night groove vibes with little bits of garage, samba and downright dirty funk. Then, when you think you’re perfectly happy nodding your head on the couch, a track like Century Falls' 'It's Music' kicks in the sing-a-long disco element and you’re bouncing round the room again. A dawn riser if ever there was one. (RW)

Tommy Smith

Azure (Linn) * s t

The saxophonist did not regard this Miro-inspired quartet project as his most successful venture, but it is good to have it on disc, where its slightly

3 rarefied aesthetic actually comes off

E more cogentiy than in concert, Kenny

l Wheeler's off-centre lyricism on ' trumpet is worth the price of

admission on its own, and it is fascinating to hear the saxophonist

operate against the open-ended

. rhythmic possrbilites thrown up by bassist Lars Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen. (KM)

Randy Weston

Earth Birth (Verve) it at *

PuElzng off a really successful Jazz-with-

strings project is a iob for the mission

: impossible team, btit Weston and

I arranger Melba Liston get close on this selection of some of the pianist's best

: known tunes (including ’Hi-Fly'), re-

' arranged for a Jazz trio and a 24-strong string ensemble The best moments,

though, more when either Weston or the trio (with Christian McBride and Billy Higgins,i are in complete charge, while the strings - as ever -- tend to

o:ersvxeeten the mixture (KM)

: Jean-Yves Thibaudet . Conversations with Bill Evans (Decca)

French classical piano Virtuoso Jean-

. Yves Thibaudet tackles transcriptions of

the piano music of Bill Evans, A potential recipe for fudge, not to say

. disaster, but he pulls it off With a ; beautifully lUdQCd balance between his

own classical touch and training, and

; an authentic allegiance to Evans's

distinctive jazz feel. You would not confuse the two in a back-to-back listen, but this is a lovely, genuinely felt tribute to a great artist. (KM)


Huckleberry The Idiot-Listening EP (Copper) * it

Soothsayers insist ska is coming back, and Huckleberry's single pitched somewhere between Blur and Madness - doesn't do anything to prove them wrong. This time, though, it’s integrated into a broad, modern pop palette. Hucklediversity confirmed on three remaining cuts. (AM)

Geneva Tranquillizer (Nude) ‘k at it t at

' An apt title, as this song is practically a

drug in itself. Previous singles, spiffing as they were, left us unprepared for this gorgeous, exhilarating, string- driven mammoth. (AM)

Monkey Mafia 15 Steps EP (Heavenly) 1? at

Clatteis like a cutlery drawer when the washing machine’s on spin cycle. Good, therefore, for vigorous frugging but so much space is taken up With percussive mayhem that the record comprises very little besides. (AM)

Finley Quaye Sunday Shining (Epic) 1: at H:

Tricky's Edinburgh-based uncle covers Marley in a production that sounds like two songs being played at once: gritty dual guitars over rocked-up reggae beat. Much Marley. Look fonrvard to more of Quaye himself next time. (AM)

Sublime What I Got (MCA) it a: 1%

What you got, mate, is ’Lady Madonna' with uninhibited acoustic guitar breaks and rapping over a shuffling, summery beat Beck meets Arrested Development? A hit, it the weather improves. (AM)

' V

Huckleberry: Blur meets Madness and has a riot in a fork factory

record reviews MUSIC


Northern Uproar: lock up your daughters, they're back

Elevate Exhibit 4 (Sano) it at

Addict Save Me EP (Big Cat) 1*

Now I love The Fall as much as anyone,

and probably more, but Elevate’s vocalist Tim Ward goes beyond mere flattery here. Sadder by far is Addict’s karaoke Nirvana turn. Ward should get a new style. Addict's singer should get a life. (AM)


Here Comes The Feeling (Marina) it 1k at

You may not remember Jazzateers, the starting pomt for so many luminaries

of the Glasgow scene. Marina do, and have persuaded them to re-record this particularly brash and edgy slice of the


early-80s Sound Of Young Scotland. The legend remains untarnished. (AM)

Northern Uproar Any Way You Look (Heavenly) at #10:

NU grow up a bit, rope in a brass section and turn out a half-decent song, which must have been a new experience for them. Chart action of some kind asSured. Band shelf-life

extended. (AM)


Jim Byers, Alastair Mabbott, Kenny Mathieson, Fiona Shepherd, Jonathan Trew, Rory Weller.

s t t k i Outstanding * t t * Recommended * t * Worth a try * 1* So-so t Poor

30 May-l) Jun 1997 THE lIST49