Lorraine Baker: Eden

This came a while back amid a pile of country albums — were we wrong to assume “Lorraine Baker” was a C&W singer? Much to our dismay, playing it reveals she’s a drummer and does jazz, and this is a very cool album. Baker is our kind of drummer, with plenty of skills on display […]

Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr: Relaxin’in Ireland

The emphasis here is on the relaxin’ not the Ireland, so expect no fiddles or jigs. It’s the Irish attitude that inspires the Wasserfuhr, and it’s a nice album for those who like chilled jazz. We often complain about ill-judged covers of popular songs but the Wasserfuhrs manage cool covers of songs that shouldn’t work […]

Henge: Attention Earth

We lamented over people complaining about the lack of new music in the Sons Of Bill review but Henge is an even better example: they’ve invented, or lest re-invigorated, a whole genre of music. It’s music like you’ve never heard before but it’s also instantly likeable. The basic sound is space rock, though as it […]

Lars Danielsson/Paolo Fresu: Summerwind

Some albums simply blindside you: a few plays of moderate attention and suddenly you love it. Such is the case with this minimalist late night jazz album that leans towards trip hop. We initially thought the laid-back set would be for people who find late night jazz too loud. As its depths began to unfold, […]

Caiti Baker: Zinc

The PR for Australian singer Caiti Baker claims it’s a “really cool and classy mix of pop, hip-hop, blues, 90s R&B and neo soul”. It’s true that it’s classy, and it’s mostly cool, too, but the mix of genres is a weakness to our ears. You might disagree and singers such as Caro Emerald do […]

Vincent Peirani: Living Being II – Night Walker

This is one of those albums that is so out there it’s hard to get a handle on. You don’t believe us? Try thinking of Stairway To Heaven played on an accordion, and if that gives you pause for thought, we’ve not even mentioned it segueing into Kashmir. Peirani, (38), is an is an award-winning […]

Martin Speake: Intention

This is intelligent and stimulating jazz from leading saxophonist Speake, who shows he can compose, too. The playing might be complex, but it’s a non-threatening sound: not exactly laid back, but certainly not edgy. It’s an album that needs a lot of listening to, as it adheres to no one style, from blues to bop, […]

Panayiotis Demopoulos: Nina’s Clock

A Greek pianist playing improv jazz with a classical bent and a local connection? This doesn’t happen too often. This suite has 11 movements and is a reflection of moods, external stimuli and events as felt by the composer one night after recording sessions. He tells the story that links the tracks in the sleeve […]

Andrew McCormack: Graviton

Nominally jazz, if only for the instruments used, this ambitious album takes in everything from prog to bop. On his website McCormack explains that gravitons are tiny particles that carry the force of gravity. “It is what brings you back down to Earth when you jump,” he says, though how this applies to the album […]

Sun Ra: The Early Albums Collection (1957-1963)

Sun Ra claimed he was an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace, and once he adopted his new name (after the Egyptian god) he denied all knowledge of the man formerly known as Herman. He’s got to be the jazz man for people who think they don’t like jazz; he reminds us […]