Album: Alesha, The Entertainer (Asylum/Atlantic)

Alesha may be able to dance, and she can jump through the hoops of contemporary R&B vocal cliche with some alacrity, but the mere ability to sing and dance competently is in itself no guarantee of entertainment, a quality in somewhat short supply on The Entertainer.

Album: Amiina, Puzzle, Amiinamusik

Expanded to a sextet by the addition of a drummer and an "electronic artist", the Icelandic string quartet Amiina broaden their approach on this follow-up to 2007's enchanting debut Kurr.

Curse of The Charlatans strikes again as drummer is diagnosed with brain tumour

They should have been celebrating two decades of defying the odds as one of the most enduring features of British indie rock. But instead The Charlatans, who once described themselves as "the unluckiest band in pop", announced yesterday that their drummer had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Album: Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamers, Savoy

After umpteen albums for the Nonesuch label, guitarist Frisell’s debut for Savoy continues in a familiar vein with this bucolic, plinky-plonk trio featuring Eyvind Kang on viola and drummer Rudy Royston.

Album: Anat Fort Trio, And If (ECM)

Another soft-touched ECM pianist with a liking for dreamy, indefinitesounding lyricism.

Album: Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins, Unearthing (Lex)

Unearthing began life as a 2006 essay by Watchmen author and comics genius Alan Moore, and has now, with the help of Warp offshoot Lex, developed into "a work of psychogeography" in multi-media form, incorporating photography and a musical backing provided by alt-hip-hop duo Crook & Flail with contributions from Faith No More's Mike Patton, Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite, Godflesh's Justin Broadrick and drummer Zach Hill.

Album: Phronesis, Alive (Edition)

Danish bassist Jasper Hoiby, whose gorgeous cheekbones decorate the cover, plays in a number of London bands but this trio with pianist Ivo Neame and US drummer Mark Guiliana (here depping for Anton Eger) is the one for which he writes, too.

First Night, Womad, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire

Womad's world of music proves hard to beat

My Fantasy Band: K'Naan

'John Frusciante is just incredible'

Larry Ryan: Familial feelings from Philip Selway

Listen to "By Some Miracle", the first track from "drummer from Radiohead" Philip Selway’s debut solo album.

Stereophonics Stuart Cable's test results 'will take weeks'

The mystery surrounding the sudden death of former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable could take six weeks to resolve.

Album: Vinicius Cantuaria, Samba Carioca (Naive)

Produced once more by his New York neighbour Arto Lindsay, Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist Cantuaria's latest album – launched with a concert at London's Barbican on Tuesday – returns to the laid-back, drifting samba-jazz with which he made his name.

Jake Hanna: Drummer whose controlled power made him the linchpin of the Harry James and Woody Herman bands

Already established as an outstandingly gifted and versatile drummer, in 1961 Jake Hanna arrived at Harry James's house to join the James band.

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links