Arts and Entertainment

You have to applaud the restlessness and drive of a talent such as JTE's. At its best (see Harlem River Blues), the results are a beguiling blend of demon-driven countryfied rock-gospel and Earle could easily have stuck in that groove/rut.

Van Morrison cheered by Brit award: The record industry salutes a rock legend for his outstanding contribution. David Lister reports

ONE of the most enduring, if most miserable talents in rock music was honoured last night when the Belfast-born singer Van Morrison received a special award for outstanding contribution to the British record industry. After receiving the award he sang to a celebrity audience at the Brits, the premier rock and pop awards ceremony, held at Alexandra Palace in north London, and followed by a party complete with casino, ferris wheel and clairvoyants.

RECORDS / New Releases: Cassandra Wilson: Blue Light til' Dawn (Blue Note, CD/LP/tape)

Dark reworkings of blues roots, including Robert Johnson's 'Come on in My Kitchen' and 'Hellhound on My Trail', make this largely acoustic set the best jazz vocal album of the year. Wilson, whose output had dipped from the classic standards of Blues Skies a few years back, also breathes surprising new life into Joni Mitchell's 'Black Crow' and Van Morrison's 'Tupelo Honey'.

ROCK / REVIEW: The grumpy duo: Andy Gill on Bob Dylan and Van Morrison at the Finsbury Park Fleadh

THE annual Fleadh Festival has become increasingly just a case of Van the Man in Finsbury the Park, with a sizable supporting cast reduced to increasingly distant undercard status. The gulf between Morrison and the preceding act, Hothouse Flowers, gets greater every year, so the addition of Bob Dylan at the business end of the bill helped inject a little extra excitement. Though this added spark was less, admittedly, than would accompany Dylan in the days before he set out on his Never-Ending Tour.

ROCK / Still in the vanguard: Suede

ONLY ONE man has emerged from a duet with Cliff Richard with his credibility intact. Only one Celtic soul brother looks like Ron Atkinson after a nasty brush with a car-crusher. Ladies and gentlemen, fold away your copy of Watchtower and shake out your trouser creases, because Van Morrison is in the house.

My old man said follow the Van: Jim White sees Van Morrison mark the end of an era at the Town & Country Club, London

JUST inside the door at the Town & Country Club in London on its last night, there was a large plastic bucket.
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