Joni Mitchell

This Blu-ray combines two previously released titles for the first time in HD although this treatment really only benefits the live performance Painting With Words and Music which is presented in widescreen for the first time. Woman of Heart & Mind is a biopic of an artist, a musician and painter who grew up in […]

Holst Planets Rattle Sleeve

Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle

Back in 1982, Herbert von Karajan recorded the Planets with the Berlin Philharmonic for DG – a massive seller in its day; both on LP and CD. By co-incidence, the young Simon Rattle also recorded the work for EMI with the Philharmonia around the same time. His 2006 remake with the Berlin Philharmonic is slightly […]


The Touré-Raichel Collective

It is very hard to see how it came to be that Idan Raichel, a big domestic Israeli star who plays very ordinary pop music, and the son of Ali Farka Touré ‘ear-stormed’ their way into such an inspiring musical creation. One that nods to sub Saharan, Ethiopian, Yemenite and Israeli folk music. Be that […]


Slowly Rolling Camera

I visited the Gearbox vinyl mastering studio a while back and was very impressed with its dedication to vintage tube powered, analogue equipment. The fact that they use an Audio Note monitoring system might give you some idea of the degree of dedication to the cause, there can be few such facilities on the planet. […]


Mina Agossi

Mina Agossi is a jazz vocalist but in many ways she should be considered an instrumentalist as her voice is often used in the fashion of a jazz instrument. Agossi, who was born in Benin in 1972 but has lived in France for most of her life, specialises in turning the simple into the avant […]


Paul Rodgers

This album is a nostalgic journey for Paul Rodgers. For those among of a tender age, the name will mean very little, but for many he will forever be associated with the bands Free and Bad Company. I am not a devotee but have kept in touch with his work over the years and proudly […]


Iiro Rantala String Trio

I have just listened to the album of the year, and it’s only the end of January. It will be nigh on impossible to convey the sheer beauty of this album and the talent of the trio that weave their magic and musical spell across its tracks. To get the measure of the euphonic bliss, […]

extended circle

Tord Gustavsen Quartet

If you have not heard Tord Gustavsen’s seminal albums this will be, for the most part, a musical joy and a refreshing experience as you discover a quiet but powerful force in contemporary music. Gustavsen and his musical partners are treading on slightly new ground, replacing some of the very melodic and lyrical expressions from […]


Keith Jarrett

These two concerts were recorded in 1981 but the full Munich performance has never been previously released. They came shortly after what would become the height of Jarrett’s commercial success with The Köln Concert and followed the Sun Bear Concerts. Bregenz and Munich were performed five days apart, hence there are versions of the same […]



Laura Marling Once I Was an Eagle CD Laura Marling has made many great albums for one so young but her latest is the most appealing. The recording is extremely intimate and Marling incredibly seductive as a result, even if the songs themselves tell a different story. Musically it has a strong Led Zeppelin feel, […]


The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I was eating breakfast, BBC 6Music on the radio, then Sean Keaveny dropped Foxey Lady from this album and stopped me in my tracks. Lummy doesn’t fully express the effect that the track had on me that morning, but at least it’s polite. The sheer energy and power that Hendrix unleashed at the Miami Pop […]


Charlie Mingus

What would sound like processed cheese in any one else’s hands comes across with verve, wit and an effortless joie de vivre when Charlie Mingus takes the reins. The title alone might be enough to put many off today but that’s only because it’s associate with so much schmaltz, it must have been a bit […]


Samuel Yirga

Ethiopian pianist Samuel Yirga is the jewel in the Real World crown. He’s not as famous as some of the artists on Peter Garbriel’s label but he’s equally as talented. I spotted him because the six track download only Habasha Sessions came out on Bowers & Wilkins’ Society of Sound, a release that should by […]


Gregory Porter

This review took longer than most because Liquid Spirit is a great sounding record, so good that it became a reference within days of its arrival and looks like remaining one for a long time to come. This is Porter’s first major label release, quite why it took so long is a mystery but at […]


The Swallow Quintet

Steve Swallow is a bass player and partner of the organ player Carla Bley, her sound is as much a key to this album as Swallow’s, it creates the ambiance. The bass is brought to the fore as you might expect but it doesn’t compete with the lyrical skills of Bley, Chris Cheek on tenor […]


Grey Reverend

Grey Reverend has bubbling under on and around the Ninja Tune label for a couple of years now, he popped up on the Cinematic Orchestra’s last outing and that band’s leader J Swinscoe has released this album on his Motion Audio imprint. The influences working on Reverend, or Larry D Brown as he was christened […]