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In every publishing medium arbitary reviewing choices are made and selections of "best in month" or year are finally personal, whether editorial or prompted by business imperatives, and essentially meaningless.

No British outlets, except possibly Gramophone & IRR, have access to everything and the monthly outputs from record companies and distributors are, in total, overwhelming; which ones make it into print is not always determined rationally nor solely on deserts.

Also, there are some companies which, regrettably, prioritise paper publications and do not supply CDs for review on request - see my article Only a Website with the encouraging responses received.

Only avid collectors, and not necessarily the most perceptive of those, will make the newest and latest their paramount consideration, so Musical Pointers will, as the whim takes us, point to favourites, some of those less than recent, others not readily available from UK shops, though usually not too hard to find via the internet; purchasing links will be given when possible.

I plan not to go in for star ratings, trusting in the text of reviews, whether extensive or brief, and that people will not skim too fast to get the gist of opinion, at least. Feedback is obviously axiomatic, but there is as yet little research on how musical reviewing on the internet is actually used. Can you help us build up a database to begin pursuing this increasingly important topic? [Listings will not aim to be uniform or always complete, depending upon easy availability of the information.]

Because one cannot possibly review everything received and sampled, no conclusions should be drawn from omissions; often those will be of recordings covered extensively elsewhere, or of which I find little constructively original to add. There will be a preference for recomendations over condemnations, even though the latter can make for more entertaining reading, but no avoidance of negatives as is policy for some others on the Web. There will be some bias towards precedence to smaller companies and unusual music and will also try to make time and room for recordings by people I have known personally and respect and music that has some personal connection of my own.

Peter Grahame Woolf


© Peter Grahame Woolf