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Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jun 24, 2019
This month we review and test releases from: Thomas Søndergård/BBC Now, Johan Versk, Lars Danielsson & Paolo Fresu, Sir Roland Hanna and Emma Johnson & Friends
Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  May 29, 2019
This month we review and test releases from: Paul Simon, Joscho Stephan Trio, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Vladimir Jurowski, Paul McCartney, and Seong-Jin Cho
Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Apr 09, 2019
This month we review and test: Danish String Quartet, Vincent Peirani, Xavier Sabata, Ben Webster and Ariana Grande.
Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jan 01, 2019
This month we review and test: Roberto Prosseda, Residentie Orkest The Hague/Jan Willem de Vriend, Lotta-Maria Saksa, Connie Han, Calidore String Quartet, and Greta Van Fleet.
Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 01, 2018
This month we review and test: Scottish CO/Christian Baldini, John Scofield, Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati, Les Chats Noirs, and Boz Scaggs.
Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 01, 2018
This month we review and test: Czech PO/Jiri Belohlavek, Trygve Seim, Alexis Ffrench, Huw Wiggin And John Lenehan, and Arianna Neikrug.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 12, 2018
There’s something familiar about this latest album from the surfer-turned-environmental activist, who appears on the cover surrounded by artfully-arranged plastics from the sea. Trouble is, it’s not comfortingly familiar in its continuation of the feel-good Hawaiian-tinged sounds of past offerings. Rather, it’s just more of the same, with Johnson showing little sign of moving on or developing, but instead just resting on his laurels. Or his palm-fronds, or whatever.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 08, 2018
Whether or not it was intended as such, recorded while Allman was suffering from the liver cancer that finally claimed him in 2017 at just 69, Southern Blood serves as a suitable epitaph by combining a self-written opening track with nine takes on songs by friends and acquaintances. There’s a suitably dirty and authentic feel about the set, recorded in FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals and produced by Don Was.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 05, 2018
Is it just me, or is Van the Man having a bit of an Indian summer, seemingly banging out albums at a remarkable pace? Certainly even at 72 the old boy is showing no signs of slowing down, and this rootsy set of Chicago blues tracks, mixing covers and originals, is one of his strongest offerings of late.
Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 01, 2018
This month we review and test: Basel CO/Giovanni Antonini, R+R=NOW, Tia Fuller, Angela Hewitt, and Ray Lamontagne.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2018
Appropriately, the veteran bass player’s second album with his trio starts with a delicate, considered bass-led piece, ‘Contact’. It starts with taut, cleanly-recorded solo bass, gradually joined by the slightest of shimmers from Joey Barron’s cymbals and the odd subtle chord from pianist Marc Copland, before settling into a more familiar piano trio form. Even then, Peacock is constantly busy in the background, and Barron rock-solid.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 28, 2018
Marc Coppey is a French cellist now 47, his talents first spotted by Menuhin, whose repertoire spans from Bach to Boulez and Carter. He plays a 1711 Matteo Goffriller cello – and here, of course, faces enormous competition in the Dvorák from the span of Casals to Fournier, Rostropovich and Isserlis.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 24, 2018
Unusually, a period-instrument recording with a large complement of cellos and basses, recorded (apparently over a whole week of sessions) at a Berlin studio. The booklet note is another of Currentzis’s indulgent addresses, this time largely to the composer. I thought his Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Kopatchinskaja [HFN Apr ’16] was a travesty of the music and other reviews warn that, here, he takes the music to extremes – The Times, though, welcoming ‘a return to subjectivity’ in interpretation.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 21, 2018
Even those who have recovered from the waves of affected horror attracted by Sam Smith’s title song for the last James Bond movie will find little comfort here. This is an album of relentless introspection and downbeat thinking, all plaintive vocals and mournful accompaniment, with nothing much to raise the spirits. Smith’s voice is undeniably a matter of taste, but is heard here in all its close-miked glory, albeit with more than a touch of sibilance to distract the ear. Or maybe irritate even more.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 17, 2018
Like other conductors, Stéphane Denève finds Prokofiev’s orchestral suites from Romeo And Juliet and the later, more traditional ballet, Cinderella, dramatically unsatisfactory and has prepared his own ‘Suites Romantiques’ that follow the story-lines more clearly. In the famous dissonances opening R&J his Brussels Orchestra articulates the brass writing with complete security, and these spacious readings – I have never heard the minuet with Paris and Juliet [trk 5, 1m 56s] taken so slowly before – allow every colour in the score to emerge with perfect clarity.