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A. Dutkiewicz "jan-luke_adam" (Norwood, South Australia Australia)
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Out Of The Long Dark / Old Heartland
Out Of The Long Dark / Old Heartland
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.73

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars two facets of carr, 25 April 2004
I met Ian Carr at the 1990 Edinburgh Festival. He was playing up therewith the Anton Brothers, a young jazz-rock group in the mould of WeatherReport. The gig was fantastic, and I went to talk to Ian afterwards. Inthat conversation he mentioned his biography of Miles Davis, and directedme to Old Heartland (1988) as one of his favourite records until thattime, and the troubles he was having with its distribution. So I wasthrilled to finally get a copy on CD more than a decade later.
Old Heartland is completely different to what a follower of Ian's workwith Nucleus might expect. It is a suite of four jazz-classicalcompositions, Northumbrian Sketches, performed with the Manchester StringOrchestra (later Kreisler String Orchestra), which has also worked withMichael Nymnan, and three other tunes, perfomed with old colleagues fromNucleus, Geoff Castle and John Marshall, and others. There's elements ofJoseph Haydn, Vaughan William's and Benjamin Britten as Carr builds anindigenous English vocabularly in which to add his knowledge ofcontemporary jazz, with influences of ECM artists and Miles Davis
inhis work with Gil Evans.
Northumbrian Sketches was commissioned in 1986 by the Bracknell jazz andclassical music festivals; and Carr wrote it as a tribute to his latefriend, the author Sid Chaplin. Its lyrical trumpet lines are full ofmelancholy and majesty, soaring above landscapes of strings. It'ssophisticated and highly cultured music, serious and concentrated finelyinto superb performances. The complementary material is beautifullycrafted too, gentle and tastefully fitting the conceptual objective of therecording. The bass clarinet and flugelhorn combinations on Full FathomFive are particularly lush, and Marshall's gentle percussive touches andMark Wood's acoustic guitar melodies give the title track the rightbalance. A great album for quiet contemplation.
Out of the Long Dark (1979) suggests a period of transition, a strugglefor direction that inevitably followed his jazz-rock period, as he soughta deeper and more open musical structure. It took over forty hours torecord, when most of his discs until then had been relatively spontaneous.It is particularly interesting in this 2-for-1 combination set, as itshows Carr still embedded in the funky grooves of his jazz-rock but movingtowards the mature style he explored on Old Heartland, recorded almost adecade later. The music is mostly upbeat and energetic, finding newtextures (a la Jon Hassell or late Miles at times) and a few soulfulmoments along the way, especially in the title track and Black Ballad.


Brighton Rock [1947] [DVD]
Brighton Rock [1947] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Richard Attenborough
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An early Clockwork Orange, 25 April 2004
This review is from: Brighton Rock [1947] [DVD] (DVD)
Director John Boulting, in his polished adaptation of Graham Greene'snovel, creates a convincing portrait of post-WWII Brighton that hasslipped into the past. The gangster class could have fitted into CockneyLondon, but the settings of Brighton offer a lighter and more intimateworld in which the group of desperados vainly attempt to hang on to theirpatch as the London underworld moves in.
Led by the psychopathic Pinkie (Richard Attenborough), the gangself-destructs, with only the wiser head (William Hartnell), having theflexibility in his make-up to allow for change and to attempt to prevent aparticularly grim fate for the protagonists.
With its slightly surreal side-show and jetty settings and Attenborough'sstarched, inhibited characterisation, I suspected the seeds of AntonyBurgess' Clockwork Orange and Kubrick's cinematic realisation of it inthis film noir.


