. This means […]

Bonobo Black Sands Remixed


The remix of Bonobo’s Black Sands is a variety box of little sonic delicacies. An improvement on more recent offerings, and much more like his first album, the sounds flit around your brain like illuminated deep sea creatures firing off electrical pulses and warm soothing glows. Bonobo’s first album, ‘Animal Magic’, was full of unusual […]

Jack of Hearts

Anthony WIlson Trio

Anthony Wilson made his name accompanying Diane Krall on her various tours, but when he’s not accompanying Elvis Costello’s wife he tends to do his own shtick, which is very different to the soft bossas that made Krall’s Live In Paris DVD so famous. Jack of Hearts was recorded in 2009, it features some very […]

Medeski Scofield etc

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

Medeski, Martin and Wood have been at the forefront of being different for many years now. Their association with John Scofield originally resulted in the by now cherished legend that is the Scofield’s album A Go Go (1998). So fans of the curious and deliberately idiosyncratic trio will no doubt welcome this double album, others […]

Rava on the dance floor

Enrico Rava

Italian trumpet player Enrico Rava must have a pretty efficient shielding system for keeping pop music out of his life. The inspiration for this live concert is the music of Michael Jackson, music which Rava only discovered after the singer’s passing in 2009. Equally surprising is that he is of the opinion that the star’s […]

Univers Zero Live!

Univers Zero

Univers Zero was a member of the late 1970s movement ‘Rock in Opposition’, a European collective (instigated by Henry Cow and Chris Cutler of the same) of bands committed to musical excellence and operating, by self-perpetuating accident, outside the mainstream record industry. Ten years before, major labels, as a legacy of the classical record tradition […]

Anouar Brahem Le Pas Du Chat Noir

Anouar Brahem

It is possible to describe this album as music by Frederic Chopin written for a kanun (a variation on the dulcimer and zither) and played side by side next to Erik Satie’s music for oud. This album merges east and west in a very melodious and poetic fashion. Anyone looking for a contemplative musical background […]

The Cinematic Orchestra Presents In Motion #1

various artists

This welcome return for Jason Swinscoe and his band of imaginative cohorts starts out with a typically stylish TCO backdrop overplayed with live drum-work that’s joined by a string quartet. So far so typical of this London based outfit’s fine work. But then things change and it becomes apparent that this is not just the […]

Wesseltoft Schwarz - Duo

Wesseltoft Schwarz

Bugge Wesseltoft has been sampling himself and playing along with the sample, then repeating the process, building up layers of sound so that one instrument turns into a band, for some time now. This latest release from Norway’s most progressive musical conceptualist finds him working with Henrik Schwarz who is credited with ‘playing’ the computer. […]

Grateful Dead - Reckoning

Grateful Dead

This is album is a veritable hens tooth, a fantastic performance by an immensely talented band that was recorded at such a high standard that its stands out a mile over 30 years later. It reveals just how great the Dead were in 1980, playing live in front of very enthusiastic audiences on the east […]

Grateful Dead - Blues for Allah

Grateful Dead

This 1975 foray by the greatest hippy band to ever play the pyramids was the closest they ever came to jazz rock. Inevitably it’s not that close but there are quite a few instrumental pieces among its dozen tracks and some pretty sharp playing. There aren’t any saxophones either but a flute takes the lead on […]