The blurb on the Naim Records websites says that Collected 1 is a collection of their favourite records from the last few years and succeeds the Naim Sampler series. It’s out on official release on 11th May and is available in hi-rez download or on limited and numbered vinyl.

Its a wide reaching collection in terms of the styles of music represented and I really like it for that, though there is a bit of an emphasis on the more jazz tinged.

Given the record’s diversity, rather than trying to talk about each of the tunes herein in detail it’s perhaps better to list the tracks so readers can look them up and judge for themselves – there’s snippets available on the Naim Records website.

1          PYLO                                                             Crying On Land

2          NEIL COWLEY TRIO                                     La Porte

3          SABINA                                                          Toujours

4          PHANTOM LIMB                                            Hollow Eyes

5          KAIROS 4TET                                                Home To You feat. Marc O’Reilly

6          HUEY AND THE NEW YORKERS                  Dirty Bird

7          GET THE BLESSING                                     OC DC

8          TRICHOTOMY                                               Strom

9          SONS OF KEMET                                          Going Home

10        GRIGORI                                                        Sinas

11         STUART McCALLUM                                   What Is Beauty (Live)

12         EMPIRICAL                                                  Simple Things

13        BARB JUNGR                                                Lay Lady Lay

14        MARC FORD                                                 Call Me Faithful

There’s an inherent danger in putting such a varied collection of music on one album, but here it works really well.

Listeners are treated in the first track to the downbeat-indie-pop stylings of Pylo (who should clearly be massive and remind me not a small amount of Richard Ashcroft)… and then we move straight into the cool jazz of Neil Cowley Trio… and with barely a breath onto the somewhat leftfield and art rock Toujours by Sabina… and then the country tinged Hollow Eyes by Phantom Limb – such a shame this band are no more as they are a real gem of a group!

You get the drift? …eclectic! Well sort of.

In the main Collected 01 is on the cooler side of the musical tracks and it will appeal to the hip kids. As such I can see this getting played in the bars and pre club eateries of the capital’s trendier areas where the urban woodsmen with their beards and coiffed hairdos lurk. It’ll also get played a good deal here as the content is great and the reproduction very good indeed!

I enjoyed Collected a great deal is a bit of an understatement…it’s a fabulous collection of tunes from a number of artists I’ve not had the pleasure of encountering previously, but some I will be exploring further in the near future. Highlights for me were Sons Of Kemet with their excellent dubby/jazzy Going Home and then the song that follows it Sinas by Grigori…which also has dubby elements to it. But then Stuart McCallum’s What is Beauty (Live) is also rather splendid! …and then there’s Barb Jungr’s version of Lay Lady Lay…

There’s a lot on this record to really enjoy, much of it difficult to pigeonhole (which is a good thing too) and none of it boring or on the record to make up the numbers.

As a whole Collected never feels disjointed and as an introduction to some of the artists on Naim Label it works really well. It’s a sit down with a glass of wine after a hard day at the virtual coalface and letting the cares of the world ebb away type of record.


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