Last night I finally got to see Mary Coughlan live for the first time – something I’ve wanted to do ever since I got a cassette of her debut album Tired & Emotional in 1985.


As a longtime fan of The Dears, I’ve always enjoyed the melancholy music and Bowiesque / Morriseyesque / Albarnesque croon of frontman Murray Lightburn. Even so, this is something I never expected from the creator of apocalyptic albums like Degeneration Street and No Cities Left.


Randy Crawford joined The Crusaders to sing what became their biggest hit, Street Life in 1979. Or, as my old colleague used to call it, Street Light.


Here’s one of those songs I haven’t heard in years (decades?) but it comes right back to me the moment the needle touches the groove. I was never a fan of jazz-funk but you’d have to have a heart of stone, and feet of concrete, not to be moved physically and emotionally by the infectious groove, skittering bassline and blissful vocal of Southern Freeez.


I have not closely followed the career of foodie rapper Loyle Carner but I’ve got time for anyone who makes his stage name a spoonerism of his real name (Benjamin Coyle-Larner).


Sun Ra Arkestra – Chopin

23rd September 2022 · 2020s, 2022, Jazz, Music

This has properly blown my mind. Not just listening to it, but because it is surely the first – and only – record I have ever heard to be recorded by a 98-year-old man. (more…)

With its smooth groove and sweet vocal, sinuous sax and bubbling bassline, this is just the job for a hot summer day. (more…)

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road in the past week, driving to Cornwall and back, listening to 6Music (at least when I had a DAB signal in the car). This is the tune that caught my ear the most. (more…)

Joni Mitchell at the peak of her powers with a crack team of jazz musicians, performing live on her Mingus tour in California in 1979. (more…)

Johnny London made history at the age of 16 when his only recording became the first single to be released on the great Sun Studio label in Memphis. (more…)