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Reviews Written by
Lewis Graham "lewisgraham" (East Anglia)

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Deep River
Deep River

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Deep River That Flows, 5 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Deep River (Audio CD)
It has been a long time since Andy Sheppard was a well known voice on the jazz scene in the UK and, based on this CD, the audience has been the loser.

This is a beautifully paced album, on the whole, with a series of gentle tracks mixed in a few livelier pieces. Georgia Lee has the mood of a spiritual. "Above my Head" and "Mercy Seal" are less gentle, more towards the avant-garde with a mixture of electronics. Nonetheless, this works well and is far from gimmicky.

Joanna Macgregor provides terrific support with well judged accompaniment and virtuosity that supports Andy Sheppard well.

Anyone who likes modern Nordic jazz, such as EST or Tord Gustavsen, would find much to enjoy.

Sony CFD-E100LS CD Radio Cassette
Sony CFD-E100LS CD Radio Cassette

233 of 237 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Small But Not Narrow Spaces, 16 July 2006
This player was bought for the kitchen, so sound quality - within reason - was not a priority. It is sold as a compact model, so as compactness was an issue it was chosen.

The build quality is perfectly good for the money and the range of features fit for purpose. The sound quality is reasonable, if a bit top-heavy and lacking in subtlety. Both CD and cassette playback are OK. The FM tuner is OK, but locally Radio Three is a little weak and it can't receive in stereo without high levels of background noise. It is nice to note that it retains Long Wave, something vanishing from cheaper models of this type.

So why only three stars? It does everything well enough except the one thing it is sold on - space. The player is certainly smaller than many other similar players. But the AC/Mains lead supplied sticks out of the back and is so large it needs an extra 8-10 cm of space on a shelf, thus ruining the units compactness. If the lead had come out of one end it would have been capable of going into narrower spaces.

So overall, for the money it is reasonable value and providing you don't listen too closely, it makes a happy sound. But allow some space wherever you put it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2010 3:37 PM GMT

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
Price: £7.24

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Emotional Rollercoaster, 9 July 2006
A live performance of this work may be a bit off but the excitement of the evening will carry it through anyway, so no harm done. A recording, to be played ovar and over again needs to be close to ideal otherwise it will quickly annoy. So when a piece requires a full orchestra, symphony chorus and four soloists - all working together - a recording has a lot to live up to.

Step forward Otto Klemperer. With the New Philarmonia Orchestra and Chorus, he takes Beethoven and wrings every drop of excitement and emotion from an astonishing score. The stately Kyrie is followed by a Kyrie that climbs increasingly craggy emotional heights. Just as you stagger to the top, the performance is scaling the next impossible looking peak beyond.

The Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei follow, each a jewel in their own right. As the final Agnus, Dona Nobis Pacem completes we are, indeed, given immaculate peace.

Unless you have definite notions and want a strictly period performance, there is no other recording that matches this one.

Sony VTX-D800U Freeview Digital TV Set Top Box
Sony VTX-D800U Freeview Digital TV Set Top Box

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks Good, Sounds Very Good, 19 Mar. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After eighteen months of a perfectly usable STB from Thomson, it failed and was replaced by this Sony unit. A well made, usable box with excellent performance.
What makes it better than most - and worth the highish price-tag - are the audio-out options. Both a stereo 3.5mm Jack (although phono sockets would have been better) and S/PDIF optical out for use with a home cinema. Coupling the audio out into the hi-fi provides very good sound indeed. I compared the Radio Three on freeview with a £250 FM tuner (fed with a five element outdoor aerial) and it was a closer run thing than expected.
Why only four stars? It is expensive compared to the competition and it would be hard to justify for most users. However if you want digital radio services, this could be a practical alternative to a DAB tuner.

