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Album review: John Harle & Marc Almond – The Tyburn Tree (Sospiro Noir)

February 16, 2014


On their most recent outing together – the concept album Art Music, which was also reviewed on these pages – Marc Almond’s voice fitted beautifully to Harle’s score on the few tracks he featured on. At the time they were already working on The Tyburn Tree, and a whole album to explore what they can […]

Album Review: Fringe Magnetic – Clocca (Loop Records)

December 10, 2013


At first disquieting and then reassuringly warm, the opening track to Fringe Magnetic’s Clocca sets the tone for Fringe Magnetic’s third and final album. The album cover doesn’t do a bad job either, a creepy night-time scene featuring a girl in the woods with a flaming torch, like something out of one of those fairy […]

Album review: Tigran – Shadow Theatre (Universal)

November 3, 2013


I only heard this album, by Armenian pianist Tigran, for first time the other night and wasn’t sure if I’d had time to write up my thoughts before the release date, but when I listened to it I knew after about 60 seconds that I had to make time to write about it as I […]

Album review: John Harle – Art Music (Sospiro Records)

October 14, 2013


Tweet this. To do justice to the vision for this album you really need to hear the inspiration in the composer’s own words. “Music is painting. Music and painting are both about capturing the essence of something.” British saxophonist and composer John Harle equates the emotion experienced viewing art directly with music, “The paintings that […]

Album review: Arun Ghosh – A South Asian Suite (Camoci records)

October 9, 2013


Tweet this. Originally conceived back in 2010 and premiered by Manchester Mega Mela and the PRS for Music Foundation, clarinettist and composer Arun Ghosh’s A South Asian Suite is finally due to be released as an album this month. Depicting five countries of the subcontinent, the listener is taken on an auditory tour of these landscapes […]

Album review: Philip Clouts Quartet – The Hour of Pearl (Point Records)

September 17, 2013


Tweet this. This beautiful follow-up to Philip Clouts Quartet’s debut release Sennen Cove features Philip on piano, Carlos Lopez-Real on sax, Alex Keen on bass and Jon Desbruslais on drums and percussion. Alive and lyrical, this artfully structured album gently lulls the listener towards the peaceful interval ‘between day and night’. I was lucky enough […]

Album review: Empirical – Tabula Rasa (Naim Jazz)

August 20, 2013


Tweet this. Eternally experimental, Empirical are due to release their double-disc fourth studio album at the end of the month. This time collaborating with the string group Benyounes Quartet, they take on modern classical sounds and structures against and alongside their evolving brand of jazz. The title of the album, Tabula Rasa means ‘blank slate’, […]

Album review: Kairos 4tet – Everything We Hold (Naim Jazz)

May 28, 2013


Tweet this. Kairos 4tet is Adam Waldmann on sax, Jasper Høiby on bass, Ivo Neame on piano and Jon Scott on drums. This is their third album and it builds a solid identity in featuring vocals throughout for a large proportion of the content. The vocals come from Marc O’Reilly, Omar and Emilia Mårtensson, who […]

Album review: Portico Quartet – Live/Remix (Realworld)

March 18, 2013

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Tweet this. Last year’s self-titled album was a huge leap into the unknown and away from Portico’s jazzy hang-focused roots. The release of a double album – half live, half remixes – consisting mainly of content only released last year might have had the potential to appear a bit of a stopgap or filler, but […]

Album Review: Vinicio Capossela – Rebetiko Gymnastas (LA Cupa/WB)

February 11, 2013

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If you’re looking for something a bit different, then how does a Greek rebetiko-inspired album by an Italian singer sound? Originally released last year in Italy, Rebetiko Gymnastas is an exploration of the Greek form of rebetiko. Capossela has taken eight of his own works from various albums going back to 1990 and has re-born […]

Album review: José James – No Beginning No End (Blue Note)

January 5, 2013


The atmosphere of this album is somehow simultaneously intimately singular, with James’ wonderful sensual voice as the centre, but also greatly collaborative. Across the different songs James plays with a wide range of artists, including Robert Glasper, Emily King and Hindi Zahra amongst others. James’ music inhabits a space somewhere between jazz and R&B. According […]

Review: Neil Cowley Trio + Goldsmiths (Big) Strings @ Barbican, LJF

November 18, 2012


A tremendous showman, Neil Cowley conducted one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve seen for a long time at the Barbican on Saturday afternoon. In a perpetual rush to clear out before Chick Corea headlined the festival that evening, the trio valued every second on stage and crammed in a huge chunk of material from […]

Album review: Vinicius Cantuaria – Indio De Apartamento (Naive)

October 28, 2012

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Born in Brazil and now based in Brooklyn, NY, Vinicius Cantuaria is known for his work with bossa nova and Brazilian jazz.  His latest release, Indio De Apartamento, has a contemporary vibe and maintains a supremely relaxed feel throughout, with a pervading underlying jazz presence. The album features a number of special guests, including Ryuichi […]

Preview: Neil Cowley Trio + Goldsmiths (Big) Strings (LJF)

October 10, 2012


Ever a fan of jazz-meets-classical combos, I thought I’d give a bit of airtime to an exciting event coming up next month. With November just around the corner again it means we’ve already started building up for the annual London Jazz Festival, and Neil Cowley Trio, recently shortlisted for the Association of Independent Music’s (AIM) Genre […]


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