2009 debut album from this band fronted by former New Order/Joy Division guitarist Bernard Sumner. Never Cry Another Tear rings with familiar joys: playing of beautifully observed minimalism and a voice of wonderfully understated north-western soul. But there's also a new voice to be heard, one again from England's north west. Singing alongside Bernard is Jake Evans, a talented musician from Macclesfield. The album also features Phil Cunningham, a man familiar from both Marion and the most recent incarnation of New Order. Perhaps Bad Lieutenant can be seen as a new vehicle from a celebrated manufacturer: previous technology has been incorporated, but the overall appearance is new and it'll take you where you want to go in novel and exhilarating style.
This set combines two of Sonny Rollins' LPs for Impulse Records, There Will Never Be Another You and On Impulse!, both of which were originally issued in 1965. There Will Never Be Another You featured the saxophonist playing a live set (in the rain, apparently) with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins and Mickey Roker on drums. Rollins is in fine form, playing standards including a nearly 17-minute version of the title tune. He wanders off the microphone frequently, though, which is a problem, and it makes this otherwise very nice set less than essential.
Adapted from an autobiographical novel by Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf was director Carroll Ballard's worthy follow-up to his superb and much-loved The Black Stallion. Both pictures (as well as his later Fly Away Home) feature animals in central roles, as the communion between the human and animal worlds is a significant aspect of Ballard's films. Wolf's protagonist, wonderfully played by the reliable character actor Charles Martin Smith, learns more about himself as he enters the flow of his rugged surroundings and the family of wolves that he observes. It sounds romantic, but Ballard never sidesteps the ugliness of nature or the discomfort of loneliness. The result is a quirky, deceptively simple meditation on life. Shot on location in Alaska and the Yukon Territory, the film is as striking as Ballard's Black Stallion. Hiro Narita's clear, rich cinematography is marvelous, and the film's evocative, realistic sound was nominated for an Academy Award.