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Dr.D.Treharne (Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom)
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Kind of Brown
Kind of Brown
Price: £11.40

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real group effort., 7 Sep 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kind of Brown (Audio CD)
What particularly recommends this album is the fact that it very much a group effort,so that although McBride gets the namecheck when it's searched for, it is very much a collaboration between a group of musicians who aspire to produce an excellent ensemble sound. However,seven of the tunes are his compositions and they fit well against the other material,"Theme for Kareem" is a Freddie Hubbard tune, "Pursuit of Peace" is an Eric Reed tune and I confesss to only knowing the Frank Sinatra version of "Where are you now?".Of the McBride compositions, stand outs for me are "Brother Mister","Used 'ta could" and "Uncle James".
The band all solo, and most of the time McBride sits back with Carl Allen the drummer to provide a rock solid rhythm section.Eric Reed weaves his way around all the compositions with some excellent piano solos, but the real revelation has to be the vibe playing of Warren Wolf Jnr, whom apparently McBride discoverd through his work at the Aspen Jazz Summer School. Steve Wilson plays sax and is obviously comfortable with the space that he gets from the rest of the band to solo. It is an accomplished album, and it's to be hoped that McBride will record again with this (or a similar group of musicians).Every track on the album displays the growing understanding and empathy of those involved, and as I titled this review it is 'a real group effort'. Well worth the money!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2009 6:09 PM GMT


Emergence
Emergence
Price: £8.46

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!, 31 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Emergence (Audio CD)
If you want to get the dynanics from this excellent big band album buy the CD and play it on a system that will allow the arrangements to shine through in all their layered magnificence. Hyperbole? I don't think so, as this was recorded in two days after the band had played 'live' at the Hollywood bowl, and Hargrove had had time to iron out potential 'glitches' in his arrangements, and it shows, as does the fact that the band were so obviously relaxed as well as rehearsed. Hargrove is, on any case at the top of his game, whether it's on trumpet or flugelhorn, but he certainly doesn't overwhelm the rest of the soloists.The band is a 22 piece with Hargrove and Roberta Gambarini sharing the vocal duties.
This is not an album that give up all its secrets on an initial listening,and indeed three or four listens were needed before I really started to appreciate what was being laid out, especially on the extended and slow burning workout on "Requiem". My other two favourites tracks (at the moment) are "Ms Garvey, Ms Garvey" and "Tschpiso", though I have to say that I also like the arrangement of "September in the Rain", where the build towards the vocals is impressive, and the band get to help out on the vocal chorii.
If you thought 'big band' arrangements had little more to offer this album is the antidote to any such thoughs. It's elegant, swinging and continues to surprise me with further listens.I really do commend this album it is 'delicious'.


London Street Soul 1998-2009: 21 Years of Acid Jazz Records
London Street Soul 1998-2009: 21 Years of Acid Jazz Records
Price: £11.34

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of three!, 25 July 2009
What the CD description fails to convey adequately is that this is the first of what is intended to be a 3 CD retrospective, and even by using that word I am ignoring that one of the tracks (Number 12)is not yet officially 'released'.Thus the excellent compilation concentrates on the remarkable slew of talent that the Acid Jazz label nurtured and uncovered, and as the sleeve notes reveal it concentrates on "that soul boy thing". There is a plethora of talent on show, and a huge mixture of different styles, instrumentation and, of course success, but there is a preponderance of the female vocalists, many of whom appear with musicians outside their normal bands. The result is a huge range of material, and a wonderfully honest set of sleeve notes to go with the tracks. Read the notes that accompany the Sandals outing and you'll find out how 'warts and all' they really are!
In some ways it's rather pointless trying to pick 'favourites' because the best thing about Acid Jazz is that different things appeal at different times. My current favourites are "Never Stop" by the Brand New Heavies, which I'd completely forgotten about, and especially "Couldn't take the missing you" by Jessica Lauren and all those analogue synthesiser noises - but no doubt the tracks I'll enjoy tomorrow will not be the same.
I'd buy it immediately and then start looking out for the further volumes that should be delivered during the autumn. One to delve into and enjoy!


