WORLD JAVIER LIMÓN Mujeres de Agua (Wrasse)●●●●●

Spanish musician-producer Javier Limón is a man of tremendous intuition and vision: responsible for watershed discs for artists like Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía, flamenco singer Enrique Morente, or the generation- straddling collaboration between Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés and 40-years-his-junior Spanish singer Diego El Cigala on Lágrimas Negras, now he’s turned his attention to 12 top female singers from across the Mediterranean.

There’s nothing flash or forced here, just quality and passion from Greek folk singer Eleftheria Arvanitaki, fado star Mariza, flamenco vocalist Estrella Morente, Israeli singer-songwriter Yasmin Levy and others singing mostly Limón’s own songs which he accompanies on flamenco/ classical guitar aided by a small ensemble. Limón’s songs are to die for, and his choice of singers is stunning; all in all this is a moving sequence of real jewels. (Jan Fairley)

WORLD JULABA KUNDA Traders (Waulk Music) ●●●●●

‘Traders’ aptly describes the exchange of tunes and oral tradition between Scotland’s Griselda Sanderson and Gambia’s Juldeh Camara (often seen touring as a duo with Justin Adams and supporting Robert Plant). 2010’s snowy winter saw a day encounter between the pair stretch to three, with later sessions in various locations including a village church. It’s a subtle yet lively coming together of Sanderson’s

Scottish fiddle sensibility expressed on violin and Swedish nyckelharpa, with Camara’s versatile one-string riti fiddle and percussion. Together they conjure up a magical range of timbres and tones. Juldeh’s pleading vocals answered by sensual choruses make this one of the most original albums of the year. (Jan Fairley)

JAZZ MCCORMACK & YARDE DUO Places and Other Spaces (Edition Records) ●●●●●

Saxophone and piano duets are clearly all the rage this month. Pianist Andrew McCormack and saxophonist Jason Yarde approach the format with impressive empathy and mutual understanding on a set of original material by one or other of the musicians, with two jointly written pieces and a single standard, ‘Embraceable You’.

Whether on gentle ballads or more urgent uptempo material, the players make intelligent and creative use of the textural and spatial possibilities of the instruments (Yarde mainly favours soprano, but also uses alto), and capitalise on the warm, expansive recording acoustic of Dartington Hall, where this was recorded earlier this year. (Kenny Mathieson)

JAZZ ROB HALL & CHICK LYALL Blithe Spirit (FMR Records) ●●●●●

Hall and Lyall are familiar figures on the Scottish jazz scene, and their third duo recording reveals an even greater refinement in their thoughtful, inventive music. Their melodic compositions combine jazz, classical music and a touch of folk in subtle interaction, including three more abstract excursions into electronic music. It is often difficult to unpick where notation ends and improvisation begins, while the range of instruments Hall’s sopranino, soprano and tenor saxophones and clarinet, along with Lyall’s piano, harpsichord and electronics is matched by the inherent variety and shifting moods encompassed within the music. (Kenny Mathieson) Available from

86 THE LIST 20 Oct–17 Nov 2011


As we prepare to stare winter right in the face, we find ourselves in the throes of record labels’ last real push for glory before the Christmas single sprint

The Kills lead a heavy charge from Domino but sadly, with ‘Baby Says’ (Domino) ●●●●●, they drown in a tepid bath of lackustre choruses and fumbled riffs. Blood Orange don’t fare a whole lot better with ‘Champagne Coast’ (Domino) ●●●●●, although there is something undeniably interesting about their Arcade Fire-covering-Prince aesthetic. US sisters The Pierces undermine the impact of their

beautifully sultry voices with flat songwriting on ‘Kissing You Goodbye’ (Polydor) ●●●●●, however, this is infinitely more bearable than Wild Beasts’ attempt to fill the unnecessary gap Tears For Fears left behind, with ‘Reach a Bit Further’ (Domino) ●●●●●. Arctic Monkeys further prove they’ve had their claws

removed with the sugary 60s pop nugget, ‘Suck It and See’ (Domino) ●●●●●, while the Domino crown is pulled out of the murk somewhat by first-ever French signings, François and The Atlas Mountains, on oddball electronic number ‘Piscine’ (Domino) ●●●●●. Ex-De Rosa frontman Martin John Henry’s slice of geeky,

folk-flecked electronica, ‘Ribbon to a Bough’ (Gargleblast) ●●●●●, is a charming remedy to the aforementioned headaches. Similarly, Collar Up’s piano-led crooner, ‘Short Term Memories’ (Permwhale) ●●●●●, is almost too pleasant to listen to in comparison.

Comparisons to Captain Beefheart have been banded around Glasgow’s Mummy Short Arms (pictured) but Frank Black at his most violent seems a better fit on the brilliantly unhinged Single of the Month, ‘Change’ (Flowers in The Dustbin) ●●●●●. Could use a bit more guitar bite (to quote AC/DC) but it’s a screamer all the same. (Ryan Drever)