MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
I David Newton: Eye Witness (Linn) The pianist‘s second Linn release is even better than his debut. which is saying something. The empathic musical understanding which has grown up between Newton and his partners in Carol Kidd‘s trio. Dave Greenand Alan (ianley. bears rich fruit here. ranging front standards to Hancock's ‘Eye olthe liurricanc' and Newton's title track. all on an ‘eyc' theme. Freed of the restrictions ofan accompanying role. the trio stretch out in a superbly ntusical session which owes nothing to passing fashion. Newton also features on both (‘arol Kidd's I'm (:‘lud We Met. a more outgoing collection than its predecessor. and guitarist Martin 'I‘ay lor‘s ( 'lrungr' ()churI. which completes this triumvirate of new releases from the fiaglesham label. (Kenny Mathieson)
l Shostakovitch: Symphony No 15(Teldec) 'I'hc last of Shostakoyitch's symphonies is also the most puzzling in tonc and meaning. It is not the 'happy symphony" he claimed to want [on rite. but an ironic. mocking. but deeply tragic reﬂection on a life ruined by ideology and corruption. lfanything. that sense of tragic waste is even sharper alter the dissolution of thc Snyicl L'nion. Mstislay Rostropoyich has an acute car for the changing moods of the work. and. while deliberate. adopts less controversially slow tempos than in his y crsion ofthe better known Syrup/truly .Vo I I), released simultaneously to launch a ncwcyclc. Admirers of the composer should also note a dramatically yiyid Iiyc rccordingol the Symphony No 5 ( Linn Records). recorded in (ilasgow by the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Dmitricy.
I The Matter Babies: Mother Supper (Nightshitt) This slipped through our net last year. but hasjust been re-released on CD. Mother Supper is superior to their debut, Skinnydipping, but no masterpiece by any standards. The Babes sound like they enjoyed themselves making it. but the scratch-fuzz guitar and almost inaudible vocals sound fairly hackneyed, which wouldn’t matter as much iftherc were any particular tunes to speak of, let alone get excited about. (Alastair Mabbott)
' delivered enough good tunes to till,
Spooky (4A0) It was an ominous sign, to be sure. A cover version at Wire's “Outdoor Miner’ on Lush’s new EP, played so reverentially that it was a carbon copy at the original, only with lemale vocals and heavier echo. This, we asked, is the band we thought were pushing back the barriers ot sound?
‘Scar’ and ‘Mad Love’ promised so much more; and in the end they’ve
say, one more EP oi sublime chord changes, caress-lul voices and notes that hang vibrantly in space. Mind you,
tor all its glory, this hypothetical ’Best 0i Spooky’ EP would be a shade i
repetitive. All through the album, Lush have stuck to the same blueprint tor every song, and Miki and Emma’s harmonies quickly lose their enchantment when you realise that no surprises are going to emerge lrom their vocal cords. Not this time.
Still, you can say that (yes, you can, take my word lor it) about The Cocteau Twins, whose Robin Guthrie produced this. It’s possible that he over-estimated the importance ot consistency and persuaded the group to play it as tonservatively as possible. At this stage, it’s hard to tell. I’d like to think that Lush are only scraping the surlace at what they can do. Time alone (and perhaps a law less complacent cover versions) will tell. (Alastair
Mabbott) "3:3 ’ _ - DAVID MURRAY
g David Murray Big Band (DIW) , David Murray is arguably the most consistently exciting player currently working in jazz, and one at the ways in which he has achieved that status is by his willingness to range across a variety of tormats tor his music, lrom solo saxophone through to this occasional big band. The saxophonist has succeeded in synthesising an equally wide range at jazz styles within his own distinctive approach, rather than merely copying them, and this record is a good example.
The opening three tracks, for example, are lengthy tributes to Paul
LOU REED 7
Magic And Loss (Sire) 5 Like his last two albums, ’New York’ j and ‘Songs For Drella’, Lou Reed’s 1 latest takes the tom of a song cycle - his prelerred medium nowadays. This is worth mentioning to the Rip Van Winkles who still associate him with the Marshall stack abuse oi his ‘Rock’n’Roll Animal’ phase. He’s playing the same chords, but with maturity, meditating on the deaths from cancer at two iriends: Doc Pomus, the great pop songwriter, and a hitherto unknown ‘woman called Rita’.
As could be expected under the circumstances (and the hospital and crematorium settings), the mood is mostly sombre, but it’s cushioned by Reed’s wit and new-lound compassion and tugged along by the superb playing at the band that accompanied him on ‘New York’.
Reed dealt with griel and guilt on ‘Drella’, but devoted so much oi that record to portraying the Andy Warhol he knew that those themes were never satistactorily laid to rest. “Magic And Loss', though, concerns the translormation at his iriends to dust and the resulting translormation at Reed himselt. As he has admitted, summing it all up without sounding mawkish was going to be the hardest part. But he hits the right tone, homing in on a resolution with the skill ol a master songwriter. The last line - ‘There’s a bitol magic in everything/and then some loss just to even things out‘ - is a hard-won realisation and anything but glib. (Alastair Mabbott)
32 The List 17 - 30 January 1992
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Warrior', but it is good to hearthe Big Band again, and in such sparkling torm. (Kenny Mathieson)
Gonsalves, Ben Websterand Lester Young, a triumvirate oi tenormen who do not spring instantly to mind when thinking of Murray’s big, raucous sound on the horn. The tribute to percussionist Steve McCall which lollows takes us back into Murray‘s own avant-garde roots, and the rest at the album explores the jazz tradition in j a ireervein, mixing crisp big band
i ensemble work with some liery
i improvisation, with Butch Morris
j keepingthewholethingtogetheras conductor. Dlw also release two new
l quartetalbumslrom Murray,
I ‘Remembrances’ and ‘Shakill’s . I
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