Mutual Admiration Society

Sterling Ball, John Ferraro and Jim Cox – The Mutual Admiration Society

In which these three gentlemen – BFC as I am now naming them, to save time – create an album called The Mutual Admiration Society. Tongue in cheek title? Or straight? A lot of familiar numbers, a lot of familiar guests. The collection turns out to be a set of instrumentals of quite staggering variety, on which BFC make everybody sound fine. Skill of this strength is always going to make for an entertaining listen.
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Koch Marshall Trio

The Koch Marshall Trio – Toby Arrives

Under the label’s The Players Club imprint, this collection immediately rolls into earshot with a Medeski-meets-Jimmy Smith groove in the shape of Toby Arrives. I’d be very surprised if Milwaukee guitarist wasn’t a fan of Harvey Mandel.
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Michael Landau

Michael Landau – Rock Bottom

Ace guitar man has played on a ton of albums, for all sorts of people. For this effort he has decided to put together a four-piece with him on guitar and vocal, drummer Alan Hertz, son Teddy Landau on bass and singer David Frazee. Great players, so as ever it’s down to the strength of the material to assess the record’s desirability.
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Midge Ure

Midge Ure – Orchestrated

Ure takes some of his best and certainly some of his best-known material into the studio for orchestral reinvention. Let’s look at who’s involved – well the collection is produced, arranged, recorded and mixed by TY Unwin.
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In This Moment

In This Moment – Ritual

Recently beset by difficulties healthwise, original rock creatives In This Moment return with a new album. This is an act that sometimes misses me with their songs but at others just knocks me flat.
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Shane Filan – Love Always

Another album from the still young Irish singer and once again we have tuneful singing, a crisp delivery that still has warmth, clear production and professional arrangements. But once again, what’s missing? read more

Zoe Mulford – Small Brown Birds

A quick double take of the cover to check that we don’t have a member of the Mumford family here and whew, what a relief, no. Does the charming 50s style Nature Ramble Annual-style artwork give anything away? We shall press ‘Play’ and find out… read more

Kyle Shutt – Doom Side Of The Moon

The Sword guitar player Kyle Shutt tackles the popular Pink Floyd album Dark Side Of The Moon. Fab idea or folly? Gov't Mule got there first but in dub style, of course. He says he wanted to do a heavy version of Time and it all went from there… read more

Dave Kerzner – Static

Man, such prog song titles! Keyboard ace and singer Kerzner has form working with key figures from his chosen field e.g. Simon Collins (son of Phil). Steve Hackett, Keith Emerson, Steven Wilson, Joe Lynn Turner, Jon Anderson, Alan Parsons. You get the picture…… read more

Ringo Starr – Give More Love

Can’t let this year finish without catching up with this record – the latest from Ringo whose albums more and more reflect the fun and creativity he draws from working with the globe’s finest. Of course it’s an honour to work with the cat who played drums on Rain and Old Brown Shoe and our friend Steve Lukather was genuinely thrilled to be in on the sessions. read more

Jane Lee Hooker – Spiritus

A second album for the all-female quintet arrives and it seems the mission to rock the globe remains. Their strong points here are an NYC gang attitude, a move this time to more originals and - in their view - the cleansing credo of recording live, using no pedals and no overdubbing. read more

Sonia Leigh – Mad Hatter

Clever lass is Ms Leigh – singing, playing, arranging, producing some of the tracks on this disc. If the record is a success it’s largely down to her and if it is not, not many places to hide. read more

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