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  Listen Up! 7/4/02 Listen Up!

Thursday, July 4

Richard Zimmerman, ďLong Lost Blues: Rediscovered Ragtime Blues 1911-1919,Ē Pianomania Music. Iím far from an expert on this sort of stuff, but these are mostly quite lovely little rags, performed ably by a modern player who has immersed himself in the old styles. I donít think Iíll ever crave it, but itís a pleasure to have heard it.

Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson, ďAt the Opera House,Ē Verve Records. Itís 1957, and one of the swinginestí sets of live jazz gets plopped on an album. Getz is soaring all over the place, digging into the tunes and pumping out riff after idea after improvisation after melody after rhythm. Johnson shows why nobody played trombone with more fire and heart. And the rhythm section Ė well itís Oscar Peterson on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Connie Kay on drums. Of course, itís great.

Solomon Burke, ďDonít Give Up on Me,Ē Anti- Records. This is one of the most anticipated releases of 2002, as far as Iím concerned. Take one of the finest soul vocalists ever, pair him with songs written by the likes of Dan Penn, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Joe Henry, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Nick Lowe and Mann/Weil, and youíve got something deep and real. Joe Henry produces it, and turns up the swampy ríníb influences of his own music to overdrive. Burke rises to the occasion, tackling all these disparate writing styles and making them sound perfectly appropriate to his talents. This record will be played again and again, I think.

--Steve Pick



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