Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's CD releases.

P.F.M., "Celebration-Live in Nottingham 1976" (Esoteric/Cherry Red)- Premiata Forniera Marconi are unquestionably Italy's finest prog rock exports, taking their name from the Brescia bakery where they rehearsed during their early days. The band are still musically active today, but they were performing at the peak of their powers when this blistering live show was recorded at Nottingham University in May 1976 in what would prove to be the multi-talented Mauro Pagani's final recording with the band before he left to pursue a successful solo career as a producer and arranger.The two stand-out tracks, "Dove...Quando" and "Celebration" are the best of a complex and typically  passionate set.

The Vegabonds, "V" (Blue Elan Records)-I have to confess that I've never come across any of The Vegabonds work before, but this Alabama born and Nashville based outfit have apparently made quite a name for themselves on the circuit as well as serving as the opening act for live shows by the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late Gregg Allman. The alternative southern rockers' latest Blue Elan CD provides an appealing showcase for The Vegabonds' free flowing and radio friendly sound, with "Everything I Need," "Partyin' With Strangers" and "Help Is On The Way" capturing the essence of the quintet's approach to music-making.

The Beta Band, "Hot Shots II" (Because Music)- This fascinating CD re-issue shines a welcome spotlight on the second album from the critically acclaimed but sadly short-lived Beta Band. This 2001 offering was much more focussed and accessible than the Scottish outfit's inventive but slightly incoherent debut set, with exquisitely crafted ditties such as "Human Being," Squares" and "Brpke" capturing their beguiling blend of indie rock,hip hop and electronica at its most innovative and appealing.

Viv McLean,"American Dreams" (ICSM Records)- This fine addition to the ICSM catalogue finds award winning classical pianist Viv McLean bringing his technical expertise to bear on some choice extracts from the illustrious repertoire of the great George Gershwin. Much loved compositions such as "Summertime," "I Got Rhythm" and "Rhapsody in Blue"are given an airing in the process, with the latter emerging as the highlight of this absorbing vehicle for McLean's instrumental artistry.