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Until now. Sure, Cherry was a part of CirKus, and has appeared on both of their albums, but her presence is sidelined. Thus, "The Cherry Thing" is her first album in 16 years that actually features her vocals front and center. It's nice to have her back.
This time around, she joins Norwegian/Swedish jazz trio, The Thing, who have been making records since 2000. I was not familiar with them. Naturally, Cherry has created a jazz album, but of the 8 tracks there are 2 originals and 6 cover songs. The six cover songs are as follows: "Dream Baby Dream" by Suicide, from their 1980 self-titled album, "Too Tough To Die" by Martina Topley-Bird, from her debut 2003 album "Quixotic/Anything", "Accordian" by Madvillain, from their 2004 debut album "Madvillainy", "Golden Heart" by Don Cherry, from his 1966 album "Complete Communion", "Dirt" by The Stooges, from their sophomore 1970 album "Fun House", and "What Reason Could I Give" by Ornette Coleman, from his 1972 album "Science Fiction". Now what I love about these 6 tracks is that I was not at all familiar with them. Too many times cover albums turn into cliche recycling of the same old songs. Not here.Read more ›
This album is quite the contradiction, but it is both deeply personal and wildly original. That's an amazing accomplishment for a covers album.
The latter are a diverse vanguard jazz group whose name comes from a tune by Don Cherry; their founding mission was to play his music.
They've since expanded to cover rock tunes and play their own compositions.
For those who remember only Cherry's pop hits, this may seem a radical departure, but it's actually a return of sorts.
She began her career in the 1980s as a teen vocalist in post-punk outfits Rip Rig & Panic and Float Up CP; both melded free jazz and angular funk.
She is a natural collaborator -- she's worked with Pulp, Tricky, the The, and Gorillaz.
There are two originals here. Cherry's confrontational love song "Cashback" opens a set that melds syncopated, acoustic jazz funk and post-millennial soul.
Gustafsson's jazz tune "Sudden Moment" features wonderful twinned phrasing by the saxophonist and Cherry before opening into an improvisational sprawl.
Of the covers, the nearly nine-minute version of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" puts Bruce Springsteen's contrived version to shame. In the Cherry Thing's embrace, it is no less ethereal than the original, but far more sinister: Cherry's honeyed croon keeps the beautiful melodic core intact, even as she becomes ever more insistent, showing her dominant authority. Her accompanists build a gorgeous wall of atmospheric tension behind her.
Martina Topley-Bird's "Too Tough to Die" begins sparsely and slowly before Cherry and Gustafsson enter and begin pushing, charging at the lyric edges.Read more ›
1. Free jazz players are undoubtedly better musicians than punk rockers. But are they more anarchical?
2. What if Boots Randolph had never heard John Coltrane? What would have happened to the history of contemporary western music?
3. Why do free jazz saxophonists sound like they are two seconds away from a fatal car crash? I remember the movie "Crash" from ~1995 with James Spader, with people who got sexually charged up by watching car crashes. Would it be better if free jazz saxophonists sounded like they are two seconds away from an orgasm?
4. If you dream that your house is imploding at the joists, does that mean your sense of security is shot to hell? Or does it mean that you live under a Florida sinkhole?
5. If you free your mind, will your @$$ necessarily follow? Or is this yet another counter-cultural saying from the '60's that has been coopted by the current establishment? And if the latter, did that happen as early as the '70's?
6. If you wish to reach deep as you can into your psyche and create the most profound art you can, do you need to go to Scandinavia to get it done? Will Paris do? Or is that too cliche?
7. Should c.d.'s like this have liner notes? Or should the listeners do D.I.Y. liner notes? And if the latter, what if the notes are lies?
8. I remember once a critic asked Captain Beefheart to explain his latest album ("Lick My Decals Off, Baby," if I recall). Mr. Van Vliet told the critic to run his vacuum cleaner over and over his living room carpet, and he'd get it , eventually. Is it time for me to upgrade to a Dyson?
9. Wasn't the point of this c.d. to get someone to write a review like this? RC
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Grim, gritty, and a little sleazy; this record feels like a film noir soundtrack from an alternate past in which mainstream 60's media embraced the grating saxophone noise of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ryan
For die hard Neneh Cherry fans, this is a great relief. It is off the wall eccentric in many regards but melody inserts itself along the way. Read morePublished 12 months ago by J. C. Richardson
I purchased this CD based on it's reviews, which was a mistake. I listen to a wide variety of music (fan of Diana Krall, Alicia Keyes, Adele and many, many more - I have quite a... Read morePublished on March 8, 2014 by BahamaMama
This is one of the best projects that I think I've heard in a long time. Even though this is a "cover" project, Neneh Cherry & the Thing took every song and made it their own. Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by kos
Absolutely terrific release that I discovered late in 2012. Combo of jazz and Neneh Cherry—a terrific mix of styles and worth listening to. One of the in 2012.Published on February 6, 2013 by Roberto Ty
unusual genre, combines pop with free jazz. Great live sound. I can imagine this being in a cellar with a small crowd hot and jumping. Read morePublished on February 1, 2013 by david tucker
I think old Rip Rig + Panic fans, like myself, will love this record. Not as wild as RR+P, but very good reminder for those three great and almost forgotten albums that never went... Read morePublished on December 25, 2012 by Josef K.
But this is not everybody's cup of tea. Heard it first on NPR , was intrigued but not all my friends enjoy it. Need an open mind and repeat play to grow on you.Published on November 22, 2012 by crunch