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Reviews Written by
Bruce Langridge (West Wales)

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Inside the Taj Mahal (Includes Inside II)
Inside the Taj Mahal (Includes Inside II)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £20.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horn Gets to Your Innermost, 21 Dec. 2008
What a beautiful record this is.
Solo flute and chanting inside one of the most beautiful buildings in the world - the Taj Mahal.
And that's just about it - if you feel stressed out, put this on, turn off the lights and imagine yourself there.
It's so intimate and feels a priveledge to hear - rumour has it that Paul Horn snuck a tape recorder in without getting permission.
And if you like this, check out a later recording in the same building or alone inside the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Perhaps better known as a jazz flautist when he produced this in 1968, he soon established himself as the king of this musical niche, and has continued to play solo in unusual places ever since.

All's Well
All's Well
Price: £17.11

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond This Heat, 20 Dec. 2008
This review is from: All's Well (Audio CD)
If you're interested in the music of This Heat, then you'll be intersted in this - a collection of all available Camberwell Now recordings.
Drummer Charles Hayward is the common band member link between the 2 bands, but Trefor Goronwy also played with This Heat after Gareth Williams left, and Stephen Rickard pioneered the tape switchborad, which helped spur This Heat into great feats of experimentation.
Camberwell Now are more song based (following on from This Heat's Deceit album) amd allow more personal musical expression (Hayward's drums and Goronwy's bass in particular) but retain much of the experimental spirit and political lyricism of This Heat.
Each track has its own interest but the highlights are probably Working Nights, The Ghost Trade and the drumming on Wheat Futures.

Pleasure Point
Pleasure Point

2.0 out of 5 stars Little Point, 20 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Pleasure Point (Audio CD)
Jan Akkerman has had his ups and downs in his 40 year musical career and this is one of the downs.
There's none of the dreadful backgrounbd singing on some of his other records from the early 80s but this instrumental suffers from blandness. It's very nice, inoffensive music to play in the background of well-heeled party, where everyone has dressed up nice, martini and olives are offered by waiters and the heated swimming pool glistens in the next room.
I don't go to those dos and I don't care much for this. I blame the guitar synthesizer that Akkerman took a shine to for a while.
I will concede that Visions of Blue is a rather lovely track though, and there atre some good guitar licks on Heavy Pleasure - pushing the star rating onto 2.


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High class British jazz-rock, 19 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Illusion (Audio CD)
From the gripping first couple of drumbeats on the first track, Illusion, this is an engrossing disc of great British jazz-rock from the 1970s (1974 to be exact).
Gary Boyle's lightening guitar (electric and acoustic) work characterises much of this, but is superbly backed by drummer Nigel Morris, keyboardist Laurence Scott and Soft Machine's Hugh Hopper, whose characteristic growling bass adds real depth to every tune.
There are some memorable tunes here, each with their own pace and style from funk to Spanish, & jazz-fusion to plain weird.
I've been told Isotope's 1st album is even better but all I can say is that this is a fine album in its own right.

Live Monteux Jazz Fest.78
Live Monteux Jazz Fest.78
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £20.74

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Con-fusion of identity, 19 Dec. 2008
Some say this is Akkerman's best solo album.
I don't.
It's too bland for me - a sea of background keyboards makes it all a bit too lush, and Jan's guitar work, great in places, is fairly watery so....following the analogy... gets lost in the sea.
I think it sounds too American sitcom theme-tuney in places, especially Tom Barlage's dreadful sax solos (I'm remimded of the theme tune to Taxi).
So if you want to sample a great Jan Akkerman record, try Profile for his early work, and 10,000 Clowns for his more recent work (he's still going strong).

Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £30.42

4.0 out of 5 stars a giant work of little pieces, 18 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Miniatures (Audio CD)
What a hoot of a good idea.
Ask 60 left-field musicians and poets for a one minute piece and bung thm all togeher on one LP.
Moragn-Fisher's wheeze paid off handsomely. Even if you don't like one piece there's a good chnace you'll like the next. It might be a bit of a hotch-potch but most of these tracks have one thing in common. They're funny.
From Geore Melly's dadaist chant,Neil Innes's son singing Slade,Ivor Cutler,Pete Challis mouthing My Way,The Residnts being even more creepy than usual.....the list goes on. Then there's the three epics -Fref Frith's Complete Works of Henry Cow, David Bedford's Wagner Ring Cycle and the History of Rock n'Roll by Andy Partridge.
Sounds manic? It is.

Old Rottenhat
Old Rottenhat
Offered by swankers3
Price: £18.88

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good songs but something's missing, 17 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Old Rottenhat (Audio CD)
Robert Wyatt is, and has always been, a great songwriter and a distinctive singer capable of deliverings lyrics with great humour, deep sadness, beauty, biting political irony... whatever is required. It's also a very affected voice which can annoy.
This album, recorded in 1985 and played entirely by himself, has all these qualities. But, for me, the lack of interplay between musicians, renders some of his great tunes more shallow than they deserve. Each track can sound somewhat similar and so nothing stands out - a real shame. But if you like other work by Robert Wyatt,you'll probaly still like this.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You'll either love and hate it, 16 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Sunlight (Audio CD)
I remember being very excited anticipating this record when it first came out in 1978 - there'd been a lot of hype about how many 'synthesizers' Herbie was going to be using and, shock horror, he'd nbe singing down a voice vocoder.
Well the end result was quite new and fresh, and very shocking to Herbie's tradititonal jazz fans. I went to see Hancock play the Liverpool Empire in 1979 - first half was classic jazz quartet, second half was this Sunlight LP - audience completely split - you could tell by how many who were desperate to dance. It's similar with Sunlight now - if you're a Headhunters fan, you'll probably hate much of this (apart from Good Question where Tony Williams and Jaco Pastorius are given a fairly free reign). But if you love quality jazz-funk-disco (and you don't mind the voice vocoder), you'll probably love it.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll grow to love this book, 14 Dec. 2008
The beauty of old natural history books, like this one written in 1912, is the way they are much freer to ramble than modern books.
This series of books (at least 6 volumes to my knowledge) talks freely and expertly about common British wild flowers. Now I've been learning about wild flowers for over 20 years and these wonderful old books pointed out many aspects I had no idea about. Each flower is dealt with in a similar way - poetry references,pollination methods, unique characteristics, folklore (even in 1912 the author laments the passing of country names and practices)and its relationship with near relatives. It's written enthusiastically, making reference to many direct observations by the author's friends, especially Lord Avebury, who must have spent many a summer's day watching and studying. I'm sure much of their knowledge has now been lost - except when you turn these lovely pages their discoveries comes alive again.

Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £28.95

4.0 out of 5 stars A classic in places, 13 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Tabernakel (Audio CD)
I wonder if Jan Akkerman had got a bit carried away with his cult status when he made this.
A messianic cover, choral parts of Lammy (the album's epic piece) that sound they are herlading the king, a bizarre version of Focus's House of the King and a serious helping of unfasionable lute.
When I bought this album in the mid 1970s I thought of Akkerman as some kind of messianic music figure and kind of went along with it. Now... well, I still love the album and although I always liked Jan's luet playing, I probably would have preferred more of the experimentation of Javeh, the acoustic/orchestrated stand out track for me. Lammy is also great, especially the electric guitar work that follows on the breathtaking style of Fresh Air from the Profile album.

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