The age of the blockbuster musical has all but stifled the art of revue which, these days, tends to centre on the familiar: an evening with Sondheim, Porter, Coward and so on. Take your pick. Any project which attempts to bring new material to this beleaguered format has to be worth a second listen. In 1995, Jason Robert Brown produced this vibrant collection of songs off-Broadway, loosely linked by big themes such as arrival and departure, seminal experiences and life choices, using New York through the ages as a backdrop. The narrative is lost on this disc but it’s still a compelling patchwork of musical styles and emotions, delivered by a very talented cast. There are indeed echoes of Sondheim at times, particularly in the lyrics. But there are also good, modern rock tunes and blues numbers such as The Steam Train, The River Won’t Flow and Stars and the Moon which has more than a hint of Joni Mitchell or Suzanne Vega. Admirers of fine pastiche will appreciate the excellent Surabaya-Santa , a Weill-esque take on married life as seen by Mrs Santa Claus, performed with a neurotic, throaty Dietrich-like warble by Jessica Molaskey. It’s almost too much to take in at one sitting, but Brown is clearly a lyricist and composer of some talent, and with so much second-rate material dominating the West End and Broadway, it’s good to see RCA giving his first success a broader airing.