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Reviews Written by
Peter Shaw "purple_people_eater43@hotmail.com" (London, UK)

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Riverside
Riverside
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful soulful, inventive tribute to Jimmy Giuffre, 27 Oct. 2015
This review is from: Riverside (MP3 Download)
An excellent, soulful album. Dave Douglas pays tribute to one of bassist Steve Swallow's best-known former leaders, with help from the Doxas brothers of Canada (tenor, one track clarinet & drums).

In fact, there is little direct use of Jimmy Giuffre's compositions, a speedy version of "The Train & The River" - to me, oddly, the sole relatively unbeguiling track of the set! - being the exception. However, the demandingly sparse instrumentation, the weaving innovation of the play, the rich imagination and unpredictable development of the repertoire used, also the democracy of the players - with turns for all and no single highlighted star - are all fine, accurate tributes to Giuffre's music in original new terms.

And of course Swallow is a richly experienced and tuneful historical living link back, and forth.

Dave has run, and continues to run, the whole gamut of the music: from bracingly avant-garde to new (tapping) feet in good old standards. Here I like way, true to the tribute, there is a lot of down-home feel: the honest tone of the tenor, the sonorous but lithe bass, and responsive, uncomplicated percussion only help to this end.

Which is not to say there's anything too facile. Trumpet and horn interplay lines and interact very artfully throughout. There is shape and interest in all the melodic developments, from beaty tutti to pensive unaccompanied passages. There is a great variety throughout the album. (There are also a number of familiar older tunes secreted about the person of some of the tracks, so listen closely.)

To the reviewer who marked this 1 star, on the basis that it was not an album by the group Riverside, I would have to say Caveat Emptor - please read carefully before buying! I believe Amazon puts the album title on the first line, artist(s) below it - and in any case, "Dave Douglas and Chet Doxas" would be a rather unusual album title by the band Riverside, surely? Added to which, a quick sample of the samples might make obvious all was not as expected. I can only suppose the samples were not up when the mistaken purchase was made. While sympathising with any buyer who does not get what they want, I feel it is a great shame (and inappropriate) that this lowest rating should be attributed to such an outstanding album. Surely the artists are the last ones who should bear the brunt of a genuine error?

So, a pity anyone remotely liking any sort of music close to the type played here - down-home jazz with lithe imagination - or indeed liking a completely different type of music and mistakenly getting this, gives this 1 star on the basis of wrong-item dissatisfaction.


Umbra Starfish Drain Cover/Hair Catcher, White
Umbra Starfish Drain Cover/Hair Catcher, White
Price: £6.24

1.0 out of 5 stars Looks stylish, and the starfish design is neat, I wish I could say ..., 1 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
That it works. How disappointing.

Now, I guess it's possible it passes if you have a completely flat, polished glass shower floor. But if there is any curve, trench or even dipple, this really struggles to stay in place or do its job (its shape is bowed, and the suckers are also very feeble). As others have noted, it also discolours quite quickly and worse, attracts a nasty-looking, unshiftable dark mould underneath, even when you try to clear it regularly.

Loved it when first saw it - hated it after a while, and got rid.


Oak Slate Design Book Rack - Modern Contemporary Style - Book Shelf , Storage
Oak Slate Design Book Rack - Modern Contemporary Style - Book Shelf , Storage
Offered by Oak Slate Design
Price: £22.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A stylish piece, 4 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A very attractive, well-crafted item. I wonder if the maker would consider producing this in a bigger size too? (Perhaps this would exert too much strain on the ends?)


Talk of the Future
Talk of the Future
Price: £13.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing energy, richer blend, 16 July 2013
This review is from: Talk of the Future (Audio CD)
The missing spark that Leodhasach mentions is not in fact a matter of the sound reproduction, but quite simply Adam Sutherland on fiddle. The original bass player Somhairle MacDonald also jumped ship during preparations for this second album, but the sudden departure of the fiddler to Peatbog Faeries was a torpedo strike to the long-term viability of the bereft band. He was not replaced.

It meant that front-line responsibilities for the music were centrally on the shoulders of John Somerville's accordion, offset by his brother Misha's whistles. The headlong double frontline of the first album (Attention All Personnel), plus the harmonics and decorations of the whistles as extra tracery and thrill, was gone. And this changed the sound, the permutations.

