African Ambiance

Nouvelle Ambiance revisits 80’s Paris to tell the musical tale of African music made in the French capital. The compilation is full of sunny upbeat grooves, superbly played with that addictive quality that means many of the tracks quickly get under your skin making it the sort of album that you’ll be playing ten years …

Love in a Cold Climate

In Pawel Pawlikowski’s film ‘Cold War’ it’s tough being true to yourself as a musician in Communist Poland. Not only do you have to sing Polish folk songs and tributes to the glorious revolution but you also have a hard time living with the one you love. The films two main characters composer and pianist …

Seymour reads the Constitution

Brad Mehldau is one of the greatest exponents of jazz piano in the world and has released a new album ‘Seymour Reads the Constitution’ with his regular trio that shows the power of beautifully played well-interpreted songs, whether they be by Paul McCartney or Frederick Loewe.

Patrick Melrose

A couple of years ago I saw the author Edward St. Aubyn interviewed at the New Yorker Festival. He came across as shy and self-deprecating with a wicked sense of humor, and if you had never read anything by him, the kind of English gent who might write Evelyn Waugh-ish satires of the upper classes. …

Just a Phase

Mildlife are an Australian outfit that produce synth infused jazz/funk that reminds me of something like the Jan Hammer Group at times. Their new EP/mini-album is appropriately enough called ‘Phase II,’ but the one I’m currently listening to is the 2017 release ‘Phase.’ Here’s a sample.

First Reformed

Written by the man behind the Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed is a tense look at a man slowly unraveling as his faith comes undone. Reverend Toller ( Ethan Hawke) plays a preacher who is nursing a tragedy, the death of his son and the consequent disintegration of his marriage. When he is called …

Fates & Furies

A poignant collection of western tales courtesy of the Cohen Brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is perhaps the perhaps the most original piece of television Netflix has ever commissioned. Taking the classic western tropes such as gunslingers, wagon trains, Native American tribes, outlaws and gnarly gold prospectors they twist the genre in a way …

The A to B of Andy

Along with Picasso, Andy Warhol is perhaps the most famous artist of the twentieth century. There’s probably not a western human being alive who hasn’t seen one of his screen prints or heard about The Factory. So on one level, it’s hard to have an exhibition that really holds any surprises for an audience. Yet …

Kinfolk

Nate Smith is a jazz drummer of the highest quality. In fact, many consider him to be the best in the world ( something Mark Guiliana might like to dispute) His album ‘Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere’ is a superbly accessible album that exists in the land where Pop meets jazz. One of the standout tracks …

The Culture of Nauman

  If you like the artist Bruce Nauman and live in New York, you’re in luck. MoMA is doing a massive retrospective of his work that spans not just the Manhattan branch of the Museum but MoMA PS1 as well. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth traipsing out to Long Island City to see one …