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  Listen Up! 7/19/02 Listen Up!

Friday, July 19

Tim Buckley, “The Dream Belongs to Me,” Manifesto Records. This disc collects six previously unreleased demo recordings from 1968, and eight previously unreleased full-on recordings from 1973. The demos are kinda dull compared to the released versions of these songs. The 1973 stuff, however, is Buckley at his manic finest. The band is downright jazz fusion inspired, without any of the wanky soloing you might think such a phrase would imply. Whoever the drummer is was a genius. And Buckley is free to put his vocals anywhere he feels they might fit, and it always sounds perfect.

Jackie McLean, “Nature Boy,” Blue Note Records. A perfectly lovely set of jazz from a top-flight veteran band, recorded three years ago. There’s McLean on alto sax, blowing smooth and sultry. There’s Cedar Walton on piano, tight and in the pocket. There’s David Williams on bass, absolutely perfect on his instrument. And there’s the amazing Billy Higgins near the end of his life, one of the world’s greatest drummers playing with all the style and grace he brought to every project.

The Silos, “Cuba,” Record Collect. I always hated the Silos, and it’s kind of refreshing to find that this record, which I haven’t heard in something like 15 years, sounds even worse than I remember it, rather than somehow proving I was being unfair in my youth. These guys couldn’t sing, couldn’t write, couldn’t make a record remotely interesting, despite obviously having a lot of intelligence and tasteful influences. They sorta predated the whole alt-country thing, though the pedal steel and fiddles were used as color on their folk-rock approach more than as signifiers of any tradition. Warning: If you have perfect pitch, stay far, far away from this record, or you will be driven insane.

--Steve Pick



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