Having said that, in some ways I prefer this second album to the first and only other album Croft #5 produced. Challenged (during preparations for Talk to the Future) to rethink the group's soundscapes entirely, they produced less of a driving, vertiginously exhilarating ride, but a richer, mellower, perhaps even wiser blend, and more of a world feel as well. With more electronics, but without schmaltz or cheap effects.

Both albums, though very different in nature and appeal, are very worth having.


8 Classics
8 Classics
Price: £18.95

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Real Gone Jazz production, good and bad., 18 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 8 Classics (Audio CD)
The GOOD is clearly as other reviewers have noted, simply the music - its availability at an absolute bargain price.

The sound quality is good enough - the remastered sound is a little bit "thin" in places, as it is wont to be. I am not sure if that is entirely because of the age of the recordings: Rudy van Gelder generally produced quite a full sound, even in those days, even if he never went for opulence.

The DOWNSIDE is a certain slovenliness in presentation. True, we can't expect Rolls Royce treatment (original art, liner notes, etc.) for the price of a Lada. But the notes such as they are are a bit messy (just a couple of examples: the wrong recording date is given for album/session 3, none is given for album/session 4, Jamil Nasser and not Masser was the name George Joyner took, it's Jimmy Wormworth, not Wormsworth ....). And perhaps most of all, as AD of Sacramento CA notes on the American site, the order of the albums is mixed up on two of the CDs - which has confused Glenn Cook above in his attempts to be helpful!

To repeat JD's corrected lists of tracks for the co.uk readership:

DISC #2 (Corrected order)

(BLUES WALK)
1. Blues Walk
2. Move
3. The Masquerade Is Over
4. Play, Ray
5. Autumn Nocturne
6. Callin' All Cats

(SUNNY SIDE UP)
7. Blues For J.P
8. The Man I Love
9. Politely
10. It's You Or No One
11. The Truth
12. Goose Grease
13. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
14. Way Down Upon The Swanee River

DISC #4 (Corrected order)

(LOU TAKES OFF)
1. Sputnik
2. Dewey Square
3. Strollin' In
4. Groovin' High

(THE TIME IS RIGHT)
5. The Nearness Of You
6. Mack The Knife
7. Lou's Blues
8. Be My Love
9. Tangerine
10. Crosstown Shuffle
11. Idaho

If you can get through this messiness, it's a bargain and a half, with some fine blowing


Complete Live at the Black Hawk
Complete Live at the Black Hawk

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore Ira Gitler for once ..., 15 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In the curmudgeonly Down Beat review quoted on this set, the famous (non-playing) reviewer withholds the fifth star of approval on the basis that Richie Kamuca falls back on repetition too much in the faster pieces.

I am not sure if Gitler got out of bed on the wrong side that day, or expected all tenors to be the same and like Johnny Griffin or Lockjaw Davis at their top speeds, quoting standards like crazy whenever they are not at the height of machine-gunning inspiration ....

but personally, I think Kamuca is great on this set, offsetting the fire of Gordon's trumpet with a more sinuous approach well suited to this music. His creamy-smoky tone and fluid legato style may indeed not be suited to the ultra-fast tempos hit by the leader on two or three tracks on this date, but personally I find the saxophonist's occasional repeating and doubling back on phrases an addition to rather than a diminution of the excitement even in those pieces (as well as a joy on the ear, as always with Kamuca).

Having said that, the opening couple of tracks of Volume 1 are (the eloquent Feldman aside) not the most inspired start all round - once the band hits its stride, however, it produces an unreservedly tremendous collection you can hear over and over again. If you have ears, that is - and don't get out of bed on the wrong side, and so are determined to look for faults ....

A classic specimen of small-jazz post-bop with great swing.


Traditional Irish Jigs, Reels And Airs
Traditional Irish Jigs, Reels And Airs

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a rebadged "Lead the Knave"!, 12 May 2011
The previous reviewer says more or less this is a hotchpotch of music, gathered from a variety of sources.

Actually, it is exactly the same track listing as the album by the two named musicians called "Lead the Knave", originally released in 1989. Far from being a farrago from hither and thither, it is an eclectic collection of tunes as originally released together. To my mind, it is an outstanding album, suggesting Artie McGlynn's wide-ranging interests but respect for the best of Irish and international traditional musics (without anything cloying or incense-laden - the most pensive track on the album is the genuinely beautiful and unfulsomely yearning "Cape Clear"). Nollaig may be a musical pivot that brings the music back to Ireland, but she plays with spirit and lift as well as consistency.

