Reissue CDs Weekly: Family, Latin Noir, Arve Henriksen, Widowmaker | New music reviews, news & interviews
Reissue CDs Weekly: Family, Latin Noir, Arve Henriksen, Widowmaker
Leicester’s freakiest musical sons in a box, moodiness from sun-baked climes, esoteric Norwegian jazz and lost Seventies rockers
Arve Henriksen: Solidification
This super-smart box set of the esoteric Norwegian jazzer is, unlike the Family collection, non-linear and obviously not intended to tell a full story. It’s opaqueness leaves the mystery intact. It’s also the only way to get Henriksen’s new album Chron. The fresh recording is accompanied by his first three solo albums Sakuteiki, Chiaroscuro and Strjon. Bonus tracks have been added. Each album is included on vinyl and also digitally across two DVDs in hi-res FLAC format, master-quality 24/44 or 24/96 WAV files and as 16/44 files. While the writing in the book is insightful, the vinyl is the most satisfying format. The music is minimal, often Japanese-inflected, mostly instrumental (Henriksen sings on Chiaroscuro) and about sensitive atmospheres. Its touches of electronica are non-intrusive. It all sharply contrasts with his work in the improvising Supersilent and with the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble. After assimilating Solidification, it makes sense that he has recorded for ECM and also collaborated with David Sylvian. For reasons of cost, this is pobably not the best entry point into Henriksen’s oeuvre. Nonetheless, it's a major statement of his significance.
This obscure rock album from 1976 was issued by a band that failed to click. A supergroup of sorts, Widowmaker were fronted by singer Steve Ellis, formerly of Sixties popsters The Love Affair and featured guitarists Luther Grosvenor (ex-Mott The Hoople) and Huw Lloyd Langton (exHawkwind). Family’s Roger Chapman was originally under consideration as lead vocalist. Widowmaker had the breaks: support slots with The Who, a contract with Don Arden’s Jet Records and a US tour supporting label mates ELO. The album – supplemented here by a few live tracks – unfolds like a multi-band compilation. Led Zeppelin here, Free there, and some Bad Company, Humble Pie and Lynyrd Skynyrd too. The efficient music is supplemented by template lyrics about being on the road, dreams and ladies. “Pin a Rose on Me” could have been a stadium singalong. But the success of the bands they emulated never rubbed off on Widowmaker. Punk was around the corner and they folded after a second album in 1977.
Watch Family mime “Old Songs New Songs” from Music in a Doll’s House on French TV in 1968
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Bristolian house don's debut has its tasty moments
Euphoric celebration of dance music let down by strange orchestration and sound issues
Collection of originals and adaptations bears witness to Taylor's understated brilliance
World Music Fest gets muddy but Senegalese and systems folk group shine
Surfing across the global bandwidths at the top world music festival
A muscular psychedelic debut from Portugal that heads straight for the dance-floor
Welsh star's songs show their age, country pop duo's their youth in spirited alfresco show
The Only Ones frontman pops up for a rare and riveting performance
Torpid sixth album from former freak-folker Andy Cabic
Lavish box set puts a new twist on the great American songbook
The legendary Cuban ensemble’s 40th anniversary celebration doesn’t quite take off
The difficult fourth album from London indie stalwarts