- 03 Jul 12
Pop star teams up with free jazz outfit on raucous return
At first glance, international music icon Neneh Cherry and Scandinavian jazz improvers The Thing seem odd bedfellows. In fact, the two acts have a lot in common. Cherry was born in Stockholm – her mother is Swedish – and she was schooled in avant garde jazz by her stepfather, Don Cherry, a cornetist of repute who worked with the likes of Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra. The late jazz man’s influence extends to The Thing, the trio even naming themselves after a track on his 1966 classic Where Is Brooklyn?.
Nonetheless, if your love of Neneh Cherry starts with ‘Buffalo Stance’ and ends with ‘7 Seconds’, you may find The Cherry Thing something of a challenge. Opener ‘Cashback’, an original composition amongst an assortment of wild cover versions, serves notice of what to expect. Plunking bass notes lead into a feral chorus, the playing gleeful, the vocal brimful of attitude. Then there’s a cover of Suicide’s ‘Dream Baby Dream’, the source material driven to distraction by the attentions of The Thing – mournful sax puncturing the pitter patter rhythms.
Elsewhere, the neanderthal riffage of The Stooges’ ‘Dirt’ is made anew with honking saxophone, burbling double bass and walloping drums, with Cherry gamely channelling Iggy’s sleazoid persona. Meanwhile a reworking of MF Doom’s ‘Accordion’ morphs gleefully from the slinky to the chaotic. Fittingly, there’s also a cover of Don Cherry’s ‘Golden Heart’, a track whose sense of abandon encapsulates the record’s jazz meets punk-rock ethos.
- Live Review
- 25 May 23