CD review: Neneh Cherry & The Thing

The Cherry Thing
(Smalltown Supersound STS229CD/LP)

Neneh is the singer who came out of punk via The Slits and Rip, Rig & Panic to attain her greatest success with 7 Seconds, a duet with Senegalese star Youssour N’Dour, but she is also, of course, the daughter of the late jazz trumpeter Don Cherry.

The Thing are a jazz trio from Scandinavia who took their name from a Don Cherry song.

So, The Cherry Thing just had to happen.

It’s a lively and creative mix of funky grooves, Neneh’s cool yet passionate vocals and some thrilling free jazz squalling.

Cherry contributed the opener, Cashback, and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson has written one, but for the rest it’s a question of innovative reworkings of songs from such diverse sources as avant garde rockers Suicide and The Stooges, Tricky collaborator Martina Topley-Bird, Ornette Coleman and, naturally, Don himself.

Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream is a real powerhouse, building like a steam train with Cherry’s vocal matched by Gustafsson’s massed saxophones.

Like all the really trendy releases, this one is available in LP format as well.

Categories: CD review

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