Au Cabaret Sauvage (Discovery) 0000

Mu3ically. there's nothing intrinsically ‘Wild' about this rich amalgam of traditional Gallic chanson, Arabic folk. funk and jazz. Rather. it's front man Denis Pean's tangential lyrics that run not over 12 cavorting tracks. What is it about the French that they can dream up a sentiment as verbose as: ‘We are the blood danCing in the veins of our slumbering sisters.’ and still make it SOund seductive. Renowned for their live appearances. even in recording you can discern that this loose collective wear their paSSion on their rainbow-coloured sleeves. from the twitching samba of 'Memoire d'homme' to the full-blooded wig-out that is ‘Cinq causis ocre'. (Allan Radcliffe)


The Best of Morphine (Rykodisc) O”

For nine years Morphine made music inhabiting the twilight somewhere between blues. jazz and grunge. Then in 1999 the aptly-monikered founder. singer- songwriter and bassist Mark Sandman died of a heart attack. on stage at a gig in Rome. Morphine's muddy grooves sounded like no one else. not least because of the low rumble of Sandman’s customised three-string fretless bass.

This compilation comprises tracks culled from Morphine's five studio albums. plus two previously unreleased songs. a rare B-side and a live performance video clip. Sixteen tracks.

however. seems a little thin to represent five albums (Six including 8- Sides and Othervwse) worth of recordings. That said. it's a good enough starter and if Morphine's idiOSyncratic 50und is y0ur thing. then you can investigate their back catalogue.

(Miles Fielder)


JIMI TENOR Higher Planes (Kitty Yo) coo.

Genius Finn Jimi Tenor returns with his ninth solo long-player and it's sure to keep the fans smiling. so loaded is it with polished parts and frivolous lines. Composed largely at the piano and scoring sheets for one of his myriad live collaborators. ‘Higher Planes“ sees

: Tenor continue plumbing the depths of his cosmic jazz pool with less

recowse tO seguencers

and drum machines.

Haunting and dramatic. live recording ‘Trumpcard' echoes vintage Lalo Schifrin. the exqmsite “Spending Time' sounds like classic Prince with a modern twist and 'Tapiola' has Mr Tenor trying his hand at psychedelic rock. Unadulterated. wacky

Tenor; it's jazz. Jim. but

not as we know it. (Andrew Richardson)


GERARD PRESENCER Chasing Reality (ACT) .0”

w M (boxing Ital",

Trumpeter Gerard Presencer has worked back and fon/vard between pop and jazz settings since his mid- teens. and has recently completed a movie soundtrack with Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood. influenced

by early 703 Miles Davis.

This album for the German ACT label follows two earlier discs for Linn, and marks a huge step toward in artiCUIating his own Creative ViSion on disc. It is a studio recording (With US guests Joe Locke and Geoffrey Keezer on Vibes and keyboards) of a Six-part Surte commISSIoned by Birmingham Jazz in 2000. and allows both Gerard and the band to stretch out In expreSSIVe fashion over Chris Dagley's solid groove drumming. Recommended.

(Kenny Mathieson)


Simply Deep (Columbia) «0

As the multi-faceted : entertainment behemoth

that is Destiny's Child rolls on, crushing all R88 and pop pretenders in

its path. Kelly Rowland

defly illustrates how it is

actually possible to be

heard above Beyonce

; Knowles' all pervasive

wailing. Rowland's voice is

neither as distinctive nor

powerful as Knowles' but at least she doesn't

; try and Suffocate the backing with a hurricane

of warbling. ‘Stole' oozes Syrupy joy. a

: perfect pop pancake

and when paired with fellow chart botherer ‘Dilemma'. Rowland’s

beyond-twee love tryst

with rap tart Nelly. you have the perfect recipe for sickly beautiful R&B. It is only really this pair

3 however that can stand

up beside the gilt-edged quality of primetime DC.

. but there's en0ugh here elsewhere to prove that

Kelly's bandmate doesn't have the

monopoly on the spotlight.

(Mark Robertson)


JACKIE LEVEN Shining Brother

Shining Sister

(Cooking Vinyl) om

f In the late 70's Leven's

pseudo punk band Doll

By Doll were just receivmg faVOurable press reViews when they split up. Shortly after he was badly beaten up in a London street brawl and spent most of the 80's addicted to herom. By 1994 Leven with his

Wife had founded CORE.

8 drug-dependency help service. and Leven started recording mu3ic again from his west Scotland home. He had fortunately lost none of his vocal talent, now bathed in Celtic. American and Russian poet traditions. Here he doffs his cap to Rilke. Cummings and Sitwell among others while he gets Ron Sexsmith, David Thomas (Pere Ubu) and US poet Robert Bly to read for him.

Every tune is cherishable here but ‘Heroin Dealer Blues'

Our 17/2/03 on 7" a. co

and ‘My Philosophy' are stunning. One is left in no doubt that Leven is on a par With Dion DIMUCCI in terms of pure scope and influence. (Paul Dale)



(12XU) O”

12XU are quickly establishing a reputation for dishing out excellent

Ieftfield American guitar

music. This. Sally

Crewe's debut release.

isn't up to the impeccable standards of

her label mates Spoon.

but her brand of slightly wonky guitar pop is

intriguing en0ugh in a E kinda flimsy.

insubstantial way. Influences here include the likes of Paul Westerberg and the



Cars, and in the chugging. tuneful likes of ‘Forget It or the mom feisty title track there is Owaus songwriting talent at work. Sadly other songs don't quite reach those peaks making this an interesting enough debut. but hardly an earthshaking one. (Doug JohnstOne)

SOUL DISCO VARIOUS Spread Love (Harmless) 00m


Can you pos3ibly go wrong With a compilation that includes Gil Scott-Heron. ROy Ayers. Kool and the Gang, Al Green and the O'Jays? Well, hardly. espeCially when the cuts are as ClaSSlC and yet as underplayed as these ones. Raw Soul Express's conscnous jam. “The Way we Live'.


'IAw-onomue" - m


13-27 Feb 2003 THE LIST 108