Sakina Abdou, Barbara Dang, Peter Orins: Lescence / Gmatique

We’ve had this on the books a while but it’s an oddball; with Circum-Disc sending us some more new jazz, we thought we’d have a go. We’ve had some Peter Orins before and it was recognisably jazz, as in when you play the piano you get piano noises. Not so here. The trio play sax, […]

Unk: Now

The PR from French label Circum-Disc opens by saying “We don’t really know how to pronounce _Unk” – obviously they say it “On ne sait pas vraiment comment…” and talks about “progressive, sometimes experimental” jazz, which always makes us nervous. This is not helped by the album opening with the drummer hitting something metallic, possibly […]

More Soma: Hondendodendans

This is jazz for those of you like the experimental, free composition, improvisation and the downright weird. The More Soma trio comprises a saxophone, alternately alto or baritone, double bass and drums; a couple of the players featured on the more tuneful _Unk album we reviewed recently. This is the debut More Soma album and […]

Jon Deak: Symphonic Tales

This entertaining album stands repeated listens; Deak is a man who clearly enjoys his music. He is the young composers advocate of the New York Philharmonic, where he founded the award-winning Very Young Composers Program in 1995. His interest in making music accessible to younger listeners is clear. Two of the works are for full […]

Dos Floris: The Widowed Earth

This is an album that needs attention, probably on headphones; we tried listening while working and most of it just passes the casual listener by. Clearly, we stopped working and listened, as it is something worth hearing. It opens to the sound of a cassette player, perhaps suggesting something old school; or maybe just that […]

Richard Craig: Vale, New Music for Flute

  We moan about clichéd rock that’s produced to shift units more than for any musical values, but pull a face when something is difficult, and look down on music produced for people who don’t like music. But when something challenging comes along that pushes the boundaries it’s all: “What is this? Put that Jason […]

Heath Common: Heath Common and The Lincoln 72s

Heath Common is a beat poet whose previous efforts have been a little hit and miss, but this new album is his most musical and probably the most likely to raise his profile. Admittedly that profile will go from cult figure’s cult figure to merely cult figure but we can at least recommend you consider […]

Paul Weller: Jawbone

As soundtracks go this is good, and Weller has done an excellent job. It’s pretty impressive as his first effort; maybe not quite as atmospheric as a Nick Cave and Warren Ellis job but they’ve had more practice. The opening track is Jimmy / Blackout, nearly 22 minutes long and pretty much ambient music throughout. […]

Ying Wang: Tun-Tu, Chamber Music Renewed

Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the words “chamber” and “music” in the title; this is as far removed from Mozart as deathgrind outfit Cattle Decapitation are from the Spice Girls. The interesting sleeve notes explain that Wang was born in Shanghai and grew up listening to western classical music, but when she moved […]

Phish: Farmhouse, Junta, Billy Breathes

In a week where we’re low on new releases, we thought we’d review some old albums from a band you’ve possibly never heard of — American jam-band Phish. Anyone who follows US culture will have come across Phish, who are loved in the States but largely unknown over here. We asked A&A Music, and its […]