The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on October 21, 1993 · 108
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 108

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 21, 1993
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Collected Los Lobos; for die-hard De La Soul fans 1 ' fm III T It I I JR-I;C-K 1 ' I 1 1 ? i digital ii.Jiii 'ijuji m ilJ Digital Underground THE BODY-HAT SYNDROME Tommy BoyTNT Syndrome This album is easily one of the year's best hip-hop discs. Most people remember Digital Underground as the crew of boot-knockin' crazies from Oakland, Calif., who unleashed "The Humpty Dance" and "Doowutchallke" back in 1990. Dozens of bands copied the loopy, booming bass track and of "The Humpty Dance," and more will lift a few beats from "Bran Nu Swetta," DU's ditty about the downside of being a pimp. It's one of the best tracks on "The Body-Hat Syndrome," an album loaded with choice cuts. Of all the bands dipping heavily Into the Parllament-Funkadelic catalogue, Digital Underground is one of the few to pledge a true allegiance to the funk. Five of the 15 cuts from "The Body-Hat Syndrome" credit George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and a few other P-Funk alums. Michael Hampton, guitarist on the Funkadelic hits "Maggot Brain" and "(Not Just Knee Deep" sits In for a guest solo. -MICHAEL SAUNDERS " hXJ! "' Uk- 1 LOS LOBOS UST ANOTHER BAND FROM EAST LA: A COLLECTION Slash ... It seems strange that Los Lo-bos would release a compila-on album at this stage of their ireers. The band, which started y playing weddings in exchange )r beer in 1973, has released .lis generous retrospective (two iscs, 41 songs, four previously iireleased tracks and nine live .: elections). All this after coming if their two strongest albums, he 1990's under-appreciated Neighborhood" and 1992's bril-iant "Kiko." This disc chronicles he band's beginnings in tradi-ional Mexican music, to their :urrent status as one of the pre-nier rootsblues-rock oufits. It eaves no facet of their long and 'aried career untouched. For Los Lobos fans the live tracks and :overs make this a must-have, ratably a simmering live take of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going Dn"and a hard-rocking "Wicked Rain." From sweet Spanish to scorching guitar-driven rock, this is an outstanding collection of American roots-rock with a socially conscious edge, plus that all-important good-time party feel. - JIMMY CAWLEY Various artists JUDGMENT NIGHT ImmortalEpic soundtrax fjerhaps expectations at the y t breaking of some new musi cal ground were too high. But with the combination of today's hottest rock and rap groups, including Pearl Jppi with. Cypress Hill, Helmet with House of Pain and Living Colour with Run D.M.C., one can't help being eager to hear it. However, you'll be better off if you don't. The premise of this rock and rap collaboration is more exciting than the actual tracks. The mix of styles never really seems to occur. The album's highlighted mateh-up of Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill in . "Eeal Thing" is nothing more than a rap track that utilizes one group's style while ignoring the other's. The only real redeeming cuts are Teenage Fanclub & De La Soul's "Fallin"' and Mud- : honey & Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Freak Momma." Here there is some at-' tempt to exhibit both musical styles. For the most part though, the album shows how incompatible rock and rap can be. While this could have been an interesting case of musical artistry, the verdict on "Judgment Night" is a disappointing thumbs down. - ALEX FOSTER De la soul BUHLOONE MINDSTATE Tommy Boy side from a few standout tracks - "Breakadawn," "Eye Patch" and "Patti Dooke" -this album is the sole province of die-hard De La Soul fans. On the up side, there are solid guest appearances by Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis James Brown's former horn section - and a featured rap by Guru of Gang Starr. And there are fewer of the annoying filler bits that cluttered "De La Soul is Dead" or the group's daisy-age debut, "3 Feet High and Rising." But there are fewer cuts with kickin' rhythm tracks that set heads bobbing. Fewer songs that make listeners chuckle with deft wordplay, or smile at half-shielded innuendo and inside jokes. ; "Buhloone Mindstate" is probably not the breakout album De La Soul, or Tommy Boy, was hoping for. Dave grusin HOMAGE TO DUKE GRP Records Those who know pianist Dave Grusin through his slickly organized fusion recordings will be surprised by this robust, idiomatic and exuberant disc of famous Ellington and Strayhorn pieces. Grusin has created, in clear digital sound, fresh approaches to some of the most popular Ellington, including "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," "Cotton Tail" and "Take the A Train." He's not afraid of humor, often provided by the mumbling vocals of trumpeter Clark Terry. Terry played with Ellington in the '50s. He's been one of the great jazz trumpeters ever since, and one reason to hear Homage to Duke is for his tart, big-toned trumpet solos and bebopping vocals. There are other fine solos: by saxophonist Pete Christlieb and trombonist George Bohanon; and, in several trio arrangements and in "Sophisticated Lady," by Grusin himself. The "East St. Louis Toodle-oo" was recorded hours after the musicians heard of the death of Dizzy Gillespie. It begins darkly, though not morosely, and gradually opens up joyously. MICHAEL ULLMAN Earth, wind & fire MILLENNIUM Reprise j i hose of us who grew up lis y tening to Earth, Wind & Fire have been waiting a long time for music from the group to match such classics as "Gratitude" or "That's the Way of the Wrld," And while their new al- the standard of those efforts, it's as close as they've gotten in years. The new album, which reunites the EWF core of Maurice White and Philip Bailey, finally returns the band to its funk-R&B roots, after several uneasy, unsuccessful forays into house and techno on recent albums. Bailey's falsetto soars endlessly on "Divine," and "Super Hero," written by that little guy in purple who used to call himself Prince, is a tasty bit of Minneapolis funk. Nothing on the album is as stunning as "In the Stone," "I'll Write a Song for You," or "September," but its pleasing to see that in the current 1970s revival, there's still room for one of that decade's best - RENEE GRAHAM fell . ., E ""V iM.t.1. ?rmrm The Skatalites SKA VOOVEE Shanachie t: he Skatalites began their orbit at the dawn of Ja maican popular music, when R&B, New Orleans shuffles, jazz and the calypso-like mento were fused in a danceable new sound called ska, which spawned reggae. Now the Skatalites are back, on tour (at Avalon Wednesday with ska children Special Beat, the Selecter and the Toasters) and on record with this American debut The Skatalites are a contrast to most ska bands in that they're all-instrumental, a trait , which nods to jazz roots. The horn work on these 12 tracks indeed gets intricate and inspired. American trombonist Steve Turre even adds chops to "The Don," a tribute to late Jamaican ace Don Drummond. But the album is weakened by a sameness to the rhythms, accented by such formula dressings as "Skafrica," "Skamaica" and "Skalifornia." Sometimes a tune will stand out-be it for the cool swagger of "Skanhattan" or the unique percussion and flute spicings of "Oriental Ska." But the Skatalites' sophistication is given limited scppei,:M.a.1AcC3-iv ditti d f d t n tj ip a rr

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