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The Independent Culture
Charles Lloyd: The Call (ECM, CD/tape). He gets the blame for starting the whole jazz-rock thing back in 1966 with a flower-power combo that included the young Keith Jarrett, but anything in Lloyd's past can now be forgiven. Sensitively assisted by Bobo Stenson (piano), Anders Jormin (bass) and Billy Hart (drums), he runs his tenor saxophone through a set of compositions calculated to display his fine tone and poised lyricism, and entirely escapes the proto-New Age trappings of his early work. 'The older I get,' he says on the sleeve, 'the less I know.' And the better he gets. Richard Williams

Jimi Hendrix: Blues (Polygram, CD/tape). Packaged to present Hendrix as an escapee from the blues pantheon, this seeming job-lot of rarities and out-takes is actually a fresh and coherent assault on all notions of musical orthodoxy. After a quarter of a century, this stuff still sounds new. Hendrix's blistering appropriation of traditional forms at once administered a wake-up call to the sloppy inheritors of the British blues boom, and tweaked the moustachios of the greats who had inspired him. Not even he can add anything to Muddy Waters' 'Mannish Boy', but most of these performances are essential. The playing on 'Catfish Blues' and 'Here My Train A-Comin' ' is revelatory, and even the early-morning 12-bar doodle 'Jelly 292' bristles with inventiveness. Ben Thompson

David Bowie: Santa Monica '72 (Golden Years, CD only). This record of the Spiders from Mars live at Santa Monica in October 1972 looks like a bootleg, sounds like a bootleg, and is, in fact, perfectly legit. The sound quality is initially wayward, prone to drop-outs and bass-heavy, but it does level off. It will do the reputation of the late Mick Ronson no harm at all: his fierce riffing is even more dominant than it was in the studio. Bowie sounds enthralled by songs from Ziggy Stardust which he was later to address perfunctorily on David Live and almost butcher on Stage. Rough, raw and savagely good in places, it should have come out years ago. David Cavanagh

THE IoS PLAYLIST

THE FIVE BEST SOUNDS OF THE MOMENT

Haydn: Infedelta Delusa. La Petite Bande/Kuijken (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, double CD). Inconsequential but enchanting Esterhaza opera, lightly cast and brightly played. Michael White

David Matthews: Symphony No 4. East of England Orchestra/ Nabarro (Collins, CD single). A 30-minute sampler of new British writing of the not-necessarily-Pastoral school. MW

The Meat Puppets: Too High to Die (London, LP/CD/tape). Country-grunge pioneers back doing what they do best after years in the metal wilderness. BT

Hole: Live through This (City Slang, CD/LP/tape). An LP whose poetic force should not be obscured by tragic significance. BT

Crash Test Dummies: Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm (RCA, single). An obvious choice, but has a more elegant melody ever graced the Top Two? DC

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