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  Listen Up! 11/3/03 Listen Up!

Monday, Nov. 3

Kid Creole and the Cococnuts, “Too Cool to Conga!” Rainman Records. Who knew August Darnell was still out there waving the flag of Latin influenced swingin’ jazz? He established his signature sound almost 25 years ago, and it hasn’t changed much. This new album seems mostly filled with new songs, though a revamped rendition of his classic “Endicott” shows that while the spirit may be willing, Kid Creole’s flesh is not quite as pumped as it was back in the day. It’s still loads of fun, though, and if I hadn’t heard the original, I’d be loving this one. The extended medley of “Flip, Flop and Fly” with “My Gal’s A Jockey” is a blast, too. Ask me later about the other originals, but I bet I’ll like ‘em a lot the more I hear ‘em.

Love, “The Forever Changes Concert,” Snapper Music. Hey, it’s not like this is better than the original album, but it sure as hell is at least as good. There’s no reason to expect Arthur Lee to lead a band 35 years after he recorded the original and manage to duplicate the expansive sound as well as the intensity of emotions. But, that’s what he does. This is beautiful and powerful stuff. If you ever loved Love, I recommend you pick this up.

--Steve Pick

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