MILES DAVIS AND QUINCY JONES
live At Montreux (Warner Bros)
Miles Davis always set his lace resoluter against turning back the clock and revisiting his old music, but ultimately reversed that policy in the last months oi his Iiie (perhaps all too aware oi that tact), and played a series oi retrospective concerts with old collaborators and old material. They included this big band date at the Montreux Festival on 8 July 1991 , which brought the trumpeter and conductor Quincy Jones together ior
the iirst time.
Miles’s own playing is excusany weak (Wallace lioney takes the lead parts that Miles wasn’t up to), with lots oi lapses in intonation, and nothing much in the way oi ideas, but it has the same kind oi curious, moving poignancy as Dexter Borden’s playing had in the movie "Bound Midnight’. lie clearly enjoys the lush, on-thelrmettle playing oi the massive composite big band, though, as they work through classic Bil Evans material irom ‘Birth oi the Dool’, ‘Miles Ahead’, ‘Porgy and Bess’ and ‘Sketches oi Spain’. More souvenir than landmark, and only rarely up to the originals, but Miles tans ought to hear it. (Kenny Mathieson)
liigour, Discipline And Disgust
Was Edinburgh’s Fast Product the
deiinitive post-punk label? This
compilation goes a long way to
providing a deiinitive answer. Fast
*‘ .~ issued such gems as the early singles '» oi The Mekons, Bang Di Four and The
outlet ior local heroes The Scars and
‘ 1 Fire Engines. L There are many electriiying moments } here, most oi them hingeing as much " , on the process oi making the noise as - . the noise itseli. In the case oi the live
; Mekons tracks, this means capturing
" t i "uman League. later on, it provided an ‘ i things it Fast Product’s iounder didn’t i
n the struggle oi playing it you’re a band
. who can’t play yet. 0r it’s Phil Dakey’s
; ‘Dkay, ready . . . let’s do it’ at the commencement oi ‘Being Boiled’. It’s
F the shouts between two oi The Scars as ‘iiorrorshow’ draws to a close, the
y throat-clearing on ‘Anthrax’ and Andy
‘ Gill’s droned ‘I don’t approve. lleither
: does John.’ on ‘Annalite lilile’ (Gang
3 0i Four) - all rooting the songs in the
; hands oi the people who were making
i them happen.
But would I be saying such nice
; share a postal address with this
‘ magazine? May I direct you, last oi all,
i to The Human league’s magisterial
E ‘The Dignity Di Labour (Part Dne)’,
? which will put all such daft questions 2 in their place. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Various: leaders Di The Pack (Polygram TV) if you’re not of the opinion that the girl groups of the 60s made some of the most glorious noises heard since the ﬁrst cave dwellers banged two sticks together. you're probably dead — or at least as close as makes no difference. Twenty-three of the ﬁnest blasts of this noise — performed by. among others. Martha Reeves And The Vandellas. The Supremes, The Shangri-La‘s. The Chiffons. The Crystals
The Breeders’ last Splash (4A0)
The Breeders have more hooks than an abattoir. You’ll know this it you’ve heard the single ‘Cannonball’, with its sliding bassllne and needling guitar that burrow under your skin and tickles your curiosity. They love a sweet pop tune (‘Divine llammer’) but they love tampering with it even more. ‘llag’ boasts a iragile melody but, like My Bloody Valentine stripped back to iirst principles, it has to battle with a dirty, great, unswerving riii ior centre stage. likewise “invisible Man’ could be a Dusty Springiield song were it not
smothered in chumlng guitars.
The Breeders have more variety than an end oi the pier show. ‘Flipside’ a sari grunge instrumental sits back to back with the yearning wail oi ‘Do You love Me Now?’, irom last year’s .‘Saiari’ EP and with a lyric so simple, ieroclous and desperate, Polly llarvey’s taking notes. They have their own spin on the works oi the guitar overlords. ‘I Just Wanna Get Along’ and ‘SDS’ are propelled with all the rigorous intent oi M05. ‘Boi’ is ‘Whoie lotta love’ with a low Sonic Youth perversions chucked in the mix. ‘liew Year’, when it kicks in, packs a riii oi llirvana-like density, just typical oi The Breeders - llirt iirst, then deliver the punch in the gut. (Fiona Shepherd)
ﬁ ‘Crawl Babies‘ “ g fourteen further songs.
, ' since 1986. plus various
NICK CAVE AND
THE BAD SEEDS
live Seeds (Mute)
For my money, liick Dave’s live act will never '. pass the Birthday Party days when he clambered over the stacks, barely clinging on to speakers and the vocal line to ‘Big Jesus Trash Dan’ while bouncing both oii the stage. Today, the songs are softer, but the periormances in ‘live Seeds’, recorded in Australia and Europe over the past year, are no less unhinged. Witness the balladic menace oi ‘Papa Won’t Leave You, lienry’ and ‘John Finn’s Wlie’, which slow the set almost to breaking point beiore carving back up the register in grating
This tightly emphasised lunacy is what the Seeds do best, but over-use makes ior a dull album; both ‘The Ship Song’ and Nina Simone’s ‘Plain Gold lling’ go too iar in the lethargy iront. lio lustre is lost, however, in the wonderiul ‘Tupelo’, taut and seething with menace as Dave whips his vocal cords through the nightmare oi the sandman while The Bad Seeds provide the stable basis and harmony ior his ranting.
Despite the occasional lapse, ‘live Seeds’ grates with all the dissonance and gorgeous perversion that has always set liick Dave above the pack. The theatre is still present, older, but slavering to get out as the periormance builds to ‘From Her To Etemlty’. Wonderful noise. (Thom ledin)
and Dixie Cups - are on
I display in their full glory
; here. and the grave
, omission of ‘Train From
! Kansas City' only slightly i mars Leaders OfThe
Puck‘s splendour. Losing your religion? Get this.
’ it‘s a ﬁne substitute.
I (Alastair Mabbott)
i I The Pastels: Truckload % 0i Trouble (Paperhouse) E And they keep on rolling: l ‘Truck Train Tractor‘, ’Baby Honey' (again). I ‘Comin‘ Through‘,
‘ . . . and
1 compiling all the tracks 2 that have appeared on 5 Pastels singles and EPs
unreleased tracks. More than just a thrown- } together compilation. the ' non-chronological ! Truckload 0f Trouble has I been sequenced to make it I work as a Pastels LP proper. albeit a rather I crammed one. Despite the 1 l line-up changes and the 5 ‘ ﬁve different labels from which these tracks have been gathered. there‘s an i admirable unity and consistency to it. The Pastels have stuck to their vision. which Stephen rather grandly dubs ‘a i rejection of orthodox pathways‘ in his sleeve notes, while going on self- effacingly to admit that the band‘s ‘compass holder is currently Katrina. although both Aggi and myself have actually been here a while longer.‘ With such democratic methods and unswerving devotion to an ideal. this is clearly one truck that’s built to last. (Alastair Mabbott)
The List 27 August—9 September 1993 79