uprooting from London to Glasgow. Hall plays classical music as well as these bright, melodic, thougtfully structured jazz idioms in which he uses soprano saxophone and clarinet rather than the more familiar horns. We should be hearing more of him live in these parts, and Heading North is a good introduction. (KM)

Lenny White

Edge (Hip Bop) us

Lenny White played on Miles DaVis' epoch-making Bitches Brew seSSions, and you don't get much closer to the fount of jazz-rock-funk quion than that. That old form is getting a bit tired now, and the drummers latest album isn’t really on the edge of anything,

except maybe extinction. But if fusion is your bag then it has a lot gomg for it as

an example of the genre, including strong playing from a stellar cast of name fusioneers (Saxman Bernie Maupin, pianist Patrice Rushen, bassists

Foley and Victor Bailey, and singer

Dianne Reeves), and largely decent material Althcmgh, covering Led Zep’s 'Kashmir' was a big n'iistake. (KM)


Brull Piano Concertos (Hyperion)

Hyperion's series of Romantic Piano Concertos has reintroduced a great deal of neglected muSic to a contemporary audience, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra has played a major part in that process. Ignaz Brull was a popular piano Virtuoso and a close friend of Brahms, although his own compositional style here is less harmonically and structurally daring. Mendelssohn might be a more accurate yardstick, especially in the youthful Concerto No 7 The orchestra are again in excellent fettle under Martyn Brahbins, and soIOist Martin Roscoe brings the potentially rather staid music to vibrant life (KM)


Toumani Diabate and Ballake Sissoko

New Ancient Strings (Hannibal)

A 90s equivalent to the sitar and India of 60s dream children, the kora and Mali represent an alluring sound in an

exotit destination This once vast West Aliir an empire has for tenttiries

sustained a culture of griots, high-caste

hereditary musiCians, and this latest recording shows off two of the greatest young contemporaries on the 2t string harp-gourd. The famous Ancient Strings album was recorded in 1970 by their respective fathers and here the two cousins emulate and perhaps even surpass them in melodic invention and quicksilver technique. Cascades of notes over mesmeric rhythmic figures, no overdubs, no vocals. Pure virtuosity. (NC)

Virginia Rodrigues

Sol Negro (Hannibal) e e e e

In only the couple of years since Virginia Rodrigues first performed outside of Salvador de Bahia, the vibrant city at the heart of Brazrl’s fusion of Africa and Portugal, her unbelievably beautiful, unique v0ice has brought her to the attention of the world. She's been Singing all her 30 or so years, in school and church choirs and later in the theatre. Samba -- not the brash football/carnival band sound, but something much subtler -. is the dominant mood of an album that uses sparing accompaniment by Gilberto Gil and Milton NaSCimento to highlight a rare, magical and very moving vocal talent. (NC)

Dot Allison MOI POD (Heavenly) «ax-sat A cool, cute bubble of nothing-

muchness from One Dove’s former first lady that only truly wakens when Dot

slips a mitt inSide Serge Gainsbourg‘s billowmg pantaloons for a spot of breathless how’s-yer-pater. Hardly life- changing, but a breeZin seductive French fancy all the same (SD)

Technique Sun ls Shining (Creation) --

The latest refugees to emerge from Creation’s signing free-for-all, Technique are fronted by, as Jim Davrdson would ooze, a ’very attractive young lady'. Sadly, aesthetic brownie pomts do not necessarily a good record make. That fact is Violently demonstrated by this interminable bout of early-90$ Beloved-style hippy- pop. (SD)

Manic Street Preachers You Stole The Sun From My Heart (Sony) gr

One of the stand-out tracks from the disappomting This Is My Truth


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Never mind the follicles: Gus Gus

record reviews MUSIC

l I l

ELECTRONIC Howie B Snatch (Pu55yfoot) s: sir

Mix and snatch: Howie 8

With UZ's last album, Howie B was brought in as their 'vibes man': someone to put a penny on the rails of their stadium-rocking locomotive force and to tour the world as their official Popmart tour DJ. Snatch, his first album for his own Pussyfoot imprint, demonstrates just how swollen with ideas the former Glasgow southsider is.

In this dualistic album, Mr Bernstein sets brooding melancholy against capricious whims. ln darker moments, disquieting abstract electro movements are broken by his familiar intricately deliberate breakbeats, while dramatic filmic sweeps become dislocated jazzy jams. The sound mutates into fantastic experimentation encompassing robe-textured cantina band wanderings, a glistening glam rock head shaker split by Casio tone waltzes, and camp sympho-breakbeat themes.

Snatch is a Sherman think tank of concepts from the genre-splicing chief. He'd do better to occasionally develop within his grooves, rather than sideswiping them with sonic invention, but he resists the urge to wallow in esoteric noodling.

Although he's been selling his services, producing and remixing for the likes of Steve Reich, Bjork, Tricky, Brian Eno and Sly & Robbie, this is bold, unsullied Howie and startlineg so. (Rory Weller)

results would be somewhat less Byrds- lay-numbers and somewhat more, well, interest/rig. (SD)

Campag Velocet

To Lose La Trek (PIAS) a a These cycling obsessives have ridden roughshod over the pop press on a hypedaup Harley. This third single is a swaggeiing slab of yeti-funk strated by sneeiing pschyohabble, like the Happy l\./londays gone Cockney or Karl Hyde fronting PIL, which sounds like a good idea but never guite meets expectations. Happily, the ten-minute second track, 'I Feri’jet', is top banana. tPR)

aihurii, "rou Stole The Sun From My Heart' btiilds around 2i cut ular rjuitai‘ line before (Exploding into a hit; power rock chorus While ll"; better (lian 'Tlir: Evei‘lastin:j' by a country mile, this is still IyIanics-Iiy-nzirriheis Remixes liy Dated I'1()Ifll‘.‘\till‘l .'~.'l:u-i‘.'.w:: aid little (PR)

Gus Gus

Ladysnave MAD)

Catir‘niiig Icelandit anti-tic)ch WIN) a penchant for Beckaniialian extess, Gus Gus have a haliit of Haunting pinball— pop nonsense when they should be producing works of genius 'Ladyshave', however, is a hop in the right direction, as Bjork joins the Inspiral Carpets for a (lattei'ing explosion of lunatic loveliness (SD)


It’s True (Fantastic Plastic)

'I need guidance" accurater (liirrups Astrid's chief ej')irjI<)ttis-cjriiidei on this, their ode to life in an entirely average,


Nicky Agate, Norman Chalmers, Sarah Dempster, Rob Fraser, Kenny Mathieson, Alan lvtorrison, Mark Robertson Jonathan Trew, Paul Whitelaw


straight-down—tlie-line Teenage l if "r ‘3’ i * Unm'ssable . I I 5 s 1*: s is Very good Fanc Iub tribute troupe It only the j a. t, a Worth a Shot elusive ghost of inspiration had been I tr e Below average j You’ve been warned

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