Austin John Marshall: Graphic artist, record producer and songwriter

Austin John Marshall, record producer, folk-revival ideas man, lyricist and songwriter, performance poet and muralist, created, nurtured or acted as cultural midwife to many strands of art. His fingerprints are all over Shirley Collins & Davy Graham's folk roots, new routes, Shirley & Dolly Collins' magnum opus Anthems in Eden, Ultravox!'s pre-Midge Ure incarnation Tiger Lily and English songwriter Steve Ashley's groundbreaking Stroll On. He also contributed footage to Peter Neal's Jimi Hendrix film Rainbow Bridge (1972) and to the Incredible String Band's film Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending (1970).

Album: Jonathan Wilson, Gentle Spirit (Bella Union)

Much will depend on what the words "Laurel Canyon" mean to you. For this is an updating of the late-'60s model of golden, folk-inflected pop so associated with that storied gulch. And a world already saturated with Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver is primed. Wilson's music is meditative, quiet, stretched. The melodies barely move, sung by a voice as soft as mousse, while tempos seldom stir above a flip-flopped stroll. Themes? Well, here are some titles: "Canyon in the Rain", "Ballad of the Pines", "Magic Everywhere", "Woe is Me". And can that be an authentic mellotron we hear on "Waters Down"? There is always a temptation with these things to play the reference game – "CS&N meet Quicksilver over veggie cutlets round at Neil's" – but that might be a way of avoiding a higher truth, which is that Gentle Spirit is impressively inert.

Album: Lee Konitz, New Quartet (Enja)

At an age when most of us would be happy if we could still get a spoon in our mouths, 82-year-old saxophonist Konitz took his young band into New York's Village Vanguard.

Album: Neil Cowley Trio, Radio Silence (Naim)

There's nothing wrong with this third album by the likeable NCT but all the principal ingredients – pianism in the grand manner, catchy hooks, minimal improvisation – were already present in the previous two, and it's hard to say they've really been improved upon.

Album: Maria Taylor, Lady Luck (Nettwerk)

It's probably just me but a certain type of US TV drama is increasingly spoiling my love of a certain type of US music. So you're watching, say, Grey's Anatomy, when there, in the background of the sad reflective scene, is an artist you thought of as your own: a Jason Molina or a Maria Taylor. Inevitable, I guess, and Taylor's polished pop fits the bill perfectly – all Carole King meets Lone Justice. And just in case Mr TV Dude's not listening, Michael Stipe pops up on the final track.

Album: Bonga, Bairro, (Lusafrica)

What makes this 65-year-old Angolan veteran's music so compelling is that he effortlessly mixes Brazilian samba with the melancholy yearnings of Cape Verdean morna.