Album Review

Lurie, John – “African Swim and Manny & Lo ” – [Strange & Beautiful]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   CD, Jazz

A film that no longer exists plays blindly
for us…its dozen ditties dripping with
soulful strut, ripe Ribot (!!!) guitar, a
little crusty rustic banjo, and somehow this
starched shirt clarinet that totally connects
“African Swim” is half goony-bassoony march
and half heat-crazed impulse.
“Manny & Lo” lifts off w/ a sort of jangle
pop anthem riffette (“Guadalcanal Diary?”)
met at the crossroads by Bill Ware’s marimba.
After that this album sweats a juju-virus
and discovers a more pensive tick-tock vibe
as opposed to willful shimmy of tracks 1-12.
Bittersweet & Lo?
Each side/suite has a classy clowny moment
(#3 and #17). Hip and hypnotic, songfishing
w/ a Lurie allure and Bernstein bait.

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