Favourite Five Recently Reviewed CDs

Five of the best albums from the recent postings at New Music From Elsewhere. Music too good to let slide into the archives. The Elsewhere place if you are looking for a quick fix of great and interesting albums.

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Mel Parsons: Drylands (Border)

13 Apr 2015

As Elsewhere mentioned in the wrap-up of this year's Womad, New Zealand artists – notably women singers – were among the highpoints. And one in particular was Mel Parsons who exuded a mature confidence, showcased some of the excellent songs from this new album and with a small band kept the attention of a large audience which could have easily drifted away to see some... > Read more

Driving Man

Mathias Eick: Midwest (ECM/Ode)

9 Apr 2015

This Norwegian trumpeter has appeared previously at Elsewhere, but never with quite the wistful, reflective and thoughtful work as here, an album inspired by the territory of its title where he -- like so many of his countrymen and women before him -- ended up. Those Norwegian pioneers went west to settle the land but Eick and his band ended up in the region at the end of gruelling North... > Read more

November

SJD: Saint John Divine (Round Trip Mars)

7 Apr 2015

In many places on previous albums SJD (Sean James Donnelly) has reached towards an almost spiritual sensibility in music which is elevating and airy, and suggests the sublime . . . albeit in a secular setting and with lyrics which have been droll or touched by ennui, or sadness. The title here -- nodding towards his own nom de disque -- as well a cover painting which seems a skewed... > Read more

Jet Planes

Van Morrison: Duets; Re-working the Catalogue (Universal)

30 Mar 2015    3

Duet albums are often the last refuge of senior citizen scoundrels, the deceased (current artists singing along with a dead hero's classics) or phoned-in studio constructions. In his defense Morrison – senior at 69 – has a history of duets and collaborations, so this exploration of mostly lesser-known songs from his extensive catalogue is not career desperation.... > Read more

Songhoy Blues: Music in Exile (Transgressive)

16 Mar 2015

With the sounds of Womad still ringing in our ears, this remarkable album might get more traction that it might otherwise have found. That said however, this one also walks towards a mainstream audience more than most of what comes at us as world music. It is focused, thrilling and very significant blues-rock from West Africa, although the yearning of the final two songs – Desert... > Read more