v ALBUMS ? ' MARC BDLAN
I The Tarn White Band: Keep It Under Your llat (Jazz House) A live recording debut for Tam White's driving eight-piece band. captured at Ronnie Scott's Soho club in September last year. and released on Scott's own Jazz llouse label. It is a typical set. raucous and raunchy. but at the same time distinguished by some excellent musical detail behind Tam's highly distinctive vocals. Most of the material isoriginal.
tribute to his other trade. ‘Stonc Mason's Blues”. as well as his adaptation of Alan Bold‘s poem ‘Mad Sam'. The only regret is that the material has been developed even further since the recording was made. The band are cuttinga studio set with ex-Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera. but this will do to be goingon with. (Kenny Mathieson)
I Paul llaig: Cinematique (Les Tempes Modernes) Suppinga cappuccinoand wearing a black polo-neck. we dig the new Paul llaig venture. (inemaliqiu’ is sleek and sheer. an instrumental project revolving round three cycles ofmood. The tone is— unstrrprisingly- cincrnatic (the French pronunciation is cooler.
n 'esI-cc pas"? ). featuring apparent (illsthriller soundtracks. jazzy enigma. and a I.othario's seductivencss. It's all very chic. but. boy. this coffee's hot and these untipped cigarillos strong and these ‘suites' not unpretentious. But so well and authentically sculpted is it that we‘ll forgive such stylistic niggles. Pass the croissants. ((‘raig McLean)
I Prince And The New Power Generation: Diamonds And Pearls (Paisley Park) If you feared that Prince had waved goodbye to his brilliance when he denounced The Black Album. think again. Diamonds And I ’eurls is several leagues above his last album. Graffiti Bridge. more song-based and far more focused. The lighters-aloft title track works like a dream. and if ‘Thunder’ is no more than a capable ‘Thieves In The Temple’ rewrite. ‘Push’ and the singles ‘(‘ream' and ‘(iett ()ff' are robust grooves of a sort l’rincc hasn‘t put out for three years or more. Nevertheless. the purple
. one is stillanuttyold
fruitcake: ‘lnsatiable' is only to be put to aphrodisiac use if you think you can stop
32 The List 25 October — l”
get down to anything. (Alastair Mabbott)
The Ultimate Collection (Telstar)/Love and Death (Cherry Red)
The lirst at these albums (the TV-advertised one) is symptomatic at a vault-looting nostalgia industry, and, lollowing only a lew years alter the detinitive ‘20th Century Boy' compilation, its indispensability at this point is questionable. Slicing through prolit motive to the music, it seems that the merits oi these songs, now that
- Bolan has long been atlorded icon
status, is anything but questionable. However, this compilation proves that tor almost every magnilicent stomper like ‘Children Dl The Revolution' or ‘Metal Guru‘ there’s a tedious example at rockist or gibbering nonsense like ‘Laser Love' or ‘Deborah'. That’s
minority opinion at course, but it’s worth testing the loundations betore buying the legend wholesale.
This is what ‘Love And Death’ allows the listenerto do. Bolan‘s manager Simon Napier-Bell has discreetly embellished a tape at acoustic recordings lrom 1966 with lurther instrumentation, butallowing the skeletons ol the songs to protrude. They’re crisp, occasionally wiggy ditties, basic, charming, kitsch, but lite goes on. What is more striking is the way the sparse arrangements spotlight Bolan’s voice — and what a voice, a pleading, strung-out lalsetto with the apprehension ol the world on its shoulders, immediately recognisable, but so often buried in glittery make-up, leather boas and the romance ot the prematurely terminated lite ot the artist. (Fiona Shepherd)
ln Co-Motion (Antilles)
Fireblade Skies (4AD)
It's not quite as great as I hoped, but then I’m bound to judge everything Spirea X do by the standards ol ‘Speed Reaction‘, the addictive single which proves to be one of the highlights here. ‘Fireblade Skies', it turns out, llags quite a bit, but the only really disappointing note is struck by ‘Rollercoaster’, an attempt to grail a
. hardcore Eurobeat on to the sparkle. 1 When Spirea get good, it's a sunny day
in heaven with the music at Love, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and, above all else, The Byrds waiting through the clouds. Some of those clouds are grey
when they should, and probably could, I
be translucent- a llourish ol
Z ANDY SHEPPARD
l l Andy Sheppard has already l l
twelve-string can’t turn lead into gold - .
but there are shalts ol sunlight poking through on a good hall at the tracks. ‘Everybody ought to be who they really are,’ the Spireas chant on ‘Sisters And Brothers', and it’s advice
- they’ve already taken to heart.
‘Fireblade Skies‘, when it comes down to it, stands or talls as a pop record. It isn’t there to blow people’s minds with, or bury itsell under, a stack at past and present intluences. Jim Beattie has taken similar influences to his erstwhile partner, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, and combined them tar more seamlessly, and with less grandiosity, than the latter managed on ‘Screamadelica’. (Alastair Mabbott)
demonstrated his willingness to , experiment with lormats and musical 1 styles, including an acoustic jazz outtit, ; an excellent contemporary big band, 5 and now ‘In Co-Motion’, billed as a i lusion band. That is a distinctly dodgy area, but the music owes more to Sheppard’s characteristic virtues than any generic idea. The vibrant opening l bars ol‘A.S.A.P’immediately I establish that tact, and the record , bears out the suspicion that is not so i much a lusion outfit in the conventional
sense as a genuinely exciting
improvising jazz band working around
seriously lunky grooves, but never
becoming mired down in them. Sheppard is as powertul and
inventive as ever
The other musicians are
all veterans at Andy's earlier projects,
: with the single exception ol ex-Simply
Red bassman Sylvan Richardson, who combines ideally with drummer Dave Adams. Steve Lodder is untailingly musical on synths, an achievement in itsell, while Claude Deppa‘s mercurial, even wayward approach adds a massive dose at sheer excitement. The tunes are pure Sheppard, and you will lind yoursell humming them in the bath betore you know it. (Kenny Mathieson)
THE RED HOT CHILI
Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Warner Bros) Alter a period at decline, and the extra running time of the CD is largely responsible lorthis, the double album (quadruple, ilyour name's Guns N' Roses) has returned with a vengeance. In its 705 heyday, a double set might be composed at as little as tour tedious, ' indulgent epics; nowadays, you’re more likely to lind the quality at the whole undermined by a slew ot tracks which should have been relegated to
This isn’t the case with The Red Hot Chili Peppers. ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik' has everything we’ve come to expect at their earthy, Clinton-inﬂuenced rock,
and it thunders smoothly and evenly along like a custom dragsler along the lloor at Death Valley, with just as much lirepower behind it. The Peppers take a risk by leaving no gaps between tracks, so that just as one knuckle-cracking speed-lunk workout ends, so begins a completely contrasting song like ‘Breaking The Girl' — all acoustic guitar, mellotron and slight Celtic touches.
0n the ‘musicianship’ lront, the Peppers are astoundingly tight, complemented by metal-meister Rick Robin's clean production. So precise is the bass-pop and drum-clatter that the spaces between the notes yawn like chasms, and John Frusciante excels at both choppy, high-velocity rhythm guitar and ﬂuid, almost jazzy solos. Sex Magik indeed. (Alastair Mabbott)