Arts and Entertainment Dai & The Ramblers, Duw Duw

Duw Duw, Just Peachy Records

Album: Esperanza Spalding, Radio Music Society (Heads Up/Decca

After the charming acoustic set Chamber Music Society, and just-pipping Bieber to a Grammy for Best New Artist, bassist, singer and composer Spalding tries to breathe new life into the dead form of smooth jazz-fusion.

Album: Rocket Juice & The Moon, Rocket Juice & The Moon (Honest Jons)

In a week replete with intriguing cross-pollinations of style and sound, this may be both the most deliberate, yet the loosest-sounding.

Red Holloway: Jazz saxophonist who also played with John Mayall

Red Holloway, a tenor saxophone player who had a tone as big as the side of a house, made his name in jazz, but more quietly – or musically, more loudly – worked for John Mayall and a variety of rhythm'n'blues stars. "I enjoyed playing with Mayall," Holloway said. "He's a very good self-taught entertainer and I admire that. It takes an awful lot of nerve and perseverance to become successful like he did... We had a good working relationship."

Album: Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again (Polydor)

Michael Kiwanuka continues the folk-soul tradition of Bill Withers and Terry Callier on this debut album. Sensitively produced by The Bees' Paul Butler, it's a pleasant enough handful of easy-going songs, in which the focus on warmth has left them lacking bite.

Album: Katie Melua, Secret Symphony (Dramatico)

Katie Melua's fifth album suffers from the opposite shortcoming to most female singers: rather than over-emote too flamboyantly, on Secret Symphony she seems emotionally constrained, stifling the songs in politesse.

Album: Jodie Marie, Mountain Echo (Verve)

It's interesting how many of today's brighter young talents, from Laura Marling to Duffy, have been reared not on the conveyor-belt exercises of stage school, but on more individually fulfilling engagement with the outré influences of older generations. J

Barney Rosset

Further to your obituary of Barney Rosset (28 February), Evergreen Review and Grove Press were oases in the deserts of Dullsville in the late 1950s, as far as international publications featuring avant-garde writing were concerned, writes Michael Horovitz. I particularly valued Rosset's championing of Samuel Beckett some time before he became a household name. And it was in an early Evergreen Review that I was delighted to discover the then still unknown student Pete Brown's first minimal poems, near-haiku with a Cockney music-hall punchline, which he had simply sent in on spec.

Goodbye to All That, Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London

Talk about a striking case of "Snap!". To be seen at the Royal Court now - on both the mainstage and in the Theatre Upstairs - is the spectacle of a helpless ageing man in a bed, hooked up to things like saline drips and catheters, and flanked by two women who are warring because of him.

Album: Various Artists, Listen, White! the Sounds of Black Power 1967-1974 (Light in the Attic)

Listen, Whitey! seethes with righteous anger and revolutionary determination.

Critic is far from Gaga over star's parents' eaterie

It would be hard to describe Lady Gaga as underwhelming, but that's the impression a critic in New York was given on attending the opening night of her parents' new Italian restaurant.

Album: Paul McCartney, Kisses on the Bottom (Mercury)

There's always been an easy-listening element to the McCartney oeuvre, but the lite-jazz treatment of standards on Kisses on the Bottom seems like a misstep.

Album: 1982 (Nils Okland, Sigborn Apeland, Oyvind Skarbo) Pintura, (Hubro)

This extraordinary album of chamber-style improvisations by the Norwegian trio of Okland (violin/Hardanger fiddle), Apeland (harmonium/Wurlitzer) and Skarbo (drums) lasts a little over half an hour and casts a very powerful spell.

Bob Brookmeyer: Trombonist hailed as one of the finest in jazz

It's hard to think of anyone who gave more to jazz than the valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. He was the finest player of his instrument, and was regarded as one of the most imaginative of trombonists. A brilliant writer and orchestrator, he ran the venerated Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band to such an extent that it was really his band rather than Mulligan's.

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