Odd Man Out [DVD]
Odd Man Out [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Mason

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irish republicans on the run, 25 April 2004
This review is from: Odd Man Out [DVD] (DVD)
Carol Reed is my favourite British director for the screen. In manyrespects Odd Man Out (1946) laid the foundations in terms of plot andvisuality for The Third Man (1949), which is simply a classic.
Odd Man Out is classy film noir too: and Reed, as usual, exploits thetextures of the medium to the maximum and neatly blurs the boundaries ofgood and bad in this tale of Irish woe.
James Mason is solid as the wounded assassin, slipping in and out ofconsciusness as he tries to elude the British authorities while numerousallies attempt to find and rescue him.
Of the others in the cast surprisingly good here is William Hartnell,later incarnated as the first Doctor Who, while the love interest,Kathleen Ryan, is economically passionate.
The ending is particularly bleak as time runs out for the fugitive.


Plays Dutkiewicz
Plays Dutkiewicz
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars in the Polish classical piano tradition, 25 April 2004
This review is from: Plays Dutkiewicz (Audio CD)
On this disc Polish classical pianist Andrzej Dutkiewicz plays his owncompositions with the Lanier Trio. His music is romantic andimpressionistic and sits firmly in the classical western tradition,particularly the Polish one, with strong affiliations with Chopin, Debussyand Liszt.
Whether duelling with pianos, as on the first track, or working withdistorted tape to add texture, as in Sophie's Music for Four, Dutkiewiczpresents a wide range of compositional ideas, aural landscapes andemotions on each piece on this disc. The music can be robust and delicate,or provide other contrasts, and has a strong lyrical orientation.
A surprisingly good albiet obscure record and highly recommended.


Eyeball
Eyeball

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly creative 1970s' jazz/jazz-rock classic, 25 April 2004
This review is from: Eyeball (Audio CD)
Dutch jazz keyboard player van 't Hof produced music on this 1974 albumthat sits well with the jazz-rock classics of the day.
The music has a strong and original thrust, in textures and itscomplicated rhythms, perhaps in flavour somewhere in the territory ofHerbie Hancock's Headhunters with a dash of Stephane Grappelli, throughthe touch of Polish violinst Zbigniew Seifert.
The rhythm section of John Lee (bass) and Gerry Brown (drums/percussion)is at times quite aggressive, setting up solid lines around which theFender Rhodes and acoustic pianos and organ, violin, and high energyguitar playing of Wim Overgaauw snake.
Overgaauw's acoustic guitar sections add contrast and light to theimaginative musical directions on Eyeball. It's one of the best andperhaps most original Continental European jazz-rock albums of that era.


Sun Supreme
Sun Supreme

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heavy on mysticism, moments of magic, 24 April 2004
This review is from: Sun Supreme (Audio CD)
Guitarist Nico di Palo's spin-off band from the New Trolls formedseemingly out of his interest in rock, rather than the more eclectic rangeof the Trolls, with its roots in Italian pop, rock and folk and aburgeoning attraction to jazz.
But Sun Supreme itself is an odd mesh: of eastern influenced lyrics,projected in the manner of Yes, and spacious keyboard and alternatelyswirling acoustic guitar and hard rock electric guitar suspended oversupple bass and drum lines.
The two suites concern spiritual quest: the first, Divine Mountain/Journeyof Life begins with jangling acoustic guitar, and moves on to take plentyout of earliest-middle years of Yes. In Part 4, Vision fulfilled, thereare musical passages vaguely reminiscent of Starship Troopers, forexample; but the lyrics are less cryptic and more directly mystical anddevotional (there is a dedication to a guru included).
I think the music becomes more independent and therefore of greaterinterest on side two: Divinity Parts 1-3. There are influences of Beatlestunes like Across the Universe here mingled with early Yes and ELP. Butthe music takes fresh directions with the interplay of keyboard sounds andunusual percussion, especially whistels and cowbell, overlaid on reallycrazily zigzagging acoustic piano and counterpoint guitar. This passage isthe high point of the album.
The seemingly obligatory drum solo punctuates Part 2; not bad, but thereyou are; and Part 3 moves into territory closer to the edge, so to speak,of a vast ocean.
On this album Di Palo's electric guitar aims for different and lessegotistical textures, sometimes almost subsumed into the massive wall ofsound, but its characteristic lyrical bluesiness is still apparent.
Sun Supreme is fairly typical of its time, and probably at the upper endof early-mid 1970s European progressive rock in terms of quality, butcould have perhaps been more open to its own musical possibilities.


