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The Independent Culture
Tina Turner: Wildest Dreams (EMI, CD/LP/tape). Time for a Tina Unplugged or an album of Sixties soul classics, or even a meeting with some songwriters with a little substance and integrity, like the ones Cher used on her last album. Time for anything to extricate Turner from the rut she occupies in the middle of the road. Her wildest dreams seem to consist of nothing crazier than a couple of hit singles and 10 more tracks of impeccably contemporary, unengaging funk-pop. The producers are big names but they lack big ideas, and even the presence of the Pet Shop Boys and a Massive Attack song fails to enliven proceedings. When her substandard Bond theme is the song with the most edge, you suspect that Turner could have made Wildest Dreams in her sleep. Nicholas Barber

Various Artists: The Best of Black Jazz (Universal Sound CD/LP). Courtesy of the same people who brought us Universal Sounds of America, another priceless treasure chest unearthed from deep in the US jazz underground. Founded in Illinois in the early Seventies, the Black Jazz label lasted just five years before it was laid low by (since disproven) accusations of sharp practice. In its short life it provided a home for some thrillingly suave and fiery performers: Doug Carn, Calvin Keys and Kellee Patterson. The funky punch of their music makes them names to conjure with. And if anyone has ever wondered where the irresistible bass-line in Deee-lite's "Groove is in the Heart" came from, this compilation has the answer. Ben Thompson

Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Cantatas Vol 2. Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir/Ton Koopman/Schlick, Wessel, Pregardien, Mertens (Erato, three CDs). Early Bach is stunningly mature and Koopman's cantatas contain moments of unsurpassed inventiveness: bewitching arabesques to symbolise God's grace in BWV 172, pizzicato fist-blows as Christ knocks on the door of humanity in BWV 61. With a couple of secular cantatas and a doggerel Quodlibet ("Hey, why does Salome look so down in the mouth? Because the ostler is tickling her with his pitchfork") he also vouchsafes a valuable insight into JSB relaxing. Good soloists, intelligent period style, and 18 volumes to come make this series a sound investment. Dermot Clinch