There isn’t much Welsh guitar legend Phil Campbell hasn’t done. From three-plus decades as Motörhead’s axeman to being voted number 20 in the pole of top 100 Welsh Heroes (comfortably beating JPR Williams, Roald Dahl and Sir Anthony Hopkins) to covering a Norweigian promoter in squirty cheese, Pontypridd-born Campbell continues to live life to the fullest with guitar in hand and humour intact.
For followers who bemoan guitarist John Abercrombie's tendency to record rather adventurous albums with an often electronically treated tone, Witchcraft will be a delight. On this duo recording with bassist Don Thompson (who also plays piano on three tracks), the guitarists' sound is untreated, and the repertoire is standards. The two play well together, and there are some lovely moments on the record. The title track finds Abercrombie using the differing tonal qualities of his guitar's open strings to give the melody a unique interpretation.
Lucky Thompson was very active in the recording studios during his 1956 visit to France; this CD in Verve's attractive Jazz in Paris reissue series features the big toned tenor saxophonist with both a quartet and a tentet. Thompson's lush sound in sensitive interpretations of "The Man I Love" and the less familiar ballad "There's No You" brings Ben Webster to mind. Thompson's original "Tight Squeeze" is an up-tempo jump blues which showcases his harder blowing, more boppish side; while the venerable standard "Gone With the Wind" is a brisk swinger. Pianist Henri Renaud leads the potent rhythm section…
This is a long overdue, but very welcome, compilation of songs from former Marmalade founding member, Junior Campbell. Included are the hits "Hallelujah Freedom" and "Sweet Illusion," as well as a true gem of a song, "Carolina Days". Supposedly a collection of demos, there's an awful lot of excellently produced tracks here to be honest. Stand out songs include a couple of duets with former Tremeloes singer Chip Hawkes, under the name of Kentucky Rain.