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  Listen Up! 8/9/02 Listen Up!

Friday, Aug. 9

The Tennors, “Rock Steady Classics,” Nighthawk Records. Well, “classic” is a big word, but these certainly qualify as rock steady worth hearing. The Tennors were one of a seemingly endless supply of Jamaican vocal trios modeling themselves after the Impressions and Motown groups back in the 60s. Everything here is uptempo, solid work, with vocals that never exactly soar, but always stay just at the edge of take-off. This shouldn’t be the first rock steady record you buy, but it will satisfy your craving for more once you’ve developed a taste for it.

Steve Earle, “Jerusalem,” Artemis Records. I didn’t get to pay very close attention to it, but I heard it all the way through today. This sounds like another very solid Steve Earle record. It sounds like the lyrics are even more important than usual, which means I’ll probably never be able to comment seriously on this album until I get it in the car or at home. Emmylou Harris guest stars on one song, and sounds terrific, as always.

Peter King, “Shango,” Afro Strut Records. Fela wasn’t the only funky musician in Africa back in the 70s. This guy has a jazzier feel to his stuff, and a lot looser, less explosive but more expansive rhythmic sense. It’s definitely gonna get your body moving, though.

Prince, “The Hits 2,” Paisley Park Records. There aren’t many more satisfactory collections of pop music anywhere than the two volumes of Prince’s hits. This particular volume is full of gems. “Controversy.” “Delirious.” “Little Red Corvette.” “Raspberry Beret.” “Cream.” “Purple Rain.” More.

--Steve Pick



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