Rock Steady
Rock Steady
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.18

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what it might seem!, 23 July 2009
This review is from: Rock Steady (Audio CD)
It must be difficult to be a 'smooth jazz' artist in the British marketplace as most potential buyers seem to have preconceived views about what they're going to hear. Richard Elliot doesn't really fit easily into the category. His last album 'Metro Blue' spawned a massive airply 'hit', and to avoid any confusion the album is carefully stickered with a "Sax Star Elliot kicks it old skool" which doesn't quite cover what you get here. Firstly he co-produced the album with Rick Braun, and they've come up with imaginative arrangements and takes on what could have been an album of dull cover versions.There are those, tracks 1,8 and 11 being the Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin and Eddie Kendricks hit,however they're far from dull and in between there is self penned and co written material that takes off in other directions.
He's also lucky to have luminary side men like Jeff Lorber and Rick Braun, but that does dis-service to those who play on the rest of the album. Of the 'original' tracks you might check out "Straight Up", "Retro Boy" and " The Preacher" as representing the different facets of the album, but do listen, as well to "Keep On Truckin'" as this does.
It's not at all what you might have expected of a "smooth jazz" album!


All The Ghosts
All The Ghosts
Price: £13.83

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going backwards going forward., 23 July 2009
This review is from: All The Ghosts (Audio CD)
When I interviewed Gwyneth Herbert in 2004 just after the release of her first widely available album she seemed upset that she had lost control of the process, and had produced product that tried to constrain her within one style - and I felt the same later when Blue Note produced what I thought to be a laboured album which didn't really reflect her abilities and her talents. This album mostly recorded mostly at Box,near Bath goes a long way to redressing those difficulties and goes some way towards establishing her in her own niche. It helps that her band are obviously empathetic to what she was trying to achieve.The songs on this album also cover a wider range of topics and styles than either of the two previous major releases, and she doesn't deserve to be pigeonholed as a jazz singer, as this proves that there's much more to her performance than that. My two favourites from early listening are "Annie's Yellow Bag" and "Put your mouth where your money is". Probably also worth mentioning is Al Cherry's guitar playing, fluid and usually understated, and the keyboard work of Steve Holness, though Herbert herself plays on "My Narrow Man". Oh yes, and watch out for the David Bowie song cover.
Overall one that will grow on repeated listening and hopefully an indication that she might finally have found a direction and a sound that takes her where she wants to be going. Highly recommended!


Blues
Blues
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £16.16

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome reissue, 13 July 2009
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This review is from: Blues (Audio CD)
Recorded in 1959 this excellent set shows not only what a magnificent player Curtis Fuller is, but just how empathetic he is to the style and writing of Benny Golson, who in addition to penning two of the tunes (Tracks 1 & 4 and the alternative version track 8) provides some great tenor sax work that never crowds Fuller, who has full opportunity to solo creatively. In fact all the sidesmen get that space, with pianist Tommy Flanagan contributing some outstanding solos.
The remastering is excellent, although as ever with material recorded at the time, the drums (Al Harewood) don't have the fullness that a modern recording techniques give, but this is only a slight quibble on what is an excellent set. Stand outs for me are "Five Spot after dark" and the title track which appears in two versions.
If you want somewhere else to go after hearing this virtuoso trombonist you might try some of the work of Steve Turre, but this is also a really satisfactory way of starting to explore the work that he and Golson were doing with the Jazztet.
Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2012 3:47 PM GMT


Cooking Lessons
Cooking Lessons
by Daisy Garnett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting approach to culinary arts, 27 May 2009
This review is from: Cooking Lessons (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The title tells you what you are in for: food related stories about Daisy's family and friends, in which her recipes are rooted. Whilst revealing some adventures and characters with great humour, it is all about learning to love food and cookery.
The opening chapter sums it up. Daisy's sister, Rose, returns from holidaying in Rome, having discovered pine nut ice cream. She can barely listen as she fathoms out how to make it. When later in Somerset she offers it to her family it evokes her sister's holiday, it is an offering of love, a celebration and social gathering. It `reveals ..... our values, and history and culture,' and much more. Quite a tall order, you might think, but all her stories are about food and cooking, showing that they enhance in every way. When we get the recipe for the ice cream, she has experimented, tasted and refined it. She has done the donkey work so we can try it with confidence.
She is not a professional cook but a journalist and didn't learn to cook properly until she found herself on a small boat crossing the Atlantic. As the only non-sailor and a woman, the crew assumed she could cook, but she was so clueless she hadn't even made a list of provisions.
She's not a cook to make you feel bad about yourself. She willingly shares her low points. Initially she spent the early days sobbing and failing to light the stove. Her first dish was a massacred chicken with grease from the pan poured all over it. Thanks to an old cookery book, determination and humour she was soon producing coq au vin, ratatouille and ginger biscuits. Someone must have made a list!
She remembers feeling that sandwiches would be inadequate and that sets her off on how to produce a simple meal of grilled chops and a great salad. Surely any fool could do this? But simple is not always easy. She is showing you a process, how to achieve early success and to experiment with ingredients. Explanations are lightly given, as if talking to a friend.
She has the ability to make ordinary things sound interesting and amusing. Pops' 75th birthday is thrown in Rose's bedroom. She had never cooked fillet of beef but is able to ring up Mark Hix for advice. I know! Someone undermines her self-confidence but she learns valuable lessons, the best being, `Stick to your guns....Let other **** up in their own kitchens.'
As a child food was fuel, presented by a series of housekeepers, one adored one, 'on probation for some crime or other.' Her mother, Polly Devlin, apparently did not cook, except a foul smelling concoction for the dogs and puttanesca sauce, even when not required. When the family do taste it, it is delicious. The recipe is given in the voice of her mother, being dutifully taken down by her daughter.
The recipes arise from her rackety youth in New York, travels in Mexico and Italy, visit, birthdays and even the death of a friend, and there is a happy ending. All the characters come vividly to life.
I loved this book. The author lets you hear friends talking all the way through the book about what they're up to and feeling but most of all it's about good food shared or eaten alone. When I try these recipes I want a friend talking me through them and sharing the results.


