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Love Form


From the opening tendrils of "The Messenger" to the blaze of distortion, intimately conversational piano and persistent snare keeping things tight that follow, the debut album by Charlie Jones immediately puts you in the mood. Charlie Jones is a musician's musician. His bass playing has been called upon by the likes of Robert Plant, Page & Plant, Siouxsie Sioux and, latterly, Goldfrapp. His talents as a composer saw him win a Grammy for co-writing on the Robert Plant and Alison Krauss album Raising Sand. On Love Form, Charlie finds his own métier, stretching out to two sides of instrumental languor and tension that only a well-seasoned writer and player could conjure. Stylish, intellectual and sensuous noir of this ilk is at best hinted at or sampled these days but here we are blessed with the talents of a composer able to fully immerse himself in the depths of such kaleidoscopic dimensions. Each successive track on Love Form offers evidence of a muscular and musical brain that crackles with invention. Conceived as an account of his adventures in rock 'n' roll, the squalling drone and driving jazz drums of "Big Hair" channels the Master Musicians Of Joujouka and Jack DeJohnette jamming in a Moroccan souk, evoking an inner landscape redolent with meaning. Elsewhere, such as on "Silver," the presence of jazz percussion, strings and a soaring soul voice -- generated entirely by electronic distortion -- momentarily suggests different eras before taking you somewhere else entirely. The choice of musicians he has assembled says much about the care with which Charlie approached the making of this remarkable album. They include leading harpist Ruth Wall, Portishead and Massive Attack-collaborator Johnny Baggot on piano, Alison Goldfrapp on whistling duties and no fewer than four top-tier percussionists in Rob Brian, Chris Hughes, Clive Deamer and Tony Orrell.