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The Miles Davis standard “So What” has been a modal jazz touchstone for 55 years, providing the harmonic canvas for myriad improvisations and reinterpretations.

Album: Bill Frisell, Sign of Life (Savoy)

Guitarist Frisell has been straddling the gap between bluegrass-picking and the plinky-plonk avant garde for years but this latest recording, the second with his 858 string quartet, marks a return to peak form. All 17 tunes are Frisell compositions but the band's extempore arrangements deliver intricately worked variations on fiddle and guitar breakdowns and big-vista American pastoralism, as well as a little bit of squeaky-gate improv. The sound sparkles like springwater.

Win a set of blues giants 3-CD sets

We've got five collections, each of three boxed sets, to give away. You can win oodles of music from the greatest periods of three blues giants on these new three-CD sets.

Michael 'Würzel' Burston: Guitarist who contributed some of Motörhead's finest rocking moments

Led by the ultimate rock'n'roll reprobate, the gruff-voiced bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, Motörhead have been playing faster, heavier and louder than most of their heavy metal competitors for over 35 years now. Known to all the group's fans by his suitably umlaut-accented nickname, the guitarist "Würzel" – né Michael Burston – was a semi-professional musician whose take-no-prisoners approach to the instrument lived up to Kilmister's high expectations when he auditioned to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Brian Robertson, once of Thin Lizzy, in November 1983.

Former Motorhead guitarist dies

Former Motorhead guitarist Wurzel has died.

Caught & Social: Double joy for Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood’s night at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards was better than he realised.

Noel Gallagher''s new album is 'far out'

Noel Gallagher says his second solo album is "far out" with "space jazz" on it.

Album: Jolie Holland & the Grand Chandeliers, Pint of Blood (Anti-)

The Chandeliers are a duo of multi-instrumentalists augmented by guitarist Marc Ribot; Jolie Holland is a singer who obviously went to the same school of swallowed vocal contortion as Lucinda Williams.

Album: Vieux Farka Toure, The Secret (Six Degrees)

Guitarist Vieux Farka Touré here seeks to extend his Malian musical heritage beyond the country's borders, by collaborating with American musicians on several tracks – though never obscuring the native essence of his style.

Album: Pat Metheny, What's it all About (Nonesuch)

Bizarrely, star guitarist Metheny appears to be paying tribute to that bloke in the pizza restaurant who plays "The Girl from Ipanema" on Friday nights.

Album: JuJu, In Trance (Real World)

Now that guitarist Justin Adam and Gambian vocalist and ritti (one-stringed fiddle) player Juldeh Camara have got a sturdy backline of Billy Fuller on bass and Dave Smith on drums, the heady joyous racket they produce is as much rock as it is "world music".

Album: Duane Eddy, Road Trip (Mad Monkey)

The legendary twang guitarist's first album in 24 years mercifully contains none of the gimmicks used by his 1980s collaborators Art of Noise, just a timeless surf sound from producer, co-writer and obvious fan Richard Hawley.

The Naked and Famous, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Hyperbolically touted as a must-see for this year's summer festivals, New Zealand's newest, hottest, most exciting export The Naked and Famous are predictably not naked as they take to the Empire's stage in front of a hyper Friday-night crowd.

Album: Robbie Robertson, How to Become Clairvoyant (429)

On his first album in 13 years, Robbie Robertson resumes his fascination with the great American mythos.

Album: Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight, The Days that Shaped Me (One Little Indian)

The newest fold in the Waterson dynasty finds the late Lal's children exploring their place in the world with a suite of melancholy, poetic songs: unadorned, sometimes courtly, always hard to read.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape