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Joni Mitchell

Gig review: Alela Diane, Tabernacle, London

Tonight comes with an odd sense of dislocation – the solo artist on stage bears the glow of a five-month pregnancy if not the bump, while singing mostly about heartbreak and separation. A lot has happened in the two years since Alela Diane's last album, the country-swinging Alela Diane & Wild Divine, notably divorce and engagement to a new feller. The north Californian has yet to reveal if this fiancée is another musician, something you wonder about as she takes the stage to perform solo.

Album: Various Artists, The Village (429)

The village in question is Greenwich Village in New York, which in the 1960s hosted one of the pivotal periods in 20th-century culture when it changed from being the haunt of beatniks and jazzbos to the focus of the burgeoning folk-music boom which spawned the hippie counter-culture.

Just Jack the lad

Camden town's hip-hop observer has a major label deal and two huge hits under his belt. Chris Mugan goes to a North London basement to find out how Just Jack does it

Viola Wills: Disco diva best known for her hit 'Gonna Get Along

When the American singer Viola Wills finally hit the charts in the UK and the rest of Europe with her disco version of "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" in October 1979, it was the culmination of a long-held ambition. She started out in her native Los Angeles when she came to the attention of Barry White in the mid-Sixties, then became a backing vocalist for Joe Cocker and relocated to London where she recorded her debut album, Soft Centres, in 1974. Her career continued into the Eighties and she scored another UK hit with the self-penned, dreamy soul of "Dare To Dream" and an uptempo cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now".

Album: Yusuf, Roadsinger (Island)

Just as he had to get past the songs on Mona Bone Jakon in order to get to the material for his major breakthrough with Tea For The Tillerman, explains Yusuf, so did he have to work through the songs on his comeback album An Other Cup in order to reach the more satisfying condition represented by Roadsinger.

Ane Brun, Union Chapel, London

Given the packaging that surrounds many a budding pop career, it comes as a pleasant surprise to encounter a performer whose style is as pared down as that of the Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun. For her, it's clear, all that matters is the music.