I Joe Henderson: Lush Llie (Verve) Aural bliss as the great tenor saxman pays tribute to the compositional genius of Billy Strayhorn. Wynton Marsalis guests on trumpet (the quintet version of the melting ‘A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing’ is a particular joy), with an impressive young rhythm trio, but it is Henderson himself who brings shape and style to the session, and nowhere more brilliantly than on his gorgeous solo version of‘Lush Life‘. Very highly recommended. as is Steve Coleman‘s new set on Novus, Rhythm In Mind. a meeting of a less acerbic version of the saxophonist‘s M-Base modes with a more in-the-tradition view of jazz from Tommy Flanagan. Von Freeman and Ed Blackwell. (Kenny Mathieson)

I Mother Earth. Stoned Women (Acid Jazz) Enjoy your trip, enjoy your trip. . . and it is a trip, it isa trip. Well, I don't know what they‘re smoking, but I‘ll have an eighth ofit, thanks very much. A concept album that takes you on a dream trip into the gap between the burgeoning Acid Jazz and indie club scenes, its influences are late 605, early 70$: Lalo Schiftin, Quincy Jones, Michel Legrand, Hendrix, War and Santana. Mother Earth have created a sound best described as psycho jazz, ie taking all ofthe above, injecting with smooth club beats and a very raunchy guitar. (Philip Ogilvie)

I The Stairs: Mexican BBB (Go! Discs) The sound of dance music 25 years ago. And the sound of pop music 25 years ago. And, when it comes down to it. the sound of film music, alternative music and rock music 25 years ago. The Stairs may have their pause button stuck on the 60s, but at least they‘re prepared to shop around for inspiration. it‘s not enough that they can splendidly ape The Stones no, they have to do The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Doors, The Byrds and all those obscure Dutch garage bands who sounded like they owned one Chuck Berry album between them as well. And if that won‘t suffice they have to pay their tributes with some ruddy marvellous songs too. So much so that their sentence for such blatant grave-robbing ought to be extended to a lifetime locked in this country‘s lower~tech recording establishments churning out album upon album of the stuff. (Fiona Shepherd)


Change Everything (ABM) Without a doubt, these songs will take on a celebratory glow when they’re played live, but behind the classy sleeve (perhaps what a Blue Note designer might have made oi an Animals or Them assignment) lurk Del Amitri’s darkest days and nights. And, oooh, they like a good wallow. Frequently with the help at Dobros, pedal steel and discreet iiddle. Changes oi pace are not ‘Change Everything"s strong suit. its downbeat

when the band inject ‘When You Were Young’ with a catchy, uplilting chorus, it seems to take them several songs tor them to recover; so ‘Surlace OiThe Moon’, ‘I Won’tTake The Blame’ and ‘The Ones That You Love Lead You Nowhere’ slope past in a moody procession. Greater variety, and more oi the spirited looseness that typilles their live shows might have been the shot in the arm this album needed.

Justin Currie, it should be acknowledged, has a great rock voice which will always be Del Amitri’s saving grace. But irom here, where? (Alastair Mabbott)

atmosphere is so pronounced that i l

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; i Aware Oi All (Vinyl Japanl/Favourlte 1 Colours (Kingilsher)

The work at a (till now) sadly underrated band, The McCluskey Brothers’ new album, ‘Favourite Colours’, should be the one to gain them the lame and iortune they no doubt wish tor. Its release coincides with the reissue ol their debut album ‘Aware 0i All’, irom the days when they donned unlashionable open-necked shirts and hastened back to their roots to shed the tag oi being lormer Bluebells. It worked, and ‘Aware OiAll’ stands up a treat, with the hindsight oi the current Celtic revival, as a body oi work way ahead at its time in combining past culture with present

aspirations, not to mention being a rousing good listen.

‘Favourite Colours’ is mellower, blending their lorays into pure pop and lrank lolk music into an honest, individually styled set oi pictures.

We’re talking mature, adult stuli here - glossily produced: lush harmonies, coniident rhythms-the result oi uniakeable years oi experience and a sense oi direction which was just beginning to iorm in their latter years ol Bluebelldom (acknowledged by the inclusion oi ‘Better Days’ on side two).

Fortunately, the production serves the music rather than enslaving it— ‘When The Loving Comes’ and ‘Slip Away’ have enough driving beat to become successiul singles. Altogether, this is a superbly paced album which lives up to the promise and iun oi their live work. flush out and buy it immediately. (Ellie Buchanan)


Tossing Seeds (City Slang)

it you’re one at those malcontents who believes that Pixies went soil alter ‘Surler Bosa’ and that Sonic Youth’s ‘Goo’ sounded uncannlly like the work oi exhausted art-tags, Superchunk might be just what you need. Their 1991 LP, ‘No Pocky For Kitty’, balanced ltseli on the edge oi grunge with its roots lirme embedded in delinquent trash-rock- a line place to be at any time, and all the sweeter in Superchunk’s company.

So, tar be it irom me to complain ii they cash in on their new-iound recognition with a compilation at all the songs that appeared on singles between '89 and ’91. Although it’s in the nature oi the beast that there will be a high turnout oi B-sides, there’s more liie in them than in a sack ol stoats. Still, Superchunk could till the rest oi the album with songs irom ‘The King And I’ and still get away with it by virtue oi ‘Tossing Seeds” peak experience, their 1990 single ‘Slack Motherlucker', a runaway classic that only needs to be heard once to burn ltseli on to the cerebral cortex iorever. Give yourseil some slack. (Alastair Mabbott)


30 The List—5-18June 1992