Duw Duw, Just Peachy Records
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Sunday 25 March 2012
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.
Friday 23 March 2012
In a week replete with intriguing cross-pollinations of style and sound, this may be both the most deliberate, yet the loosest-sounding.
Thursday 22 March 2012
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."
Sunday 18 March 2012
Sunday 11 March 2012
Friday 09 March 2012
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.
Friday 02 March 2012
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.
Friday 02 March 2012
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
Wednesday 29 February 2012
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.
Tuesday 28 February 2012
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.
Friday 24 February 2012
Listen, Whitey! seethes with righteous anger and revolutionary determination.
Friday 03 February 2012
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.
Friday 03 February 2012
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.
Sunday 15 January 2012
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.
Friday 13 January 2012
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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