Arts and Entertainment Dai & The Ramblers, Duw Duw

Duw Duw, Just Peachy Records

Album: Tino Contreras, El Jazz Mexicano de Tino Contreras (Jazzman)

Pre-Columbian jazz? The Mexican drummer and bandleader Tino Contreras pioneered the fusion of groovy, "Take Five"-like 1960s modernism with elements based on Aztec ritual and symbolism.

Album: Lazarus and the Plane Crash, Horseplay (Antique Beat)

In their determination to go out on any limb, regardless of taste or safety, Lazarus and the Plane Crash – a collaboration between Guillotines singer Joe Coles and Stephen Coates, grey eminence behind The Real Tuesday Weld – display the kind of risk-taking absent from The Maccabees' album.

DVD: The Slap (15)

Melissa George again; this time she's Rosie, a drippy, hippie mum, in this engrossing eight-part ensemble drama adapted from Christos Tsiolkas's novel about the barbed underbelly of Melbourne suburbia.

Album: Carole King, A Christmas Carole (Hear Music)

There's an inter-denominational inclusivity theme to Carole King's seasonal offering. The star turn is "Chanukah Prayer", a haunting, jazz-inflected Jewish hymn on which she's joined by her daughter Louise Goffin (who also produced the album) and grandson Hayden Wells.

Album: Various Artists, The First Rock and Roll Record (Famous Flames) (4/5)

This 3CD set attempts to map out the most exhaustive pre-history of rock'n'roll so far committed to one album, and for the most part it does a pretty decent job, tracing the line back as far as the 1916 "The Camp Meeting Jubilee", a pre-blues minstrel-tent recording of such scratchy authenticity it sounds like a parody.

Album: Richard Galliano, Nino Rota (Deutsche Grammophon)

This dream team of accordionist Galliano playing Fellini's favourite composer with trumpeter Dave Douglas, reeds master John Surman, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Clarence Penn appears as part of the London Jazz Festival at the South Bank on Thursday.

Album: Tim Buckley, Starsailor – The Anthology (Rhino)

Everybody needs Tim Buckley in their life, for self-medication as well as entertainment.

Album: Bill Frisell, Sign of Life: Music for 858 Quartet (Savoy Jazz)

On Sign of Life, Frisell offers fragments of haunting melodies that seem to hang like mist; some have affiliations in folk and country music, some in jazz, some in classical; and they're all played by a string quartet in which one of the violins is replaced by Frisell's guitar, the players allowed to extemporise around the melodies as they see fit.

Artie Shaw, By Tom Nolan

Outside the jazz fraternity, the electrifying clarinetist is best-known for his short-lived marriage to Ava Gardner. He explained the bust-up with a joke about a man telling his wife why he couldn't make love ("I can't think of anyone tonight"').

The History Of Jazz, By Ted Gioia

Displaying Olympian knowledge of this protean genre, Gioia combines facts and background information in an absorbing narrative that tootles along, from ragtime which peaked in 1909, to the "struts and prances" of vocalist Jamie Cullum (born 1979).

Album: Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

All hail the new star: 29-year old Californian trumpeter Akinmusire might not offer a new conception of jazz, but what he's doing with the old one is hard to beat.

Album: Miles Davis, Tutu (25th Anniversary Edition) (Warner Jazz)

In 1986, Tutu seemed proof of its creator's rejuvenation, reflected in Irving Penn's polished-icon pic of a freshly monkey-glanded Miles on the cover.

Album: Kurt Elling, The Gate (Decca)

Despite a version of Earth Wind & Fire's "After The Love Is Gone" that is so good you can play it for days, this dream-team collaboration between jazz singer Elling and big-time weirdo producer Don Was delivers less than it promises.

Album: Brad Mehldau, Live in Marciac (Nonesuch)

Solo jazz piano can be a feat of endurance for both player and listener.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform