A world that’s more riot than profession, the trading floors of Chicago are a place where gambling your family’s mortgage is all in a day’s work. Now, when markets are unhinged, FLOORED offers a unique window to this lesser-known world of finance. Traders may not have degrees, but they’ve got guts, and penchant for excess. But like many aspects of our economy, technology is changing their business, and these eccentric pit denizens aren’t the type to take kindly to new tricks.
Where a slow-burning, word of mouth campaign was hugely beneficial to Jon Allen – his debut album, 2009’s Dead Man’s Suit, was given a sizeable leg-up by one track’s use in a Land Rover campaign, while champions included Jo Whiley, Jools Holland and Emmylou Harris – second album Sweet Defeat not only has the task of matching this, but is also burdened with the albatross of assumed instant impact. But it seems as though that’s the last thing Allen is worried about. While his passport may substantiate the on-paper Britishness of this Hampshire-born artist, his yarns and philosophies paint a picture of a grizzled American folk musician, decades of abandon behind him. Sweet Defeat, in this vein, employs good honest rock'n'roll ideals, actioned via a collection of simple, folksy melodies.
These works of Sally Beamish, composed 2003-12, highlight the inspiration she has found in her adopted homeland Scotland and its landscape and history, while also reflecting her interest in jazz and Scottish traditional music. Often collaboration closely with her performers, the present discs the three concertante works are all played by the eminent soloists for whom they were written: James Crabb, Branford Marsalis and Håkan Hardenberger. Conductor Martyn Brabbins and the RSNO, an ensemble that has performed her works on several occasions, join the former two soloists.