Skylight

The theatre, two words that can strike terror into the hearts of many right-thinking people. Werner Herzog the famous German film director doesn’t like it. All that ‘ridiculously shouting’’ has made him swear off the art from for life. Though that hasn’t stopped him producing operas, which surely must be a definition of the phrase …

Physical Graffiti

Who hasn’t got the Led out at some point in their lives? Who hasn’t played air guitar to Trampled Underfoot or sang fiercely into a hairbrush for Kashmir? They may not admit it but Led Zeppelin like acne, are a phase through we all must go. The reissuing of one of their classic albums ‘Physical …

The Notations

Every time you think you’ve heard all the soul music from the sixties and seventies there is to hear you spot another reissued or newly compiled gem.Such is The Notations on Numero. A group hailing from Chicago they had a few minor hits but there fame remained largely regional. However the sweet harmonies and fine …

Outline

Rachel Cusk has written a wonderfully subtle and beautifully controlled book that is among the best things I’ve read recently. ‘Outline’ is a novel in ten conversation narrated by a woman so apparently anonymous that we only learn her name is Faye, 200 plus pages into a book which is only 249 pages long. Yet …

Beatles vs The Stones

Just when I thought I’d tapped out my Beatles obsession comes a new book to get me reading about the Fab Four once more John McMillian finds a new angle on the subject through the competition between the loveable mop tops and the big bad Rolling Stones. Up to this point I’d always thought of …

Sketches of Spain

Jazz and flamenco? Do they really go together? On the face of it the idea seems vaguely preposterous and the results potentially heinous. But in reality it turns out they’re made for each other. Well certainly if the album ‘Jazz Flamenco’ is anything to go by. Spanish Jazzman Pedro Iturralde is behind the double album, …

Le Pas du Chat Noir

ECM is a label responsible for some of Europe’s finest jazz recordings. Often more reflective and moody than barnstorming, it’s a place I’ve often checked for more mellow introspective sounds. One of my recent discoveries is the Tunisian Oud player Anouar Brahem. His album ‘Le pas du chat noir’ is one of the more haunting …