Paris: Emmanuel Pahud/Eric Le Sage (EMI, CD). Emmanuel Pahud is the young Swiss-French flautist EMI are currently grooming to be the next Rampal and Galway packaged into one: Rampal for style and repertoire, Galway for superstar charisma. It's a tallish order. But like Galway, he is starting off with parallel careers: one as a soloist, the other as a principal with the Berlin Philharmonic. The flute, needless to say, is golden. And so, sometimes, is the tone - though with a subtlety and velvet softness that suits (and no doubt derives from long experience of) the all-French repertory he plays on this debut recital disc. It starts with an exquisitely detailed account of the Poulenc Sonata, then ventures into what, for British listeners, will be unfamiliar territory: Dutilleux, Sancan, and the graceful Ibert Jeux. The playing is unquestionably world-class: supple, tender, poignantly seductive. And the pianism of Eric Le Sage has a strength of character whose individuality sounds well on disc, without the mannerisms I found slightly irritating when he played with Pahud recently at London's Wigmore Hall. This is an altogether fine recording, and an introduction to a name you'll see in lights before too long. Michael White
Chet Baker: Chet Baker Sings (Pacific Jazz/Blue Note, CD). Who mentioned heroin chic? Another mid-price reissue of these classic vocals from 1954- 56 is important evidence of how much more music can be than mere dots on a page or notes in the air. Chet's unbelievably wan delivery on a clutch of shopworn standards represents some of the most emotionally affecting music ever made, and this is not so much a record as a soundtrack to live by. Listen to "My Funny Valentine", "Like Someone in Love" or the wonderfully camp "My Buddy", and swoon. If further recommendation is needed, he's Bjork's favourite singer as well.
Grant Green: Standards (Blue Note, CD). Forget the wah-wah, the flange unit and the foot-pedal-assisted Bunsen burner, guitar fans. A nimble single-string run up and down the fretboard by maestro Green suffices for most purposes, and this mid-price reissue of tracks culled from a 1961 session supervised by Rudy Van Gelder is predictably excellent. The backing of Monk's bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Al Harewood is marvellously unfussy and most of the tracks are unreleased or Japanese import-only rarities. Complementary Standards reissues are by Jimmy Smith, Sonny Clark, Lee Morgan and the Three Sounds.Reuse content