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  Listen Up! 10/22/02 Listen Up!

Tuesday, Oct. 22

Various Artists, “Cuisine Non-Stop,” Luaka Bop. This makes an intriguing introduction to a musical culture I know nothing about. I haven’t even read the liner notes. There are clearly several different styles collected here. Some of this is accordion heavy, and derived from the old-school melodies you see them playing in French cafes in movies. (Did I mention this is all French pop music? No? Well, it is.) Some of it is kind of inspired by James Brown. And some of it harkens back to the theatrical styles made famous by the likes of Jacques Brel. A lot of it catches the ear, though.

Louis Jordan, “Five Guys Named Moe (The V Discs),” Classic Jazz. Every once in a while, I get reminded of just how much fun Louis Jordan was. It doesn’t matter if it was a big hit – “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” for example – or something I’ve never heard before – “Jumpin’ At the Jubilee,” among others. The rhythms are swinging and propulsive, the vocals a joy, and the jazz solos a lot hotter than I used to think they were. Great fun.

David Bowie, “Best of Bowie,” EMI Records. Basically, this has almost everything from “Changesonebowie,” a couple things from “Changestwobowie,” and the most famous hits from the 20 years after that. It is, of course, a set of 20 mostly perfect songs from a lifetime of musical chameleonity.

--Steve Pick



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