Sea Pictures (Fodens Band/Michael Fowles) - what a knockout CD! A great performance of Graduation Day by a band who can actually swing (and have done it so well before in Pictures in the Smoke and Salt of the Earth); a super reading of the rather quirky Three Miniatures; a long overdue studio recording of Tallis Variations, sensibly put at the end of the CD so that the moment of repose after the last chord has died away is not broken; and at the heart of it, Sea Pictures, a 16 year old piece I had never even heard of until last January when it was scheduled for the RNCM Festival but pulled due to lack of rehearsal time. And what a wonderful piece of music, with its impressionistic sound palette and the spirits of Britten and Debussy not far from the surface. Sorry if I sound a bit over-enthusiastic, but I've just played the CD three times in succession and it really is a cracker. If Michael Fowles is disappointed about his result at the Nationals yesterday he needn't worry - this CD will be around long after the memory of London has faded! Top music, top band, top readings, top CD - buy it!