RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I The Ocean: Silver (Dolls iioose) The ﬁrst album from this Glasgow band, and a nice piece of work it is too. The bulk of the album is heavy rock which manages not to sound dated, with the addition of a more traditional Hammond sound to good effect. ‘(Take Me Back To) The Ocean’ is likely rock chart material, but ‘Longway’ is the strongest track. driving and uplifting. Nothing cutting-edge or shocking here, but a solid album which is certainly good enough to compete with established hard rock acts. (Gavin Inglis) I Mark Lanegan: Whiskey For The lioly Ghost (Still Pop) There's a grain to Mark Lanegan’s voice that cuts both vertically and horizontally. When bellowing upfront for Screaming Trees, the Sabbathy power knocks you sideways. Away from the Seattleites’ mighty metal, his gnarly croon penetrates deep down. Such is the, ahem, cathartic effect of the Lanegan Song, all scouring angst and cerebral blues. On this, his second solo album, stark arrangements. seemingly conceived in midnight bars where the bourbon never runs dry. ensure that his mordant ruminations cut even deeper. Hear Whiskey. . . and hear devil-bome violins (particularly on the heady ‘Camival’) and fag- smoking angels war it out in songs that know when
to caress and when to smack. Seduction and torment in equal, winning measure. (Craig McLean) I Magnapop: ilot Boxing (Play it Again Sarn) After false hopes raised by Michael Stipe’s early approbation (he produced their ﬁrst demo), Atlanta’s Magnapop finally come good with their ﬁrst proper album. Now Bob Mould’s the ‘celebrity' producer, and Hot Boxing sure glories in Sugar’s knack for spot-welding skipping tunes to swingeing riffs. But band and album deserve more than cred-by-association. ln ‘Slowly Slowly', ﬁrst track and ﬁrst single, the Georgians have a muscular pop beauty. In “Here It Comes’. Linda Hopper proves herself a top student of the Liz Phair School of Psycho Psyche-Rock. that sweet voice cradling niggling menace. In its other twelve songs, ‘Hot Boxing is like the hot smell of asphalt and the whole afternoon off.‘ Wish I‘d said that. But I never. The press release did. Anyway. The summer vacation starts here. (Craig McLean)
I Solsonics: Jazz In The Present Tense (Chrysalis) it’s something akin to the taking of coals to Newcastle: ﬂy-boy drummer Willie McNeil returned to his native LA drenched by the burgeoning jazz—dance scene in London. At home, he hooked up with bassist Jez Colin to produce an album with a title that couldn’t be more apt; ice cool, but uptempo, this is as ﬁne an acid jazz
record as you could hope to hear. A collection of cracking vocalists accompany a whole host of capacious musicians to make this present tense jazz very near (plu)perfect. Be it soul or jazz, roots or hip-hop. Solsonics have got it pretty well covered; tracks such as 'lnside Is A Stride’, ‘Daddy Love’. ‘Keep The Rhythm Strong‘, and ‘So Much More Together‘ smart of British inﬂuence, and fans of Dodge City. JTQ. Snowboy and the Brand New Heavies should relish this challenge. (Philip Dorward)
I ldha: Melody Inn (Creation) She‘s 2|, ‘ﬂame-haired', Swedish, married to one of the faceless bowlheads from Ride and on Creation. And she’s making country music. Nepotism and gimmickry taking precedence over talent and ideas? Not as much as you'd think. A tentative dip into ldha Ovelius’s debut album scoops up delicate twinklers like ‘High Over Hollywood’ and a not-too—cringey version of Uncle Gram’s ‘Hickory Wind’ It’s all very nice, this airy country-lite, if hardly the stuff of memory and mystery. Melody Inn’s staying power isn’t helped by ldha’s voice. a delicate birdie that threatens to drift offinto the little ﬂuffy clouds any moment. Either that, or get eaten by a cat seeking a quick snack that will neither cause indigestion or ruin the appetite. Either that. or. . . you get the picture. (Craig McLean)
I Tommy Flanagan: let’s (enia) One jazz giant pays tribute to another on this glorious set. Pianist Tommy Flanagan is a joy to listen to when playing almost anything. never mind material as melodically and harmonically strong as the music of the late Thad Jones. These tunes are usually heard in big band arrangements, but they prove superbly adaptable to the piano trio format. Flanagan’s ﬂawlessly inventive, ﬂowing treatment of them reveals a mainstream master at work, and he receives excellent support from Jesper Lungard and Lewis Nash.
I like Gilles Orchestra: 3! Tl! WI! (II II) Another lower case record label, but in all other respects a very different take on ‘jazz’. English composer and trombonist Mike Gibbs surveys 25 years of his big band
music in this vivid new recording, featuring the likes of Julian Arguelles, Evan Parker, lain Ballamy, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Wheeler, Steve Swallow and Bob Moses. The music’s bright, punchy soundscapes explore characteristically varied idioms with a markedly creative use of instrumental timbres, textures and colouration, and the whole set adds up to a fascinating snapshot of a highly individual artist.
I Bley, Peacock, Oxley, Suntan: In The Evenings Out There (ECM) For the most part, these four great musicians offer delicate, sometimes fragile- seeming explorations of sound and Space, but underpinned by a tensile strength and sense of purpose, and a deeply reﬁned harmonic and dynamic vocabulary. lf pianist Paul Bley and bassist Gary Peacock are the dominant voices in a set which ranges from solo to quartet, John
Surman's saxophone is as distinctive as ever. and Tony Oxley contributes typically imaginative percussion. The usual crystal clear ECM recording captures their thoughts immaculately. I Marilyn Crispell: For Coltrane (leo Records) Recorded live in London in 1987. this tribute to the saxophonist by Canadian pianist Marilyn Crispell offers a very different approach to jazz piano than either Flanagan or Bley. Relentlessly percussive and exploratory, Crispell reﬂects Trane‘s own energised creativity, but does so very much in her individual voice. The four Coltrane compositions range from the solemn Dear Lord to the hyper- intense Coltrane Yime, and are augmented by Crispell‘s own powerful tripartite improvisation Collage For Coltrane, forming a set played as a single, arching structure. (Kenny Mathieson)
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The List 1 1—24 February 1994 31