Kevin Bryan reviews this week's latest album releases, from Sting to 50s rock 'n' roll.

Savvy Sugar: The Pure Essence of West Coast Rock & Roll ***

THIS fascinating three-CD anthology was compiled by rock historian Stuart Colman and sets out to showcase the wealth of vibrant musical talent which found its way into the recording studios of Los Angeles during the fifties.

Many of the relatively obscure artists featured here would never even become household names within their own households, but their unjustly overlooked efforts still repay closer investigation as they share the limelight here with the likes of Ricky Nelson, Gene Vincent,Fats Domino and The Coasters, who are in fine bluesy form with their 1957 revamp of Sweet Georgia Brown.

Out now (Fantastic Voyage FVTD 059: £7.99)

UK Subs: Work in Progress ****

THE energy and enthusiasm that fuelled the punk-rock phenomenon of the late 70s may have fizzled out three decades or so ago, but thankfully no-one seems to have informed the UK Subs and their veteran frontman Charlie Harper of the fact.

Work in Progress is the band's 23rd album and the Subs have certainly improved musically since their early days, absorbing a whole host of influences but always retaining the raw edge which makes their work so compelling.

Vocalist Harper is in fine fettle throughout as he and his gritty cohorts power their way through stand-out tracks such as Creation, Tokyo Rose and Radio Unfriendly.

Released on January 31 (Captain Oi AHOY CD 310: £10.99)

Daniel Auner: Caprice Viennois ****

AUNER'S Gramola debut finds the award-winning young Austrian violinist tackling a selection of perennial crowd-pleasers penned by great virtuosos of the past such as Paganini, Sarasate, Kreisler and Eugene Ysaye.

This most natural of musicians demonstrates that he's equally at home with pieces such as Fritz Kreisler's easy on the ear Tambourin Chinois and Caprice Viennois or the much more technically taxing compositions of Ysaye and Paganini, with subtly expressive piano accompaniment supplied by his mother and fellow performer in the excellent Vienna Mozart Trio,Irina Auner.

Out now (Gramola 98885: £13.99)

Sting: Live in Berlin ***

STING'S recent Symphonicity tour found the former Police frontman visiting some of the world's most prestigious concert venues to perform lushly orchestrated versions of some choice extracts from his extensive back catalogue.

This partially successful CD/DVD package was recorded on the Berlin leg of the tour last September, with Sting aided and abetted by saxist Branford Marsalis and the massed ranks of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra as he sashayed elegantly through revamps of golden oldies such as Fragile, Russians and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.

Out now (D.G.275 309 7: £11.99)

Bill Haley and his Comets: What A Crazy Party - The Best of the Decca Years ***

MICHIGAN-BORN Haley may have been hailed as one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll, but in reality he was always a much more staid and mechanical performer than his younger and much more charismatic contemporaries such as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, and his popularity with teenagers would gradually wane as the fifties wore on.

Bill did record some entertaining material for Decca during this period however, and this two-CD set brings together more than 80 historic tracks to celebrate Haley's musical legacy on the 30th anniversary of his death.

Rock Around The Clock, Rip It Up and Shake,R attle and Roll are the best of the bunch.

Out now (Fantastic Voyage FVDD 092: £7.99)

Jaime Gonzalez: Albinoni - Sonate da chiesa, Opera Quarta ****

VENETIAN Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni always felt a particular affinity for the sound of the oboe, and was in fact the first Italian to pen a concerto for the instrument when his Opus 7 work was published in 1715.

The Sonate da chiesa was actually composed for the violin a decade or so earlier but oboe virtuoso Gonzalez has made it his own here and his free flowing interpretation of Albinoni's graceful and melodic creation should appeal to all devotees of 18th century music-making.

Out now(Genuin GEN 10184: £13.99)