Album Reviews

Meadow Blissful Ignorance: (Edition) £11.99

Meadow is a trio comprising wonderful pianist John Taylor with a couple of leading lights on the Norweigan scene, saxophonist Tore Brunborg and drummer Thomas Stronen. The group leans towards a meditative quality, producing music that is often pastoral or elegiac in feel. Taylor's trademark intensity and fondness for melodic solos is to the fore, and although this is a collaborative session as the group works through a programme of originals, his contributions are the ones that sticks in the mind. Brunborg's slightly glacial sound suits the contemplative mood. AV

Chris Garrick Flight Mode: (Flying Blue Whale FLY7) 12.99

Garrick is one of a select few staking a place for the violin in contemporary jazz, and this new CD from him has much to savour. There's a joyousness about his playing that informs everything he does, not least an enjoyable five-part suite that moves through a variety of tempos and moods to good effect. The rest of the programme is made up of originals and standards, including a fizzing It Ain't Necessarily So, which gets the album off to a rollicking start. AV

Tchaikovsky Piano Trio/Rachmaninov Trio elegiaque: (Champs Hill CHRCD012)

With Sheffield-born pianist, Benjamin Frith, in the driving seat, the Gould Piano Trio turn in my top recommended recording of Tchaikovsky's epic Piano Trio. In the many changing moods from passionate rhetoric to fragile delicacy, this is an imperious account, his technically immaculate colleagues digging deep into strings to produce the weight of sound required. The short Rachmaninov trio, equally piano orientated, makes a highly attractive filler. New label, good sound engineering. DD

A Lesson in Love: (EMI 9 48536 2)

Last October a capacity Leeds audience was given a sneak "live" preview of Kate Royal's, new album, A Lesson of Love. In the shops next week and heading for chart-topping status, the gorgeous young opera superstar has devised a story of love seen through the eyes of 17 composers, including Schubert, Wolf, Strauss, Ravel and Britten. Creamy, seductive beauty in young love, the voice hardening for the pain of betrayal. Sensitive accompaniment from Malcolm Martineau. DD