DUDLEY MOORE Dudley (Martine Avenue)

Just a little different in tenor to the aspect of Dud’s recorded legacy discussed in a recent Feedback, here Moore plays a “composer, conductor and pianist in a dazzling collection of music from the sixties and seventies”, it says here. What “Dudley” actually sounds like, however, is dreadful sub-sub-sub Bacharach elevator music (“Head First”, “Millionaire”), peppered with teeth-grindingly annoying cheeky titular insinuations (“Hello Sailor”, “Lillian Lust”). Especially horrific is “Madrigal”, which the press release cites as a brilliant parody: to my pained ears it’s more like an unpleasant collision of Monty Python and Godley & Creme. “Rupert Street Concerto” sounds like Rachmaninoff enduring a particularly painful migraine. The introduction to “Moontime” inevitably raises my hopes when randomly selected by Media Player for my listening enjoyment – it would dovetail seamlessly towards the end of the second side of The Beach Boys’ “Surf’s Up” - only to cruelly dash them only moments later. Regarding the more overtly jazzy material, as a wise lady once sang, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, and…well, experience the clomping likes of “Straight Life” and the interminable “Sooz Blooz” yourself, see what you think.

"Dudley” fails on just about every level imaginable. As a coherent listening experience it’s miserable – flinging the egregious “Madrigal” into its lumpen mix of queasy listening and stodgy jazz destroys any credibility it might have had on that count – and as a musical adventure it’s mostly dreadful, with the odd brighter patch. At its absolute peak this album is not unpleasant background music. If that’s a concept that sets your pulse racing then come on in.