County Gazette columnist Kevin Bryan returns with his reviews of Kate Rusby's anniversary album, a new release by jazz-rock three-piece Colosseum, and a hidden gem from Clive Bunker.

Kate Rusby, 30: Happy Returns (Pure Records)

The beguiling vocalist who was once dubbed ‘The Barnsley Nightingale’ celebrates the first thirty years of her musical career in 2022, and she’s chosen to mark this milestone by revisiting some choice extracts from her critically acclaimed back catalogue in collaborations with the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Richard Hawley and KT Tunstall to name but a few.

These collections of musical reimaginings seem to have become quite fashionable recently and Kate’s contribution to this steadily growing pile of CDs is the most impressive that I’ve heard to date, with ‘High on a Hill’, ‘No Names’ and her haunting version of the much-recorded ‘Blooming Heather’ emerging as three of the musical highlights.

Colosseum, Restoration (Repertoire Records)

This venerable jazz-rock institution have returned to recording activity with a newly assembled line-up featuring three original members of the band in the shape of Clem Clempson, Mark Clarke and vocalist Chris Farlowe.

The fruits of their collective labours can be heard to excellent effect on ‘Restoration’, with former Gentle Giant drummer Malcolm Mortimore acquitting himself well as a replacement for the late lamented Jon Hiseman and Nick Steed and Kim Nishikawara chipping in admirably on keyboards and sax respectively.

The musical content is a little less dynamic and inventive than the work that Colosseum were producing during their creative heyday some half a century ago but well worth hearing nonetheless.

Clive Bunker, Awakening (Talking Elephant)

Awakening’ represents an interesting vehicle for the talents of Jethro Tull founder member and veteran drummer Clive Bunker, recorded in 1998 and boasting guest appearance from Clive’s old Tull cohorts Martin Barre and Ian Anderson.

This hitherto hard to find album has now been remastered and repackaged and should be required listening for Tull completists everywhere, with Bunker revealing himself as a surprisingly proficient songwriter and vocalist in the process.