Not at all as big a name outside America as inside Nellie McKay made a splash, oh, 14 years ago with the big selling Get Away From Me

The caveat inevitably is that standards albums are two a penny and this one is angled more for vintage and retro fans and maybe just maybe a few dip-their-toes-in-the-water far fussier jazz fans.

Any album that contains ‘Small Day Tomorrow,’ which this one does, as well as the evergreen charms of ‘The Nearness of You’ certainly deserves respect.

And there are lots of good things that the stripped back accompaniment of the singer on a range of instruments including piano, ukulele and harmonica, even a little harp, provides. 

Less good and more tellingly are her producer chops as the overriding impression is that McKay has bitten off more than she can chew.

A pianist, singer, songwriter nonetheless worth spending quality time over and waiting patiently for future magic, to appeal to jazz fans further from home who for now live beyond her fanbase may well take a lot more time and a good deal less of such a thick carpet of nostalgia however lovingly unrolled. 

On Palmetto (***1/2) and out now. 

The easiest way for UK papers to improve their online jazz coverage is to set up a complementary, dedicated blog complete with a podcast, optional vlog, and at least twice weekly uploading of new content. If they did at a stroke they would vastly multiply the space they allot to jazz and actually use their writers better. It would cost peanuts and yet show serious endeavour on the part of the papers and a commitment to marginalised readers shut out of the regular music coverage.

Coverage at present is lamentable. Even John Fordham, the UK's leading jazz writer gets a tiny amount of space. Jazz also gets scant attention in the Guardian's online music blog. Of the rest, well the FT is actually best of all at the moment in terms of space and the estimable Mike Hobart (probably the UK's most consistently on-song writer at the moment if the criteria revolves around quality, quantity and style) is a regular treat. The Telegraph is terrible, they get their classical writer to write about jazz which he does witheringly and scarcely credibly usually. The Observer? A postage stamp devoted to rave reviews and mainly a tiny niche of mostly mainstream jazz only. The Times and Sunday Times? I like Clive Davis' writing a lot even if I do not always agree with his views but he is underused and their other writers lack his flair. The red tops don't bother at all but that doesn't detain most of us much. If they did it would be the celebrity angle only and what the celebs happened to have eaten for breakfast.

We have to face up to the fact that newspapers will not up their print coverage because they see no reason to and the reckoning that there is not a huge readership for it or a horde of advertisers bashing down the door to take out ads.

To get round this by branding specialist blogs with respected media badges for the long term not just a temporary sticking plaster would go some way to renew their historic vows to cover not just jazz but other music as well in similar fashion and benefit in partnership jazz greatly by the higher profile nature of the brands.

The balance needs redressing. It is laughable to think that people in their forties, fifties, sixties and seventies want to read in great quantity about the latest pop sensation and five minute wonders whose core audience are teenagers, the music here today often gone tomorrow without a trace. Equally ridiculously jazz fans cannot commandeer the whole of the arts pages. However, jazz deserves more of a bite of the cherry. Papers need more readers and maybe the time will come, it may already even be here, when jazz fans look elsewhere for stories on their favourite music unless there is action and preferably some movement towards a redress. SG   

A goosebumps thrill and stimulating in the moment, and remainingly, to hear this humane ‘Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears’ Brendan Graham standard earlier at Grannie Annie’s on Townhall Street, Enniskillen during the ever growing word-of-mouth Gaby MacArdle seisún enhanced by a few bodhrán players on this occasion sung liltingly, and deeply, meaningfully, by Brendan NugentSundays 6pm-8pm. Free entry.
Version in the video by Seán Keane with Fergus Feely, left, and Pat Coyne.

... there, that’s where, and listening with new ears to Dee Dee McNeil, rap pioneer and so much more heard here with the Watts Prophets on her vital gospel-soaked ‘Black in a White World’ from 1971’s Rappin' Black In A White World. Also see the Watts Prophets website. Thanks for reading marlbank. Until next time.

I enjoyed Black Focus very much. Sense the 'but' coming. There is a lot of hype about The Return and much of it is just giddy if understandable contentment and a well meaning desire certainly for second helpings. Sad to say it is not a patch on its predecessor even if it does tap the current ravenous appetite for cosmic and futurist sounds. The new offering just sends me back tiredly to dig out something more substantial from the 1970s, where it would sit fairly comfortably, rather than survive on an endless supply of tasty nibbles. SG   

A place, a feeling, a moment.