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P. Currion (Everywhere)
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Listen Love
Listen Love
Price: £3.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Listen, 31 May 2007
This review is from: Listen Love (Audio CD)
Tessa Souter has received some good press for this album, but frankly she should get more. She has a clear and moving voice, and does the best thing that a singer can do (for me), which is tell a story. This CD manages to capture a sense of intimacy that is often absent from contemporary vocal recordings, and for that alone you should give it a try. The bonus is that the selection of songs is also inspired, whether it's her own compositions or covers - the cover of "Creator has a Master Plan" is a great way to finish the album.


Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test
Waking Dragons: A Martial Artist Faces His Ultimate Test
by Goran Powell
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true dragon, 31 Jan. 2007
Full disclosure: I trained for a while with Goran under Shihan Chris Rowen. Goran was a real gentleman of the dojo and, while there were senior grades who were faster, or stronger, or with cleaner technique, he was the best all-round karateka.

With this book, he's also acting as a great ambassador for karate. Waking Dragons manages to capture the blend of physical and spiritual discipline that makes the martial arts so fascinating, while also telling an interesting story of his own journey.

This is an honest account of what that discipline is worth - and what it can cost you. This is a better introduction to the martial arts than most of the standard textbooks, since it captures the reality of practicing rather than just talking about the techniques.


Exodus
Exodus
Offered by Arc Trade Media_JAPAN
Price: £20.12

3.0 out of 5 stars Keep Trying, 31 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Exodus (Audio CD)
The title of this review isn't meant to be sarcastic - it's the title of my favourite Hikaru Utada song, and the reason why I picked up this album. Unfortunately Exodus is nowhere near as poptastic as her Japanese releases. That's not to say it's an embarrassment, though - there are a few good songs (Exodus 04 and Devil Inside both gave me high hopes at the beginning of the album) and the production is clean and dynamic throughout. Utada's voice is lovely, with a different timbre to most R&B singers, and carries the weakest tracks along. However I'd have to recommend paying more for her J-pop import albums rather than start with this one.


Bruce Chatwin
Bruce Chatwin
by Nicholas Shakespeare
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmasking the mythomane, 31 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Bruce Chatwin (Hardcover)
Chatwin was a compulsive fantasist in his own life, unable to stop himself from using his considerable knowledge as a launchpad for his own inventions. At the same time, his writing was very clearly rooted in his own experiences, drawing considerably on the people he met and the places he visited. His own life was often as interesting as his books - and when it wasn't, he managed to invent a story to make it so.

As a result, Shakespeare had an uphill struggle to pin down a man who hated being pinned down more than anything else, and he largely succeeded. The result is a portrait of a terribly flawed man who still seemed to be able to touch people's lives even when his own behaviour was at its worst, illustrated best of all by the devotion his wife Elizabeth showed him even as he fled from her repeatedly.

The biography's only flaws are a tendency to trail in his wake, never quite wanting to acknowledge that Chatwin, while a brilliant writer, could also be a brilliant monster. However it does capture the one indisputable truth about Chatwin, that he desired more than anything else to be the central figure in his greatest work of fiction - his own life.


Zion Roots
Zion Roots
Price: £9.08

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infinitely pleasing, 30 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Zion Roots (Audio CD)
I came to this CD from a roundabout route - through the Inspiration Information remix of Gigi's track "Gud Fella" on some compilation or other. It's a phenomenal album, great production on a clearly Ethiopian sound, with a mix of musicians that means there's always something interesting going on. It works equally well as background music or for more active listening, although anybody expecting a dub excursion (as the title might suggest) will be disappointed.


Capote In Kansas
Capote In Kansas
by Ande Parks
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a real graphic novel..., 25 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Capote In Kansas (Paperback)
Nothing short of wonderful. The spare art and nuanced characterisation add up to an understated but genuinely moving book. Ande Parks could easily have steered this into a dead end, but he manages to create a story arc that manages to achieve the same as Capote's original book, In Cold Blood, did - to turn the messy reality of everyday lives into satisfying literature. If you don't like graphic novels, buy this book and you might just be converted - if you do like graphic novels, buy this book and then demand more from your comics publishers!


Impressed With Gilles Peterson
Impressed With Gilles Peterson

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surrender Now, 23 Feb. 2004
It's a crime that this music has been out of circulation for so long. Gilles shows his commitment to the music by putting his celebrity clout behind an album that wouldn't normally register on the attention-deficit disordered cultural radar of the media. "A personal selection of obscure 60s and 70s jazz by British artists that I've ever heard of? Please, pass me that new Strokes 10"...."
This could easily have been one of those worthy but unpleasant exercises in unearthing unlistenable jazz. It could equally easily have been one of those identikit compilations offering a random DJ the chance to show you how much cooler his record collection is than yours. It's neither. This is a quality album of music that still sounds fresh today, dug up from the vaults and given a spin. There's fast and slow, soft and hard, black and white - something for everybody.
As well as the more well-known names - such as Tubby Hayes and Joe Harriot, whose albums are available on CD - there are some interesting rarities here that really make you wonder why British jazz still sits in the shadow of the states. Let's see Black Marigolds ripping up the stereo...
Hopefully there'll be another album in this series, and hopefully more of the original albums will see the light of day. Support your local jazzer - buy this album now.


The Colored Section
The Colored Section
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.47

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest to god, it doesn't get any better, 23 Feb. 2004
This review is from: The Colored Section (Audio CD)
I read an article about Donnie in Straight No Chaser and thought to myself; Great, just what the world needs - another neo-soul singer to join the ranks. Every vaguely talented singer-songwriter seems to get heralded as the salvation of soul music, but very few are capable of delivering on that promise. So let's just forget about that and focus on the music.
The decision to buy this CD was one of the few sensible decisions I've made in the last year. The CD sits as close to the CD player as possible, ready to jump in whenever another album sags in the middle. Every song is a winner, the lyrics actually bear repeated listening, and the instrumentation is tight, echoing the 70s, 80s and 90s. Sure, Donnie is channelling Stevie Wonder in a big way, but that's no bad thing by any standard.
Has anybody ever asked you to list your top 10 CDs? This is one of those CDs. If you love soul music, ancient or modern, place your order today - Donnie delivers.


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