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CD releases.

Classical Debussy Angela Hewitt (Hyperion CDA67898) Angela Hewitt's disc, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of Debussy's birth, is a perfect introduction to his popular keyboard works.The Canadian pianist's own excellent booklet notes put them into context and convey a love of Debussy which goes back to her childhood.

The Children's Corner suite is splendid with a crisply syncopated Golliwog's Cake-Walk, where Debussy's comic allusion to Wagner's Tristan is neatly signalled,while The snow is dancing shimmers sombrely. But I prefer Pascal Roge's soothing Jimbo's Lullaby to Hewitt's rather brisk traversal.The Pour le piano pieces, Deux Arabesques and Danse have a bracing baroque-like feel, with the rhythmic precision Hewitt brings to her Bach recordings, while L'isle joyeuse glows in a late-romantic heat haze.The Suite bergamasque is sweet but not cloying with a chaste and beautiful Clair de lune. The performances benefit from the warm acoustic of Berlin's Jesus-Christ Kirche,the venue for many great recordings.

Norman Stinchcombe Jazz The Messenger Kevin Eubanks The guitarist of the family and leader of The Tonight Show Band for Jay Leno, Kevin has pitched both his instrumental sound and his music in the vortex where jazz meets blues meets rock meets funk. And he holds that ground pretty well.

The title track, which opens the album, has an easy rolling gait, with some punchy interludes. He hits a false stride a couple of times - the vocally enhanced versions of Coltrane's Resolution and a tune associated with Jeff Beck, Led Boots, don't reach the heights I expected - but for the rest, it's a pleasing and satisfyingly varied set, full of strong grooves and strong playing with a thoroughly accessible welcome in.

Marvin "Smitty" Smith is the drummer, and Take 6's Alvin Chea the singer; Kevin calls on the family in the form of Robin on trombone and Duane on trumpet for a couple of tracks.

Peter Bacon Rock & Pop The Evolution of Man Example Singer-rapper Example, real name Elliot Gleave, has described his fourth studio album as a "rock album produced electronically", and its opening track Come Taste The Rainbow certainly fits that description, with its grinding guitar riffs and impending-doom vocals. Lead single Say Nothing is anthemic,radiofriendly pop and Perfect Replacement thunders along with squelchy synths. Working with big-name producers Benga, Dirty South,Alesso,Zane Lowe and DJ Tommy Trash, this album comfortably covers rock, pop and rap with intelligent, witty and, at times, vicious lyrics - all done with a confident swagger with tunes big enough to fill a stadium.

Lisa Allen
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 22, 2012
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