One Down, One Up: Live At The Half Note
One Down, One Up: Live At The Half Note
Price: £17.03

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Moment in History, 6 Nov. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Found in a cupboard, these recordings have been bootlegged by jazz musicians for years. So has the wait been worth it? Yes, but a qualified yes.
The CD sleeve makes much of the "High Fidelity" of the recordings, which is not in doubt, although occasionally the mix gets caught out and Coltrane is only just audible for a few seconds at certain moments. There are also some drop-outs on what by now are forty year old tapes, presumably only intended for private listening and not for release.
What rescues this release is the chance to hear the John Coltrane Quartet performing live at the height of their powers. Freed from the constraints of studio recording, this is as close to the live experience as you're likely to hear. All the tracks are extended, living improvisation and contain a creative energy which is worth hearing.
This is not an album for jazz or Coltrane newbies: you will wonder why anyone could sit through such long tracks without a clear musical direction. For anyone convinced of Coltrane, this is well worth adding to the collection. To fully reflect the experience, wear shades and listen - standing in a cramped space - with one hundred other people.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2 Disc Edition) [DVD] [2005](Assoretd Cover Image)
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2 Disc Edition) [DVD] [2005](Assoretd Cover Image)
Dvd ~ Martin Freeman|Mos Def|Sam Rockwell
Price: £7.36

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I've Got a Pain in all The Diodes..., 13 Sept. 2005
The film, as it stands, is good entertaining stuff. That it isn't quite like the radio series/TV/book is OK - as already discussed Douglas changed thngs as he went along between formats.
The annoying thing - and why it only receives three stars - is the performance of Sam Rockwell as Zaphod. He played Zaphod as though he were an idiot, not the vain, self obsessed galactic president he is in the film. Everyone else is very good with Martin Freeman perfect as the puzzled earthman in a galaxy that has gone mad around him.
This film is good but it could have been great. If you only know of the stories from this film, you'll wonder what the fuss is all about.

Last Chance Disco
Last Chance Disco
Price: £15.45

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Punk Meets Jazz and Gets Fruity, 10 Sept. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Last Chance Disco (Audio CD)
From the opening bars of the first track, Iggy, the energy of the music is fabulous. Even when the pace slows for a quieter, keyboard driven track like Trial and Error, it is a lively experience.

Peter Wareham blows his horn with total confidence and an ability to jam that is a revelation. The remainder of the group contribute with equal talent to the demented and bounding sound.

This is an album to play in a fast car, foot down, heading for the horizon.

In Praise Of Dreams
In Praise Of Dreams
Price: £15.12

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern, Cool and Delightful, 30 Dec. 2004
This review is from: In Praise Of Dreams (Audio CD)
This is different to the hard, avant-garde Garbarek of the 70's and 80's. Here he mixes synthesisers, viola and his own fluid saxaphone sound to produce a series of ethereal sounds. Track 6 - Scene From Afar - is a lilting tune in tango time which haunts and delights.
If you enjoyed his work with the Hilliard Ensemble, this will be a pleasant instrumental alternative.

by Peter Mahon
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Accident Revealed, 25 April 2004
This review is from: VERDICT ON EREBUS NZ (Hardcover)
The book covers the author's running of a royal commission of enquiry into the Mount Erebus air accident in November 1978.

The loss of a commercial airliner in the Antarctic due to a change in autopilot programming seems impossible to believe, but Mahon takes you through the story of the inquiry in a well-written and detailed book.Although by definition his view is partial, what comes out from the book is that his view is also very well informed and based solely on tested evidence.

As well as being an excellent record of the accident, this book is valuable to anyone who wants to understand how a public enquiry of any kind works.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Visuals - With a Story, 10 Nov. 2003
This is a remarkable film, with visuals to match. As well as the twists and turns in the (admittedly fairly slender) plot, it has enough wit and throw-away lines that will keep most people amused throughout its length.
Like all good children's films, there is a dark side as well. The world is genuinely scary (Ever seen an Angler fish close up?) and the opening scene with a Barracuda might cause some awkward questions from small children about what has happened to mummy.
With that caveat aside, this is streets ahead of most mainstream animation and I can't rate it highly enough. See it at the cinema first, this needs a big screen.

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