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Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews
7:00am Saturday 1st September 2012 in NewsXtra
The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.
Boxer,"Below The Belt" (Esoteric ECLEC 2341)- Boxer was formed by vocalist Mike Patto and mercurial guitarist Ollie Halsall a couple of years after they'd worked together in the criminally under-rated Patto ,and this slick British rock band's energised debut set first saw the light of day in 1975. "Below The Belt" sadly attracted far more attention for its notoriously sexist sleeve design than the compelling musical content lurking inside, and the album failed to make a significant impact on the record-buying public despite the presence of fine tracks such as "Shooting Star," "All The Time In The World" and "More Than Meets The Eye." The finished product is now available in CD form for the first time since the mid nineties,digitally re-mastered and boasting a bonus track in the shape of "Don't Wait," which was originally the B-side of Boxer's first single.
Jim Croce, "Live-The Final Tour" (Edsel EDSS 1036)- This rather macabre offering chronicles Jim Croce's final gig in September 1973, just a few short hours before the engaging singer-songwriter and his musical sidekick Maury Muehleisen lost their lives in a plane crash. The contents were captured for posterity by a fan in the audience at the Louisiana concert , featuring Croce crowd-pleasers such as "Operator" and "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" alongside a hitherto unrecorded cover of The Coasters' "Shopping For Clothes" and a generous helping of the amusing between songs patter which was always such an integral feature of the Philadelphia born balladeer's live shows.
"Scots in the Spanish Civil War:No Pasaran!" (Greentrax CDTRAX3639)- The hundreds of brave Scots who travelled to Spain in 1936 to join the International Brigades in their ultimately vain struggle to defeat the forces of fascism receive a well deserved musical tribute here in the shape of this fine Greentrax anthology. Dick Gaughan's inspirational version of Ewan MacColl's "Jamie Foyers" is the pick of a diverse and compelling package which also boasts telling contributions from the likes of The McCalmans, Robin Laing and Chilean balladeer Carlos Arredonodo.
Nelson Freire, "Brasileiro" (Decca 478 3533) - The latest keyboard recital from classical pianist Nelson Freire concentrates on the rich musical legacy of his Brazilian homeland. The vast majority of the pieces are relatively brief composition for solo piano, including sixteen extracts from the repertoire of the great Heitor Villa-Lobos, most notably the "Carnaval des Criancas," which depicts some of the colourful characters that he would have come across at the vibrant Rio carnivals of his youth. Many of the lesser known works featured here also repay closer investigation,many of them heavily influenced by French composers such as Debussy and Ravel.
Adele & Glenn, "Carrington Street" (Glitterhouse GRCD 764)-Adele Pickvance and Glenn Thompson served as the rhythm section for Robert Forster's reformed Go-Betweens between 2000 and 2006,and the gifted Aussie duo have now joined forces once again to assemble this quite splendid collection. Their easy on the ear approach to music-making is reflected in prime cuts such as "I Dreamt I Was A Sparrow," "Remembering Names" and "Auntie Nelly," all of them delivered with a beguiling grace and lightness of touch that's becoming all too rare these days.
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