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.

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