Mulo Francel and Nicole Heartseeker: Forever Young

To call this easy on the ear would be like calling monsoons slightly damp or space slightly big: it’s really easy to listen to. The gist of is it that “globetrotting saxophonist” (cf the Press notes) Mulo Francel, part of jazz-world group Quadro Nuevo, has teamed up with classically-trained pianist Nicole Heartseeker to “cast a […]

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, […]

Dan O’Farrell and The Difference Engine: Richard Scarry Lied To Me

We’ve made a bit of an effort with this one (should you have to?) after reading a review from a mega-fan who couldn’t understand why O’Farrell wasn’t much more popular, what with his clever tunes and biting lyrics and all. We can tell him why: O’Farrell’s voice is an acquired taste. It’s not that he […]

Steve ‘n’ Seagulls: Another Miracle

For those who don’t know, Steve ‘n’ Seagulls (think about it) are Finns who play proficient bluegrass while doing covers of famous rock tracks. We think their cover of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck made their name, but looking for information on this, we found it riding high in the US bluegrass chart, so it must be good […]

Mari Joyce: Dear Moon

We listen to a lot of challenging music and for some weeks we’ve been missing something calming; we had some lovely Elgar songs and plenty of folk, but it wasn’t quite what we needed. Then came this. Ten seconds in, and we knew this was it. It helped that it reminded us of Fisherman’s Woman […]

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 […]

Teen Creeps: Forever

Teen Creeps are from Belgium but the sound of Joram De Bock, Ramses Van den Eede and Bert Vliegen is rooted in another land and another time: Northern Ireland, 1989, to be precise, because that is when Ash formed. Teen Creeps sound like they want to be the Ash of Belgium, though as Ash is […]

Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine

There are reportedly many recordings of Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, but the unique thing about this new album is that it was produced following the performances of “a scenic interpretation” with the Spanish stage director Calixto Bieito.We’ve got no idea what “a scenic interpretation” is, mind, unless it involves dressing up the musicians […]

Mirian Conti: Tangorama, An Anthology of 20th Century Tango, Vol.1

Conti writes in the sleeve notes that when she studied at the conservatory in Buenos Aires in the 1970s, she did not analyse a tango let alone play one; she herself dismissed tango orchestras and singers as “those old tango guys”. It was only when she moved to the US that she discovered her home […]

Chelys Consort of Viols: Amavi, Music for Viols and Voices

We keep writing this is as Cheryl’s Consort, so apologies if we slip; the album was actually recorded jointly with Fieri Consort and is work by Michael East, who sounds modern but died in 1648, before the (20th century) name Cheryl was even invented. East (or Easte, Est, Este) was an English organist and composer, […]