Review: Donny Hathaway's two live albums, 1976's "Live" and 1980's "In Performance", are arguably amongst his best full-length releases. That's partly due to the fact that he was a dynamic and full-throated performer, but also due to quality of his backing band and their ability to transform short album cuts into sweaty extended workouts. "These Songs For You Live" gathers together tracks from those two sets, adding a handful of other rare live tracks and previously unissued recordings. It's a superb set of atmospheric, addictive performances, with the jazzy "Flying Easy", gospel-fired "You've Got A Friend", sparkling Marvin Gaye cover "What's Goin' On" and the breathless "The Ghetto" standing out.
Review: The score for 1989's Casualties of War - a Vietnam War flick starring Michael J Fox and Sean Penn - is not one of Ennio Morricone's better-known soundtracks. Even so, it's still a masterful work, as this reissue proves. In typical Morricone fashion, there are moments of poignant reflection (all sweeping strings, twittering flutes and melancholic motifs), tension-filled themes, subtle looks towards to the composer's spaghetti western-era work, and driving, forceful and grandiose compositions where you can almost smell the napalm. In keeping with the film's setting, there are occasional nods towards traditional Vietnamese music, though these tend to provide aural colour amongst the cinematic orchestration and lilting strings.