From the 19th century African music gatherings in Congo Square to the birth of jazz and its offshoots, New Orleans is one of America's most important music cities, and with the Rough Guide to the Music of New Orleans collection, listeners get a well-rounded taste of the Crescent City's musical gumbo. The collection touches on traditional jazz torchbearers (Dr. Michael White), classic R&B (Jessie Hill, Earl King), down-home funk (the Meters), Mardi Gras-ready brass players (Kermit Ruffins, Hot 8 Brass Band), global-influenced groovers (Los Hombres Calientes), and artists on the rise (Papa Grows Funk). While it's impossible to capture the full spectrum of New Orleans music on a single disc – women artists are underrepresented, and the NOLA hip-hop scene that's emerged since the 1990s is skipped entirely – this Rough Guide is a spirited introduction, and as a bonus is accompanied by a second disc featuring emerging heavy funk purveyors Dumpstaphunk.
While fans of the hugely popular BBC adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective novels had to wait 18 months to get their hands on the original score for the first series, the official soundtrack to the second arrived just weeks after its intriguing finale pulled in a massive eight million viewers. Composed yet again by Michael Price (Band of Brothers) and David Arnold (James Bond), its 19 instrumentals pursue a similar minimal and suitably suspenseful classical sound as its BAFTA/Emmy-nominated predecessor, from the haunting violin solo of "Irene's Theme" (the opening track dedicated to the ruthless dominatrix who appeared in A Scandal in Belgravia), to the unsettling percussion and eerie sound effects of "Pursued by a Hound" (from a pivotal scene in The Hounds of Baskerville), to the unbearably intense orchestral crescendo of "Prepared to Do Anything" (the climactic number from the watercooler final episode, The Reichenbach Fall).