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MUSIC Album reviews

Latest releases from Tamil Rogeon, Neil Young and Dean McPhee

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML9Pra3hGS8
Tamil Rogeon
Son of Nyx
(Soul Bank Music)
3*

AFTER working on various projects across the world in recent years, Melbourne-based viola player and orchestral composer Tamil Rogeon returns to his jazz roots with Son of Nyx.

Named after a Greek god, the album is an engaging mix of musical styles. A rare instrument in jazz, Rogeon’s viola adds a refreshing sound to the rest of the band — Daniel Mougerman on keyboards, Danny Fischer on drums and Allysha Joy’s vocals.  

The cosmic jazz-fusion of the late 1960s and 1970s in the work of the likes of Herbie Hancock and Weather Report is an undeniable influence.

Momus is a real highlight, from the Joe Zawinulesque percussive intro to the choral voices lifting the music as the track progresses.

Yet while Rogeon and his band are clearly all talented artists, arguably there is little here to distinguish the music from their peers.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEfqHWTuMCE
Neil Young
Way Down In The Rust Bucket
(Warners)
4*

HAVING recorded their much-loved Ragged Glory album in spring 1990, later that year Neil Young and Crazy Horse performed a three-hour set at The Catalyst, a small bar in Santa Cruz, and it’s captured on Way Down In The Rust Bucket, the new record in the Performance Series of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s archives.

Like the much-loved garage rock of Ragged Glory, this two-disc live set finds Crazy Horse at their most expansive, with five songs coming in over 10 minutes.
 
Highlights include Over And Over, one of the most beautiful long songs of Young’s career, and a wonderful version of the riff-happy Don’t Cry No Tears.

Along with T-Bone and Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze from 1981’s Re-ac-tor, there are welcome outings for Dangerbird and Mansion on a Hill before the monumental Cortez The Killer closes proceedings.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j_5Lw-RNSM
Dean McPhee
Witch’s Ladder
(Hood Faire/Cargo Records)
4*

OVER the past few years I’ve come to understand that Britain is home to some hugely talented instrumental guitarists, namely Wales’s Toby Hay and Jim Ghedi from Sheffield.  

After listening to Witch’s Ladder, I can confirm that West Yorkshire’s Dean McPhee needs to be added to the list.

Recorded live and with no overdubs, the record comprises McPhee’s solo playing on his electric Telecaster, combined with various effects.  

Inspired by folklore, mysticism and the local landscape, it is a magical, often hypnotic listen.

Red Lebanese, presumably named named after the cannabis strain, throbs and soars like an otherworldly Vangelis piece, while other tracks have the muscular tone of a Michael Mann film soundtrack.

The music brings to mind William Tyler’s Americana soundscapes and the majesty of Terje Rypdal’s guitar work on Ketil Bjornstad’s ECM album The Sea.

A moody, mesmerising set.

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