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  Listen Up! 9/4/02 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Sept. 4

Linval Thompson, “Ride on Dreadlocks 1975-77,” Blood and Fire Records. There are few certainties in life, but one of them is that if it’s on Blood and Fire, it’s gonna be great. Every CD these guys put out collects absolutely astounding reggae from the golden age of Jamaican music. This stuff is some deep dub with Thompson toasting over the riddims. He glides over the music, and, though I can’t understand most anything he says, I love the sound of the way he says it.

Louis Jordan, “Five Guys Named Moe (The V Discs),” Classic Jazz. You can’t go wrong with Louis Jordan in his prime. These performances are a load of fun.

Various Artists, “Cinemaphonic: Soul Punch Vol. 2,” Motel Records. It’s mildly pleasant to hear any 70s funk-jazz stuff, and mind-bogglingly numbing to hear more than a little of it. This has 14 cuts. You may have your own opinion as to what number constitutes too much. I petered out about cut number 4.

Buddy Miller, “Midnight and Lonesome,” Hightone Records. This is my first time through the soon-to-be-released new record from Buddy Miller, one of my favorite guitarists in the world today. Not that he really shows off a lot of what he can do on his records. You have to catch him live some time. But, he makes great records, anyway. This one has a number of covers – “The Price of Love” from the Everly Bros., and “Please Send Me Someone to Love” from Percy Mayfield among them – and several songs written by his talented wife Julie. I’ll definitely be listening some more to this. His records usually take a couple of plays before I fall in love with them, but even on first listen, I can tell this is another good one.

Chris Robinson, “New Earth Mud,” Redline Entertainment. Isn’t this guy the singer in the Black Crowes? I’m so well informed, aren’t I? Anyway, this sounds like the Black Crowes changing direction a bit, like they moved into 1973 or so in their retro-rock world. Not bad, not memorable.

Raphael Saadiq, “Instant Vintage,” Universal Records. Second listen, I’m less impressed than the first time through. Not that I was wrong about the ambition at play here. Just that perhaps Saadiq’s vision could have been better presented with some catchier songs. I know it’s not fair to dismiss this too soon. There is plenty of interesting things happening in this music. But, I’m probably going to take a break before playing it again.

--Steve Pick



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