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  Listen Up! 6/20/02 Listen Up!

Thursday, June 20

Sonny Rollins, “Saxophone Colossus,” Prestige Records. This is one of the most perfect jazz records ever made, a gentle breeze of swing from the rhythm section, punctuated by Sonny Rollins finding his voice on tenor, soaring and swooping and jumping for joy. “St. Thomas” is as catchy a jazz tune as you’ve ever heard, but Rollins gives it weight as well as exuberance.

Dave Pirner, “Faces & Names,” Ultimatum Music. I had moments of serious infatuation with Soul Asylum, and I thought “Somebody to Shove” was a perfect break-through hit, one of the most powerful cuts in the early 90s alternative radio sweepstakes. This solo album finds him trying to sing soul music, and he can’t do it. Worse, he’s writing the most pathetic lyrics of his career, and they just keep jumping out of the mix. The odds of this record selling, considering that his band can’t move more than a couple thousand units any more, are extremely thin. Sadly, poor sales are entirely justified at this point.

--Steve Pick



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