1. Rip, Rig & Panic – God (Virgin, Uh Huh Prods) Neneh Cherry (vocals) Sean Oliver (bass guitar) Gareth Sager (guitar, saxophone, keyboards, vocals) Bruce Smith (drums, percussion) Mark Springer (piano, saxophone, vocals) Named after a Roland Kirk album, Rip, Rig + Panic were one of the most interesting bands from the 1980’s. For some reason, they remind me of Public Enemy. Not just in their revolution discourse, but their frantic collage style that somehow manages to groove.
They say Jazz died a pretty brutal death in the 1980’s. Mostly, they’re right. This was the decade that blissfully rejected all things analogue and embraced the safe and depressingly pedestrian stylings of Chris Botti and Kenny G. Spyro Gyra for the love of Moses! ‘Lift music’ and bad, bad fusion. Even Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock have at least two (that’s a generous count) car crash albums a-piece from the 80’s. It wasn’t all lazy and overproduced though. Very far from it.
Neglected as in 'seriously unlikely to appear in any top 50/top 100 album list but better than most top 50/100 albums'. So, great as they are, no Blue Train, Something Else, Out to Lunch or Maiden Voyage. I’ve had to fight the urge to include Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson or Wayne Shorter. I think they're pretty near the three most consistent artists on the label and each has more than one Blue Note to his name that never truly receives its due (Mode for Joe and Night Dream
From the subtly reexamined to the near-total makeover, here are 5* of the more interesting Miles Davis covers out there... *NOTE: I could just as easily have included Jazz Jamaica’s and Conrad Herwig's versions of ‘So What’ or Shirley Horn’s and Doug Carn's ‘Blue In Green’. All quality. Charles Earland – Milestones (1970, Prestige) LP Title: Charles Earland/Living Black Charles Earland (organ), Gary Chandler (trumpet), Grover Washington Jr. (tenor saxophone), Maynard Parker