Emilia Mårtensson – Ana

(Babel BDV14126) “Close your eyes before you open up your mind.” Words of advice to Swedish singer Emilia Mårtensson from her Slovenian grandmother, Ana, and a useful tip for us as well as we listen to Mårtensson’s second album. Ana… Read More ›

Brass Mask – Spy Boy

(Babel BDV13121) The current spate of new piano-less, potential marching bands might have been inspired by young Brits watching Treme on Sky Atlantic, or reading about the New Orleans funeral marches and second lines. Or maybe they just couldn’t find… Read More ›

CD review: Dice Factory

Dice Factory (Babel)  A fine and lively example of exploratory contemporary British jazz from four players, three of whom have strong connections with other bands, including Empirical, Outhouse, Ma and Kairos 4tet. The band’s name suggests dice-throwing and influences the… Read More ›

CD review: Aquarium

Aquarium (Babel BDV1195) The pianist and Royal Academy of Music graduate, Sam Leak, is the latest bright young player and composer to be given his first chance in the studio by this great indy label run by Oliver Weindling. An… Read More ›

CD Review: Twelves

The Adding Machine (Babel) Reviewed by JJ Wheeler  Previously klunky Ornette Coleman-inspired acoustic trio Twelves have evolved. Somehow darker, more intense yet joyously uplifting they return with a rockier, equally melodic record. The difference? The addition of Rob Updegraff; guitarist… Read More ›

Disc of the day: 04-07-10

Richard Fairhurst’s Triptych: Amusia (Babel BDV 1087) This piano trio consists of British pianist Richard Fairhurst, Danish bass player Jasper Hoiby and New York drummer Chris Valataro. All the music is by Fairhurst, bar a couple of spontaneous group improvs,… Read More ›

Disc of the day: 04-07-09

Partisans: By Proxy (Babel BDV2983) This is only the fourth album Phi Robson, Julian Siegel, Thaddeus Kelly and Gene Calderazzo have recorded as Partisans, which seems extraordinary to me as they seem to have been around for much of my… Read More ›

Disc of the day: 02-07-09

Zed-U: Night Time On The Middle Passage (Babel BDV2982) This debut album from the trio of Shabaka Hutchings (clarinet, tenor saxophone), Neil Charles (electric and synth bass) and Tom Skinner (drums, keyboards, voice), is a real treat. The Forest, which… Read More ›

CD reviews: 31-03-09

Chris Batchelor & Steve Buckley: Big Air (Babel) The trumpeter and saxophonist who came together in Loose Tubes in the 1980s, last recorded as a duo for the same label in 1999. That was called Life As We Know It, and… Read More ›