Album Reviews

Mark Lockheart Group: In Deep (Edition) £12.72

Lockheart's reputation as one of our finest saxophonists has grown ever since his debut with Loose Tubes in the 80s.

In the company of trumpeter Dave Priseman, pianist Liam Noble, bassist Jasper Hoiby and drummer Dave Smith, Lockheart charges through a programme of originals with intensity and invention. The ensembles often have a furious power, and the solos reflect that with their urgency. Lockheart's work nods to Coltrane and Michael Brecker, but he's firmly his own man. AV

David "Fathead" Newman: The Blessing (HighNote) 13.70

This was Newman's final recording, made only a month or so before his death earlier this year, and it's a gentle reminder of a man who made much wonderful music.

In truth, Newman wasn't the player he had been. He picks up the tempo only on the opening SKJ and the closing The Blessing. For the remainder, he sticks to ballads, which he plays beautifully. His beefy tenor sound suits lush themes including Someone to Watch Over Me, Manha de Carnival and Smile, which he delivers with gruff tenderness. AV

Haydn: The Creation LSO 0628 12.99 (2CDs)

Performed with that red-blooded and weighty approach beloved of our northern choruses, though we would not expect them to emulate the precision of the London Symphony Chorus. This scene of the world's creation is urged forward by conductor, Colin Davis, with a passion and excitement that period purists would surely find hard to resist. In the silvery soprano, Sally Matthews and lyric tenor, Ian Bostridge, we have two superb soloists, some edgy intonation taking the shine from Dietrich Henschel's baritone contribution. Very fine sound quality. DD

Korngold: Violin Concertos/Much Ado About Nothing Naxos 8.570791 4.99 (MP3 download)

Having plundered music from his famous epic film scores, Erich Korngold's Violin Concerto should have found its way into today's popular classics, but the juicy tunes and virtuoso high-jinks have never really caught on. Now along comes the Russian-born virtuoso, Philippe Quint, with a stunning performance that will guarantee the work many new friends. It is coupled with a tuneful suite from incidental music, Much Ado About Nothing, and the Schauspiel Overture played by the Mexican orchestra, Sinfonica de Mineria. At this price its a real snip. DD