Under Milk Wood [DVD] [1972]
Under Milk Wood [DVD] [1972]
Dvd ~ Richard Burton

112 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars starless and bible black and the sunny side of the street, 29 Nov 2003
This review is from: Under Milk Wood [DVD] [1972] (DVD)
Dylan Thomas's play/poem makes a surprisingly good film. It's not the kind of thing that could be done anywhere else but Wales and using predominantly Welsh actors. The cast is full of stars (Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole) and future stars of especially the small screen (most notably David Jason).
To say it is delightful would be misleading, as this deep study of the underbelly of a small fishing village is about a peculiar kind of nationalism that is both celebratory and critical. What makes it such a great experience is how the language grabs you, and you have to listen to every word, so it is intense.
The linking of the text and the imagery is seamless, with the narrator (Burton), seemingly present in the town at the beginning of spring to have carnal knowledge of a former girlfriend, and his companion observing as outsiders and eavesdropping on the town over a twenty-four hour period, dipping into the thoughts, reminiscences and dreams of the townsfolk.
Like the narrator, a retired, blind sea captain (O'Toole) sits at his window, with acute hearing absorbing all the details that escape others with eyes and too busy to notice, divining the motivations of the people around him and living in deep nostalgia for his departed crew and lover, the former town prostitute (Taylor).
So the film is built around a series of vignettes, mostly interchanging between the two, and it flows beautifully, from night to day to night again.
Since Dylan Thomas died in 1953, and this was one of his later works, the world he describes is fifty years old and seems somewhat quaint today. But his rich language on occasions soars with the romance of feeling for the beauty of his nativeland (the vicar's morning address to the town, with nobody listening, is just wonderful), and love of its people.
Nevertheless, in relating the sexual dreams and activities of the town and the world of men and women a touch of gothic intrudes. There are oppositions at play between the open-hearted, sexually generous women and the close-minded wives, the ecstatic Organ Morgan the church organist and his petty wife, "a martyr for music", the mischievious butcher's subversions, numerous attractions and solicitations between adults and the budding sexuality of the young, the unrequited love of Sinbad the barman from the Sailor's Arms, and an unscrupulous postman and his nosey-parker wife.
The portrait Thomas paints of Milk Wood is tainted by his own world-view, resentful of the Church, the lack of ambition and other provincialities. There's an amazing amount of activity in the town, apart from its economy, lots of drinking, fornicating and song, but despite the evidence of bad-blood the community seems to thrive on love and an underlying generosity of heart that allows for the bounty that all life brings.
This may well be Burton's greatest artistic offering in his long career, thanks to the screenplay and direction of Andrew Sinclair.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 19, 2012 7:58 PM GMT


No Mystery
No Mystery
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.11

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars latin funk jazz, 11 Nov 2003
This review is from: No Mystery (Audio CD)
This incarnation of Return to Forever (1975) was quite different to the one featuring Bill Connors on guitar on Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973). He managed to find a nervous, if not neurotic, and edgy sound on the electric guitar probably modelled on MacLaughin's sound on Inner Mounting Flame.
Al Dimeola brings a completely different, more polished presence to this record, in terms of the tone of the electric guitar and its meshing with a much more funk oriented rhythm section of Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. I always thought this album was like jazz rock in the disco: there's an overt physical, sensual energy about the music rather than the much headier Seventh Galaxy.
Side one is just about all funk, with occasional leanings to heavier rock influences. For me the album hits the spot at the beginning of what was side two on the lp: the title track sees some beautiful and typical Corea, latin influenced acoustic piano and guitar interchanges with double bass; more in line with the earliest incarnation of Return to Forever on ECM (a great record).
There's no doubt this album shows the shifting emphasis in the mid seventies: even Mclaughlin was doing funk tunes on Visions of the Emerald Beyond and Inner Worlds, and George Duke's albums (Feel, Faces in Reflection etc) from that time were completely fantastic too (now no longer available).
I can leave side one alone these days, but side two still captivates me. It is much more similar to Romantic Warrior, with fluctuating moods and textures, especially on various keyboards, and has a wonderfully positive, if not ecstatic mood. Plus, it's a very summery record, full of sun and life.


