7:00am Saturday 24th August 2013
The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.
Del Bromham, "Nine Yards" (Angel Air SJPCD 432)- Demon guitarist Del Bromham was one of the unsung heroes of British rock during his stint with Stray during the early seventies,turning out a string of excellent albums which earned the band a sizeable helping of critical kudos but very little in the way of solid record sales. A great deal of water has gurgled beneath the proverbial bridge since those days but Del remains a force to be reckoned with,and his new Angel Air album delivers an arresting celebration of the power of the blues,whether it be the acoustic charms of the title tune or the more high octane delights of tracks such as "The Ballad of JD," "Words" or "Don't Throw Your Love Away."
Outfit,"Performance" (Double Denim Records)- Eclectic Merseysiders Outfit have already been hailed as the missing link between Portishead and Orange Juice. and the quintet's skilful use of live instrumentation and judicious sampling certainly repays closer investigation if you're one of those discerning punters who prefer their listening experience to be inventive,haunting and multi-textured. The group's eagerly awaited debut album has seemingly been influenced by everything from Talking Heads and Radiohead to German experimentalists Cluster.with the various pieces of this beguiling musical jigsaw falling into place most attractively on the opening and closing tracks,"Nothing Big" and "Two Islands."
"Winter Mountain" (Charcoal Records)- The seeds of this splendid Anglo-Irish collaboration were first sown in a chance meeting at Chicago's Union Station,when Martin Smyth and Joseph Francis chatted about their musical tastes and discovered a shared passion for the work of outfits such as The Band, Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby,Stills,Nash and Young. The rest ,as the old cliche goes,is history,and their eponymously titled debut album presents a tuneful showcase for the duo's exquisitely harmonised sound,with "Tell Me," "Shed A Little Light" and "Sorrow" emerging as the pick of this subtly memorable package.
"Just Wailing-50 Masterpieces by 26 Blues Harmonica Heroes"(Fantastic Voyage FVDD157)- This rather superior anthology was compiled and annotated by the highly knowledgeable Neil Slavem and boasts seminal performances from many of the leading lights of the blues harp,including Sonny Pryor,Sonny Boy Williamson and Junior Wells. Much recorded gems such as Little Walter's "Juke," Slim Harpo's " I Got Love If You Want It" and Billy Boy Arnold's "I Wish You Would" sit snugly alongside a string of fascinating obscurities to create a fine introduction to the earthy sound of the harmonica at its most urgent and compelling.
Pascal Roge,"Debussy: Clair de Lune" (Decca 478 5405)-Decca's latest archive collection focusses attention on the impressionistic keyboard creations of Claude Debussy,drawing on recordings made by the gifted Parisian pianist Pascal Roge during the late seventies and early eighties. Many of this trail-blazing composer's best loved works are given an airing in the process,including "La fille aux cheveux de lin," "La cathedrale engloutie" and the crowning glory of 1890's "Suite bergamesque," the haunting "Claie de Lune."
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