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  Listen Up! 1/9/03 Listen Up!

Thursday, Jan. 9

Frank Wess, “Jazz For Playboys,” Savoy Records. Well, it’s relaxed enough to make me think they’ve had several gin and tonics. Relaxed I can take, but there’s no ambition, nothing to connect this music with anything other than gentle swing. You’re supposed to play this quietly, on your hi-fi, with a babe in your arms. That is, if you’re starring in a movie made in 1957. To be fair, the cuts featuring Kenny Burrell on guitar are much more musically interesting; he’s actively exploring, not passively hoping she’ll soon be drunk enough to go to bed with.

Radioiniactive, “Pyramidi,” Mush Records. Interesting stuff. It says it’s American made avant-hip hop. It sounds like what Sun Ra may have come up with if he was of the hip-hop generation. I wish I had time to be more descriptive, because this really does deserve some attention. But, alas, I gotta run.

The Temptations, “Legends of Soul,” Time Life Records. It’s another repackaging of the same old songs, and you know how incredibly thrilling they all are. I’d opt for one of the more recently remastered Motown compilations, but you aren’t gonna be disappointed with this one.

--Steve Pick



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