title track pretty much to order, but despite drafting in extra players to expand the sound palette, there is a little too much routine rocking-out to make this third album anything more than a solid outing. (KM)

JAZZ Don Braden

The Voice of the Saxophone (RCA) * ark * This is saxophonist Don Braden's debut

for RCA, and like one of his regular employers, Tom Harrell, he has opted to open his account for the label with an octet album. And a beauty it proves to be, paying unslavish tribute to a half-dozen classic tunes by great saxophonists, alongside four originals. The band is top-drawer, and Braden’s arrangements are high on imaginative ensemble writing, while simultaneously allowing players like Randy Brecker, Hamiet Bluiett and Frank Lacy ample room to express themselves. Recommended. (KM)

Bill Bruford

If Summer Had It's Ghosts (Discipline) ****

The prog rock drummer has laid fair claim to jazz credibility before, most recently with the excellent Earthworks, but this trio session with Ralph Towner and Eddie Gomez is a whole different ball game. Bruford's melodic, pared- down approach reveals yet another facet of his drumming, and dovetails beautifully with characteristic contributions from his two great collaborators, with Towner doubling on acoustic guitars, piano and keyboards, and Gomez in his usual magisterial form on bass. A quietly understated treat. (KM)


Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham

The Ruby (Whirlie Records) ‘k iii

A big bright production (by Brian MacNeill) and a wheen 0' good tunes on another fine album from the popular kings of the fiddle and box. Often, as in the opening waltzes, it fairly drips with sentiment, before careering off into a Quebecois reel, with trump (jews harp) buzzing along underneath. Overdubbed here and there with keyboard, whistles, cittern and drum, all played by Phil, and including Ian Hardie's guest double bass on a couple, there is plenty of textural variety in the tracks, with only the Lowland air ’Logan Water' suffering from an overblown Sting-like arrangement. But then there's Aly’s magnificently performed,

C unningham-composed air to piano player Violet Tulloch, a timeless, beautiful melody. (NC)

Old Blind Dogs

Five (Lochshore - KRL) * *tt Opening with a Moghul modal sweep through Kabul to Pakistan, the new 0095' soundscape is thick with reeds, in the first album which adds ‘new’ member Fraser Fifield's eloquent skills on the Lowland/Border pipes and soprano sax to Aberdeen’s favourite four-piece. The trademark canine clatter of percussion and hyperventilated tune tempi remains

intact, but it's more polished and controlled in this, their best album to date. Alert, often surprising arrangements, and neat harmony are fitted to some of the best known songs in the Scots tradition while the instrumental rhythms lean eastward to create a hybrid music. (NC)


Feels Like I'm Slipping Away (Space Age Recordings) in:

This one’s for the die-hards: swooping analogue synths, spooky Portishead textures and musicians who sound so out their boxes they can barely lift their arms to play. Languid, leaden stuff, this, and silly to boot. (AM)


Bingo (Virgin) int i *

After Hanson: the pubescent Supergrass. But, as it happens, this rites of passage equivalent of 'Caught By The Fuzz' is so bizarre that it’s priceless. If singer and songwriter Toby Slater is as young as he looks, a Novello award will be on the mantlepiece before he can legally bag off. (AM)

Belles In Monica Swingstyle (New Dawn) 1: it Highly professional effort from a small Glasgow three-piece, and an impressively authentic American- sounding vocal by John Delday which is a bit too slavish, if anything. More than radio-friendly, it should be wrapped in a CD-sized condom before being allowed anywhere near your wireless. (AM)


Coast To Coast (Wiiija) * t t a:

lt's Wiiija, all right, but this laid-back old-skool rapping is a long way from Huggy Bear. If your interest in rap dwindled at the turn of the 90s, Hurricane's travelogue might just rekindle it. (AM)

The Pecadlloes

Initial Transmission EP (A&M) *1: From Bedford, for their sins. There are hints here, and on the extra tracks, that their sample-enhanced spunky guitar-pop might eventually live up to its advance publicity, but nothing more than that yet. (AM)

Davrd Devant And HIS Spirit Wife

Lie Detector (Rhythm King/Kindness) * *rx

Great British music-hall art-school pop, from the big names of 1998. Visually warped, they can write good songs and their singer, Vessel, could slip into Bowie’s ‘Please Mr Gravedigger’ at the drop of a Stovepipe hat. Seek them out. (AM)


Norman Chalmers, Alastair Mabbott, Kenny Mathieson, Peter Ross, Fiona Shepherd, Jonathan Trew, Rory Weller

STAR RATINGS *ifli Unmissable **** Very ood set Wort a shot it Below average ~k You‘ve been warned

record reviews MUSIC

r '('..":‘.-~'~ 1",:

The Verve: possibly more suburban than Urban IIanns

ROCK The Verve

Urban Hymns (Hut) skirt

All the rhetoric screams that we're in the company of believers. We already that they talk a good sermon, so it‘s surprising that muchbf Urban ' Hymns is bereft of spirituality. But then all faith is relative. sopresumably ' The Verve think they're closer to God than ever with this third album. If that’s true. they can prepare the pyre now for all the heretics who won't;bev spontaneously combusting with intense ecstasy on contact with this ' ' meandering effort.

You know by now how it goes with The Verve - whispered passages and latent passion exploding into guitar pyrotechnics and brimstone preaching. It's a mighty blueprint which is starting to sound perfunctory. ‘Come on'. the final crescendo, is a good example. A great title, which encapsulates The Verve's evangelical desire to share their belief with their listeners, but which doesn’t deliver the promised epiphany. Throughout the album, the quiet bits are just muted and the noisy bits fail to get astral.

For their newfound flock this show of sound and fury could be aroadto Damascus experience, but for those who were thinking ‘great. someone with the weaponry to kick the collective butt of Oasis’, these new hymns just don't resonate the way the old ones did. (Fiona Shepherd)


SATURDAY 11 OCTOBER 1997 7.45pm Playfair Library, Old College


directed by Reinhard Goebel J S Bach The Art of Fugue

For more than twenty years, Musica Antiqua K'oln and Reinhard Goebel have been at the forefront of early music performance. They are world—renowned for their vivid and imaginative interpretations of seventeenth and eighteenth—century music.

Their realisation of] S Bach’s The Art of Fugue is sure to be one of the musical highlights of the year.

Full details from The Queen’s Hall Box Office. 0131—668 2019

26 Sep—9 Oct 1997 THE IJS‘I' 47