Neneh Cherry – The Cherry Thing
The story of the new Neneh Cherry album starts way back at the end of the 50s, when Ornette Coleman recorded a string of 5 epochal albums which changed popular music forever. And he was well aware of how he shaked jazz upside down, as is apparent from the titles of the albums: this music was really “Something Else”. It was “The Shape of Jazz to come” — “Free Jazz”! A “Change of the Century”, indeed. From now one, nothing was save: he invented total freedom in musical expression.
His sideman on all of this albums was cornet/trumpet player Don Cherry – Neneh Cherrys stepfather, who raised her inhaling this new open, free approach to music.
Neneh Cherry might only be known for her smash hit “Buffalo Stance”, but she started her career in the 80s as the singer for avantgarde post-punkers Rip Rig + Panic (named after a album of free jazz icon Raahsan Roland Kirk). And now, 30 years later, she got together with the scandinavian free jazz trio The Thing (named after a tune by Don Cherry). Both bands seem to have a almost similar approach to their music: Rip Rig + Panic mixed their avantgardish post-punk with jazz and free funk, The Thing bring together Free Jazz with punk, no wave, R&B and rock, even covering “Dirt” by The Stooges and “Dream Baby Dream” by Suicide:
And even if the music of Rip Rig + Panic and The Thing is very different, both bands combines the spirit of Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and their free form music. The first album of Neneh Cherry + The Thing is called “The Cherry Thing” and here’s the dark video to their cover of “Accordion” by Rapper MF Doom – filmed in total darkness with Neneh Cherry acting like a Voodoo Queen:
If this is a little bit too harsh for your taste – check out the Four Tet Remix of Neneh Cherry + The Thing’s version of Suicides “Dream Baby Dream”, it is far more accessible.