Jools Holland


East West

THERE is a (possibly erroneous) hint of the sweepings of the cutting room floor about the new instrumental disc from the frontman of BBC TV's Later . . . Just three of the tracks feature his full Rhythm and Blues Orchestra (surely currently the UK's most popular big band), one has the surprising involvement of Brian Eno, and another (a cover of a tune Thijs Van Leer wrote for his 70s Dutch prog outfit Focus) comes garnished with programming by producer Johnson Somerset. In the middle of its eclectic 18 tracks there is a four-song blues interlude, which teams three old classics with one of Holland's own composition. It is one of eight originals on the album, ranging from the sort of boogie you might expect to a ska-tinged tune for the big band and opening the quasi-classical May. If the sleeve notes are to be believed, the recording also took place across a number of diverse locations and the whole package is altogether more adventurous than you might expect. A Jools Holland gig may often be an excuse to hear Ruby Turner, or another guest vocalist,but here the man speaks up for himself.

Keith Bruce