For this reason, I wouldn't agree that the cover image - or title - of this rebadged album represents the contents well. Rather, both title and image suggest an ill-advised attempt by whoever released this album to cash in on the American faux-romatic mystical-nostalgic market.

The original album has a phot of the two players, track listing with musicainas credited, and a sleevenote by Paul Brady.

I cannot comment on the reproduction quality of this rebadged product. But the original "Lead the Knave" is good quality - some tracks at higher volume quality than others, but otherwise true.

Buy the more faithful and honest original, you will enjoy it!!


Spirit Moves
Spirit Moves
Price: £21.41

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic, punchy, soulful, spirited, 6 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Spirit Moves (Audio CD)
Agree with previous reviewer.

This small brass ensemble with sympathetic drums plays one of those albums you can listen to in various moods, or even hear in the background to work. Multi-functional, multi-hued and heart-warming.

Dave is at his most lyrical here. Amidst a mini-nonet (if you see what I mean), he recalls the charms of a night sky as well as the invention of a tiny bell ringing for sanity ...

Jazz - or whatever we call it - shares with traditonal (and some "folk") music a likeable trait for acknowledging its heroes present and past both in its playing and the titles it gives to its pieces. This generosity of thanks is in evidence here too - good to see the living lambent legend Enrico Rava commemorated along with Fats Navarro and Lester Bowie .... and possibly others, more countersunk in other titles as is Dave Douglas' sly magnanimous wont.


O'o
O'o
Price: £22.88

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wreathing a flowery band to bind us to the earth", 13 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: O'o (Audio CD)
It's difficult to comment on John Zorn without feeling you will displease someone. Too raw, or too sweet? Put simply, however, O'o is a fabulous record. One you will want to play again and again, though it is not of the musical wallpaper type, and has nothing at all effete about it.

It is one of the many hybrid small-group albums Zorn has produced - this one perhaps somewhere between surf, cocktail jazz, 60s atmospheric soundtracks and rock - with another shake of the endlessly permutable constellations of musicians he attracts: Ribot (with his various approaches), Saft (with his versatile keyboards), the unbeatable and responsive rhythm team of Baron and Baptista, the strong bass support of Trevor Dunn and, importantly for this collection, Kenny Wollesen (solely) on vibes.

The O'o project is dedicated to 12 mainly extinct species of exotic birds, particularly of Hawaii, New Zealand and South Polynesia. It has a feel of Never-Never-Land to it, with appropriately bittersweet tones, as well as beautifully coloured flights of melody and harmonic fantasy. With (I think) all of Zorn's Filmwork (soundtrack) recordings, however lyrical or quietly rhapsodic some of these are, there is at least one track where the musicians - often Marc Ribot tothe fore - are allowed to let rip. Here there are two hard-driving "wails" (tracks 4 and 10), but done with feeling and the outrage of the best of life asserting itself against imposed oblivion.

Curiously, the eponymous bird is not featured anywhere among the 12 tracks - perhaps a wry, cartoon-type pun by the composer on the dread of imminent doom ...?

The tunes are generally simple, and highly memorable, as is the vibrant playing. "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever .." even if it commemorates exterminated species of the freest creatures of variegated nature. "Yes, in spite of all, / Some shape of beauty moves away the pall / From our dark spirits."

Oh, and Chippy's amusing, curvaceous sketches also fall into the category of simply-based, beautiful art against the odds.


The Magic Lute: The Evolution of Lute Music
The Magic Lute: The Evolution of Lute Music
Price: £6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying for the Shaeffer alone, 4 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been looking for a CD version of the first few tracks for a number of years. (I had these on not-great condition vinyl, with heavy rumble - on Turnaround, I think, and typical of that label: fascinating music with heavy background noise.)

Schaeffer's tracks are getting on - from 1960 or thereabouts I think.

However the restoration is good.

And most of all, the music - Renaissance, anonymous, some collected by Attaignant - is fabulous, and fabulously played. The rhythmic interest is unusually great as well as the melodic beauty, and the playing is virtuoso, and with fabulous poise of delivery.

The other tracks are by anything but bad - though the Vivaldi is hardly needed here, being well enough known to stand on its own, or with the mandolin concertos - and it is interesting to hear a modern take on the old springy instrument, however cobbled together the collection may be. But do buy it for the wonders of the beautifully-played 16th century song without words, and dance suite.


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