John Wetton And The Les Paul Trio: New York Minute

Asia man recasts favourites with late guitarist’s trio.

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Recorded two years ago in a New York jazz club before a gala charity audience, New York Minute is a modest entry in Wetton’s catalogue.

Between raising awareness for prostate and testicular cancer, he’s initially gruff-voiced on a pedestrian version of Steely Dan’s Do It Again, although the bassist-vocalist gradually eases into his stride.

His take on the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows is pedestrian but vocally accomplished, making clear the abiding input Brian Wilson’s mastery of melody and harmonics had on his own compositions. The latter are represented by set-closers: Asia’s Heat Of the Moment and Wetton solo hit Battle Lines, both given accomplished but bloodless renditions, typical of the lukewarm mood that presides throughout.

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Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.