Thursday, 10 February 2011


by Northern Lights

One day, Timur asked what was the music played in the car. There was no easy answer to that because the car’s MP3 server was showing “Unknown Album by Unknown Artist”. Funnily enough, I knew what it was, who the musicians are and where exactly the CD is buried at home; and yet I couldn’t remember neither album’s title nor the name of the band.

Back home, I took the album out. Here it is. I say, what an utterly unremarkable name for a most remarkable collaboration: that of jazz trombonist Annie Whitehead and Alistair Anderson, the master of English concertina. Now says: “Northern Lights can refer to at least six different groups”, after which nine different bands are described, none of them refers to Whitehead—Anderson project. As for the title, just check how many albums are named Airplay and you’ll see what I mean.

I wish British jazz/folk/experimental music was better promoted. I’m sure the musicians can do that themselves. Is it that difficult to put a couple of (complete) tracks on MySpace? (That would really help me to illustrate why this is such a brilliant record, by the way.) But no. After searching the web for a good few hours, I give up. The only professional review of the album I could find was at All About Jazz Italia (in Italian; and by now it’s gone). No review at allmusic. Pathetic.

Oh well. I suppose you just have to trust me: it is wonderful. My favourite songs are In All Languages and Midnight Reel; Timur’s (so far) is Dark Blue.

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