Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases Van Morrison,"Three Chords and the Truth" (Exile/Caroline International)-The irascible Ulsterman continues to mine a rich vein of creativity as he unveils his sixth album in just four years. The Righteous Brothers' Bill Medley and veteran jazz guitarist Jay Berliner are both on hand to underpin the great man's efforts, the latter resuming an artistic collaboration which began half a century ago when he played on Van's classic 1968 album,"Astral Weeks." The finished product provides a typically absorbing vehicle for Morrison's meditative musings, with "March Winds in February," "Nobody in Charge" and "Days Gone By" emerging as three of the musical highlights.

Hootie & The Blowfish,"Imperfect Circle" (Snakefarm Records)- The South Carolina roots rockers return to the fray after a lengthy hiatus with the release of their first studio album since 2005's "Looking For Lucky." Soulful frontman Darius Rucker and his unashamedly commercial cohorts don't appear to have any long term plans to continue working together as a band after pursuing their various solo projects for the past decade and a half, but "Imperfect Circle" remains an impressive addition to their emotionally direct body of work nonetheless."Rollin'," "New Year's Day" and "Lonely On A Saturday Night" are the best of the bunch.

Greenslade,"Sundance-A Collection 1973-1975" (Esoteric/Cherry Red)- Esoteric's latest Greenslade anthology focusses attention on the best of the recordings that the band made for the Warner Brothers label during the ealy seventies. The quartet were formed in 1972 by jazz devotees Dave Greenslade and Tony Reeves and their innovative keyboard dominated sound set them apart from many of their contemporaries in the prog rock field, although the absence of a convincing vocalist in their ranks could well have been one of the factors which prevented them from fulfilling their potential during those far-off days. "Bedside Manners Are Extra," "Pilgrims Progress" and "Spirit of the Dance" capture Greenslade at the peak of their performing powers here.