The Phantom of Rue Royale: The Nicolas Le Floch Investigations 3: A Nicholas Le Floch Investigation (Nicolas Le Floch 3)
The Phantom of Rue Royale: The Nicolas Le Floch Investigations 3: A Nicholas Le Floch Investigation (Nicolas Le Floch 3)
by Jean-Francois Parot
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of period detail, 12 Jan 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Louis XV's Paris is celebrating the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie-Antoinette with a lavish, but incompetently organized firework display. The organization is removed from De Sartine, Lieutenant General of Police and gifted to the city provost. Nicholas Le Foch, police commissioner, has been sent to observe proceedings.
It goes tragically wrong, with the deaths of over a thousand of the crowd. The political race is on to apportion or avoid blame. When the murdered body of an apparently respectable young woman, Elodie, is found, Le Foch uses the investigation as a cover to exonerate his superior. It is not to be the last murder.
His investigations take him through the squalor of the backstreets to the wealth and splendour of Versailles. The trail leads to the claustrophobic, gloomy household of Charles Galaine. The family feeds on mutual loathing, and secrecy, showing little reaction to the murder of Elodie, their niece. The vividly described interior and the strange daily life of the household provide an apt setting for the horror and treachery to come.
The world of Paris is wonderfully evoked from poverty to splendour, from tumble down backstreets to Versailles, from an upmarket brothel to the King's private apartments and to a table in the mortuary, where autopsies are performed by the public executioner and an ex-naval surgeon as doctors were reluctant to become involved with the new science of forensic medicine. Despite the glitter, it is a brutish world where the Police and the Court rely on informers, spies and torture to gain information.
There is also a glimpse of the French Empire through Naganda, a Micmac Indian, Elodie's servant. The author has sought to avoid confusion about the numerous characters and relationships by providing a Dramatis Personae. On a personal note, this always makes my heart sink and I was still flicking back to it well into chapter two. Neither am I a great lover of footnotes at the back of a book, for similar reasons.
Nevertheless, I was happy to follow Le Foch through the twists and turns of both Paris and the plot to the surprising dénouement.
This is the third in the Le Foch investigations, which can be enjoyed in its own right. I will be looking for the two previous novels. They are:
The Chatelet Apprentice
The Man with The Lead Stomach.


I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: Chairman Humph (BBC Audio)
I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: Chairman Humph (BBC Audio)
by Stephen Fry
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £8.36

4.0 out of 5 stars A starting point for further investigation, 27 Dec 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I approached this CD with some trepidation, as the obvious reference points are the numerous BBC compilations of 'that show' rather than a career that spanned nearly a couple of generations, and in which, although obviously remembered for his later work with this series, embraced at least two other careers as a cartoonist and a jazz trumpeter.
Listening to it I was immediately struck by two reasons why it does rather a good job in locating 'Humph' within a wider context.
Firstly it made me go back and listen to a series of much loved and played records which I 'inherited' of a jazz trumpeter who brought something original to what George Melly identified as 'an increasingly dull sound' of British traditional jazz in the 50's and 60's.
Secondly I cannot remember a tribute which was less free of a eulogy followed by the dreaded 'but' word. Those represented on this CD whether public or 'private' persons are unstinting in their admiration of what he brought to all his work whether it was blowing the trumpet or acting as Chairman to a programme that contained cultural references which it is impossible to explain to any other nationalities (as I found out to my cost when trying to explain Mornington Crescent to an American friend). Most interesting are the insights into the relationship between Lyttleton and his link writer Iain Pattinson and long-time produced Jon Naismith.
At least the cover says it all "Chairman Humph" a tribute- not the definitive overview of the life (which presumably comes at some future time)but a programme sufficiently engrossing to make you go back not only to the recordings of the show, but the the wider context of his life


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