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 […]


The Last Hurrah!!

Another Scandiwegian gem The Last Hurrah!! is Norwegian guitarist HP Gundersen along with a cornucopia of unusual acoustic instruments played by an international ensemble of great musicians. It’s floaty, light and often features vocals from Heidi Goodbye (great name) accompanied by female BVs. Infuriatingly the CD consists of a single 35 minute track. Mysteriously the […]


Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

In the past I have found the standards covered by Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette are a little too old and soft for my tastes, but this selection, originally presented at a 2009 concert in Lucerne, has just the right balance of beauty and exploration. That’s partly because it combines six standards with two originals, in […]



Just as the sixties has proved a happy hunting ground for Jack White the seventies would seem to be a major source of inspiration for Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat. This LA based singer/bassist’s second album has a lot of familiar sounds and styles to those that appreciate the more imaginative strands of jazz/rock. Stanley Clarke […]

june tabor quercus

June Tabor, Iain Ballamy, Huw Warren

According to the great Danny Baker: “Any pure music is inferior to mongrel music”. The album reviewed here can be seen as prima facie evidence that the wordsmith/broadcaster is right. I have to confess that when the request to opine on this album was made my heart sank, I know nothing about English folk music. […]

Jaga Britten

Jaga Jazzist

This pairing seems as unlikely as Deep Purple’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra did back in the seventies yet it works, possibly rather better than the Purp’s efforts judging from its place in the classic rock pantheon. Jaga Jazzist’s effort has some chance of standing the test of the time because this performance captures their […]


The Celluloid Records Story 1979 - 1987

Jean Karakos founded Celluloid Records in Paris in the late seventies but it wasn’t until he started releasing bass player/producer Bill Laswell’s work in the early eighties that it got off the ground. This two disc, 26 track retrospective (the download adds a further five including a rare Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles piece Doriella […]


Goran Kajfes Subtropic Arkestra

Last year Goran Kajfes released the beautifully bound X/Y album with his Subtropic Arkestra playing largely original works on disc X and Kajfes with David Österberg doing a modern variant on In A Silent Way on disc Y, the latter is more ambient and has proved the most enduring. The name of this latest release […]


Mop Mop

An unusual afro-european melange with a fabulous sound Isle of Magic is the sonic result of Mop Mop founder Andrea Benini’s vision of an island of musicians. It varies in style quite dramatically, the first four tracks have a heavy african influence and the voice of Trinidad poet/singer Anthony Joseph whose conscious lyrics give them […]

In The Country

In The Country

Sunset Sunrise continues the Norwegian trio In The Country’s distinctive journey through the less obvious musical fjords. Morten Qvenlid’s piano remains as rambling as ever yet continues to distract and delight. Laid back and freeform, the opener is a slow paced wander that takes us to places very different from our own surroundings. In the […]



For once the title fits the work, it’s open to interpretation of course but does give some indication of the type of mood that it creates. Food is Thomas Strønen and Iain Ballamy, a drummer and a sax player and this is their second album for ECM. What those two instruments don’t suggest is the […]


Ryan Blotnick

Ryan Blotnick’s first solo release starts out pretty angular and clearly electric but it’s not long before Blotnick gets into a less aggressive acoustic style that’s strong on innovation and had me hooked. I got the impression that he’d listened to plenty of John Fahey but reading some background it seem that’s almost a coincidence […]

Fink Wheels turn


Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet is presumably a reference to the time that Fin ‘Fink’ Greenall has been spending on the road over the past couple of years. Like many musicians these days he can no longer rely on album sales for an income and has to put in the miles if he’s going to […]


The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers are usually written off as just another MOR band, perhaps even the definitive example of the genre but as this documentary reveals they were a hard working, talented and extremely adaptable band that happened to be very successful. The Doobie’s story starts with them getting the name on account of their enthusiasm […]