Red Buddha
Red Buddha
Price: £19.97

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ninja percussionist, 10 Nov 2003
This review is from: Red Buddha (Audio CD)
What a wizard! Yamashta's music is on this disc is mind-boggling. Before the likes of Trilok Gurtu and Nana Vasconcelos, this Japanese superhero of percussion took the classical, then the world of progressive music by storm in London.
These two extended pieces from 1971 proved two things: that he was a superb musician and composer, and that he must have been born with eight arms!
Red Buddha swells with more and more fertility, in terms of rhythmic complexity and intrumental depths; As expanding as bends one's sense of time and seduces you into his world of supernatural powers.
I rue the day I never bought his other records when they were available: oh how I'd love his work that followed, especially Come to the Edge, Freedom is Frightening and Raindog. Back then he was a unique player and composer, and the presence on disc of these wonderful records in the modern world of music is sorely missed.


Land of Cockayne
Land of Cockayne
Offered by HURRICANE RECORDS BERLIN_1
Price: £9.15

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars abundance of skill, mellowed by age, 10 Nov 2003
This review is from: Land of Cockayne (Audio CD)
I can understand why many people don't rate this album as highly as other later Soft Machine records, but there's still a fair bit in it.
It was really Karl Jenkins' solo project, in the sense that he wrote the music and conducted the orchestral backing. In many ways it seemed to be the beginning of him bridging from his background with Nucleus and Softs into the classical idiom. So the record has a different feel to it: it's more mellow and often slower, kind of like soundtrack material, but there's lots of musical knowledge, wisdom and good ideas.
I love the playing of John Marshall on this record, he really nails the percussive moods and grooves and has a big say in the production. I have a few problems with Jack Bruce's bass lines, which aren't too bad but occasionally seem to lack the pace, fire and even texture that one might expect in Softs' material: no more so than the almost banal disco rhythm underscoring the opening track, Over 'n' above. But, hey, it was 1980 and it was pretty high-exposure stuff back then, and I expect that was Jenkins' idea of fun, or context or zeitgeist or.... maybe it was about lifting the audience out of conformist muzak. And it was an intro, which may have attracted non-Softs people or radio play even and then transformed a few consciousnesses.
Those bumps are pretty soon smoothed out on the delicate synth, bass flute and percussive work on Lotus Groves (#2), perhaps an homage to McLaughlin's Lotus feet, but to my mind the musical performance really lifts with Panoramania(#4), which really stays with you: rich and soaring sounds of sax and orchestra and superb snappy drumming, and a great Fender Rhodes solo by John Taylor.
The second side continues the theme: Palace of Glass reminds me of Island years' Jade Warrior before being smashed open by Marshall's drums and then a soaring mellotron-like segue into the funk mayhem that follows.
Those who like the material that led up to this album might find some satisfaction with the hotter and funkier tracks towards the end of the record, Hot biscuit slim and A lot of what you fancy, embellished by great cymbal playing by Marshall. In between these two sits Sly Monkey, a platform for lyrical playing by Alan Holdsworth and Dick Morrisey's bluesy sax, by then abandoned by Jenkins.
The Land of Cockayne should be seen as a concept album about musical opulence, with the tracks aligned to take the listener into a vast range of musical moods. There's heaps of soundscapes here, some good moods and emotional yet tempered playing, even if the music has less of the signature melting keyboards of the Ratledge era and appears less intense and perhaps too funkified when compared to the jazz-rock that followed it.
I'd give it 31/2 stars, just to warn those die-hards that this is not what fans of previous eras of Softs might expect, but I love most of the record.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2008 6:52 PM BST


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