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

David Gray, "Gold In A Brass Age" (IHT Records)- David Gray's eleventh album doesn't supply any revelatory new lyrical insights into the vagaries of the human condition but could well be the most creatively satisfying collection that the hugely successful singer-songwriter has assembled in many a long year. Elements of gospel, folk and electronica supply the subtle backdrop for this reflective masterwork, with evocative gems such as "The Sapling" and "If 8 Were 9" emerging as two of the musical highlights.

Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield, "Fillmore East" (Floating World)- The contents of this action packed live set were recorded at New York's famed Fillmore East venue over two nights in December 1968 as Messrs. Kooper and Bloomfield sought to capitalise on the unexpected success of their "Super Session" album a few months earlier.. The tapes then lay forgotten and gathering dust in the Columbia archives for more than three decades until Al Kooper unearthed them by accident one day, and they're now belatedly available in CD form to delight devotees of the bluesy rock guitar everywhere , with Bloomfield in sparkling form throughout and the then relatively unknown Johnny Winter coming close to stealing the show with his impassioned rendition of B.B.King's "It's My OwnFault."

Taj Mahal, "Taj's Blues" (Floating World)- This vibrant Floating World anthology shines a welcome spotlight on the often undervalued musical outfit of the great Taj Mahal. This larger than life New Yorker has been championing the cause of roots music since his stint with Ry Cooder in the Rising Sons half a century ago, and "Taj's Blues" finds him bringing his eclectic multi-instrumental skills to bear on an appetising blend of self-penned material and songs made famous by such giants of the blues genre as Sleepy John Estes, Mississippi John Hurt and the legendary Robert Johnson.

Willie Dixon, "Live in Chicago,1974" (Floating World)-This splendid vehicle for the talents of Willie Dixon was recorded for a Chicago radio station in January 1974 and found the veteran bluesman strutting his stuff in no uncertain fashion aided and abetted by a robust backing band featuring fine players such as pianist Lafayette Leake and harmonica ace Carrie Bell. Dixon was probably better known as a composer than a performer in his own right and this enjoyable jaunt down memory lane features many of this influential character's finest creations, including "Spoonful," "Little Red Rooster" and "Hoochie Coochie Man" to name but a few.