MBV: Album of the year?

I You're not alone if the thing that most annoys you about The Brits is that the winners always seem to be determined by the number of units they‘ve shifted, regardless of creative excellence. Responding to this discontent, Mercury Communications, the company behind those designer phone booths, have styled their new Mercury Music Prize after the Booker Prize. There is to be only one category- album of the year, in any genre and a shortlist of ten albums released by British or Irish artists between 1 June 1991 and 30June 1992 will be announced in July. We‘ll have to wait until September, however, to hear what the judging panel, chaired by rock academic Simon Frith, have decided is the best. Could turn out to be Simply Red or U2, but it‘s nice to know that. theoretically at least. they're on equal footing with My Bloody Valentine, PJ Harvey and, er, Carcass.

I If the name Beechwood Music doesn‘t mean , anything to you, then you haven‘t been buying their laudable Indie Top Twenty compilations, and why haven‘t you? But never mind that now— Beechwood are launching a new venture, entitled Expo, which is intended to give unsigned bands some deserved coverage. Expo 1, available in all formats from 8 June. features two tracks apiece from Chimera (Belfast). Winterset (London). Autumn Parade (Timperley). Curveball (Liverpool), Delicious Monster (Midlands) and Electric Groove Temple (Reading). The label is keen to point out that this is not a collection of demos they didn‘t know what to do with, but a professional album of bands with great potential. As a bonus. each of the Expo series will be recorded with a different producer. the tracks for the first all being done by Chris Nagle, a former engineer for Martin l-Iannet who went on to work on albums by The Charlatans and Inspiral Carpets. The only problem seems to be that there are no Scottish bands lined up for future Expos yet. so interested parties should send tapes and the usual bumfto: Colin Simmons. PO Box 2553. London N89I)'l'.

GThe List 22 May - 4-June I992


. Jus’

nonu- right

‘I don’t know if we’re really a dance act you see. We’re coming from the clubs but I don’t know if we're doing that kind of music, lthink we’re on the very left field of that because we haven’t been wholly accepted by that scene.’

Rob Gallagher (Galliano to his friends), is obviously misguided. Anyone who heard last year's ‘Jus’ Reach' single orthe In Pursuit Of The 13th Note album knows that beneath the poppiest of exteriors beats a heart of pure dance. Similarly, their latest single, ‘Skunk Funk’ -while it may have nothing in common with what

passes for dance music in the Top 40 is a fizzy cocktail of jazz influences and rhythmic pop.

Signed to Gilles Peterson's

Galliano, the band, is a

; conglomeration of around ten

. musicians(lncluding PaulWeller's I ; lormersidekick, Mick Talbot) centred _ f aroundacore of Gallagher,

Constantine and Spry. The live shows

' are as unpredictable as the number of

personel would suggest- ‘Nothing can go wrong with our show because it’s all wrong anyway. There’s so much manic-ness’ - but with a long tour of Europe undertheir collective belt, their

performances are an aspect of Galliano '

that perhaps mirrors closest their musical intentions.

Gallagher admits that his musical career is something that came about purely by chance (when he met Peterson back in 1988 he was working as a poet) and this lack of masterplan is reflected when asking about the Galliano raison film.

‘I don’t know, I haven’t thought about

it. Maybe that’s it, maybe the é philosophy is "I don’t know I haven’t 3' thought about it” —that’s quite a good

philosophy, really.’

(James Haliburton)

Galliano play The Tunnel, Glasgow on Wed 3.


Just one comet

Once upon a time, the cornet- like the g clarinet-was king. New Orleans jazz gave a privileged position to both those instruments, and although subsequent ; generations of jazz players came to l prelerthe new pretenders to the i throne, trumpet and saxophone, they have maintained their gifted practitioners within the music.

Ruby Braff is arguably the , best-known cornet player still working his corner in jazz circles. Born in . Boston, Brafl moved to New York in the : early 50s as a professional musician, playing in styles ranging from Dixieland to hop. He gained a reputation for cantankerousness (like Stan Getz and Benny Goodman, he wouldn’t win popularity contests) alongside his obvious musical gifts, and has succeeded in staying the course admirably well, whatever the changing lashions of jazz. ;

Brafl’s metier is a mainstream jazz 3 style deeply-rooted in swing, but flavoured with more modern touches here and there. He exploits the

rounded, fuller tone of the cornet

(which is shorter, deeper, and more tapered than the standard 8 flat trumpet, although it shares the same I pitch) to maximum advantage, and is ; particularly impressive in the lower register of the horn, where he conjures ; up an especially rich and mellow brew, ; but with a touch of asperity. llis gift for melody remains

unimpaired, and he continues to turn

Ruby Draft 7 out quality recordings for Concord Jazz,

home to so many of America’s mainstream jazz stars, both of Brafi’s

! generation and of the newer one

headed by the likes of Warren Vache and Scott Hamilton. Forthis Edinburgh

: concert, however, Graft will be heard in

the company of a trio led by the accomplished English pianist Brian Lemon. (Kenny Mathieson)

The Ruby Braff Quartet play at The Queen's Hall on Fri 29.

I i consistentlybrilliantTalkinLoudlabel, {

The * break- ?

through :


Kenny Mathieson examines the belated flowering of pianist Bheki Mseleku.

All the signs suggest that pianist Bheki Mseleku is a musician whose time has come. Born and brought up in Durban. South Africa. he fled that country's regime in search of musical : and personal freedoms. and eventually settled in London in 1985. ; He has been playing around on the London jazz scene ever since . attracting growing audiences by word-of-mouth, and now seems set to make a real breakthrough on the international jazz stage.

In South African circles Mseleku is already held in high regard. His music betrays little of the colour or rhythmic flavour ofthe townships. exploited so fruitfully by the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela.