A Broken Consort Crow Autumn

"Haunting" is the word most frequently used to describe the music of English musician Richard Skelton. This is a natural reaction, as his cathartic compositions are imbued with atmosphere and emotion. Crow Autumn, the latest missive under Skelton's A Broken Consort moniker, collects two short mini-albums previously released on his Sustain-Release imprint. The original songs have been reworked and new material has been added, yet the entire disc plays as if it's one complete whole. Skelton is a master storyteller who has spun a melancholy yarn overflowing with misty-eyed violin loops, sparse piano notes and subdued cymbals. The world that the music describes is bleak yet hopeful, sombre but not completely lost to misery. As the sympathetic narrator along for the journey, Skelton concedes to uncertainty, not really knowing how the tale will end. (Tompkins Square)