Stillefelt to debut

A 3 April release beckons for bassist-improviser Chris Mapp's Stillefelt. The pervasive sound lands in the terrain of Arve Henriksen on the lead-off track. Mapp is with trumpeter Percy Pursglove and guitarist Thomas ‘Seminar’ Ford on the Stoney …

Published: 28 Feb 2020. Updated: 3 years.

A 3 April release beckons for bassist-improviser Chris Mapp's Stillefelt.

The pervasive sound lands in the terrain of Arve Henriksen on the lead-off track.

Mapp is with trumpeter Percy Pursglove and guitarist Thomas ‘Seminar’ Ford on the Stoney Lane records release. 'Opening' is streaming.

Chris Mapp, photo, above: Sam Slater

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Laila Biali, Out of Dust

Laila Biali is a top award winning singer in Canada and has a technically excellent and pretty strong soulful voice but one that verges into almost Celine Dion-like territory on 'The Monolith' and 'Glass House', two of the early tracks here. Great …

Published: 28 Feb 2020. Updated: 3 years.

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Laila Biali is a top award winning singer in Canada and has a technically excellent and pretty strong soulful voice but one that verges into almost Celine Dion-like territory on 'The Monolith' and 'Glass House', two of the early tracks here. Great if you're a Celine Dion fan.

Out of Dust (ACT) falls overall in an uncertain territory that values a wholesome slick professionalism more than most and the band backing her (including Glenn Patscha on organ plus a string of guests including star altoist Remy Le Boeuf on reeds and flute and of course strings on a range of tracks) are not exactly stretched.

Biali's songs, most of the tracks are hers or co-writes involving her pen, are the sort of thing if the label were to get very lucky you'd hear on daytime BBC Radio 2 when the mass market station veers away from the pop charts and yet you might never hear them anywhere else.

A Middle England kind of record. Oh, and covering Gregory Porter's 'Take Me To the Alley' is a bit soon, isn't it? The album from which it was taken came out less than four years ago. I know which version I'd prefer and it isn't Biali's. Would I recommend this when it comes out next month? Er no. It is far too bland. RATING: THREE STARS

Stephen Graham