Non-Classical Top 10

The Non-Classical Top Ten lists the albums which have proved most popular in the last month and might give you some good ideas for your next purchase. It covers not just jazz but also rock & pop, electronica and folk. 

 

Emily BarkerEmily Barker - Sweet Kind of Blue

Emily Barker's latest album is an intoxicating blend of self penned songs about loves lost, heartrending humanity and the rush of the road trip. The making of the album was a love story in itself, between Emily Barker and Memphis. The deluxe version features eight new songs.

'It's a sweet and tender distillation of Americana influences. Blues meets country meets gospel, Emily's songwriting seems to capture a world that belongs both in the past and the present.' Clash

        

Applewood RoadApplewood Road - Applewood Road

This self-titled debut album, by all-female trio Applewood Road, is a testament to the prolific songwriting talents of Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Speace. Featuring some of Nashville's finest session musicians, Applewood Road was recorded around a single microphone live to tape at Nashville's all analogue studio, Welcome to 1979.

'The standout track is the gorgeous title song from which they take their name...a slow, dreamy drift through an old-time landscape.' Daily Telegraph

     

Claire MartinClaire Martin - Time & Place

With the connections borne of twenty-five years in the business Claire has commissioned imaginative new arrangements of songs from an eclectic group of writers including Joni Mitchell, George Gershwin, Thelonius Monk and a new commission written by the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer.

'Martin exhibits her usual brilliance at both choosing intriguing material and interpreting it with intelligence and verve.' Jazz Times

         

Tommy SmithTommy Smith - The Sound of Love

Saxophone virtuoso Tommy Smith reveals himself to be a consummate ballad player on this laid back selection of classics by two of the most justly celebrated composers in jazz history: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

'...this is not just another homage to Ellington and Strayhorn, Smith's renderings and keen vision clearly exhibit the obvious notions that Ellington and Strayhorn are embedded in his soul.' All About Jazz

   

Claire MartinClaire Martin - Too Much In Love To Care

Claire Martin's collection of classic romantic songs and ballads from The Great American Songbook features legendary US pianist Kenny Barron. It was named 'Best New Album' at the 2013 British Jazz Awards.

'...From the stylistic, "cool" jazz of the quartet to the assured, versatile singing, all of the pieces fit intuitively.' 5 stars Audiophile Audition

 

William OrbitWilliam Orbit - My Oracle Lives Uptown

Although My Oracle Lives Uptown is probably William Orbit's most immediate album, it's so subtly layered that it only reveals itself fully after a number of plays.

'The dreamy Optical Illusions washes over you in gorgeously drowsy electronic waves ... Orbit has no need to reinvent the wheel - this has become his sound, and once again it's irresistible.' 4 stars Mojo

          

Claire MartinClaire Martin - Perfect Alibi

Perfect Alibi includes tracks written by Phoebe Snow, Todd Rundgren, Jimi Hendrix, Laura Nyro, Julia Fordham and John Martyn. This album saw Claire Martin lead the jazz world into pop-crossover territory before Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux made this style an accepted genre.

Claire Martin has long been one of Britain's finest voices and she lends her smoky tones to some classic songs on latest outing.' The Observer

         

Barb JungrBarb Jungr - Just Like a Woman

This beautiful, haunting album combines Barb's compelling arrangements and resolute delivery to bring a fresh perspective on these songs. Named ‘Jazz Album of the Week' by The Independent, Barb Jungr proves she is a ‘peerless interpreter' as she makes these songs her own, drawing subtle qualities from the lyrics with a moving lightness of touch to make their message utterly contemporary.

‘A fabulous new album... radical and boldly imaginative reinventions of the Simone favourites.' Record Collector

      

Barb JungrBarb Jungr - Every Grain of Sand (Fifteenth Anniversary Edition)

Originally released in 2002 this insightful album established Jungr as one of the leading interpreters of the Bob Dylan songbook. Barb's revelatory interpretations get right to the heart of Dylan's lyrics, finding new depths and emotion in his work.

Records of the Year: #7 'Barb Jungr's bold reworking of his songs makes a fascinating journey.' The Sunday Times

     

Claire Martin10 Claire Martin - He Never Mentioned Love

Claire Martin returns with this stylish tribute to the late and legendary American songstress Shirley Horn. He never mentioned love sees the UK's finest jazz singer investigate songs memorably performed by her greatest influence.

In short: a gem of an album, pulling off the difficult feat of simultaneously showcasing Martin's unrivalled vocal gifts and celebrating the extraordinarily moving quality of Horn's music. Strongly recommended. Jazz Review