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The Cherry Thing

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Neneh Cherry is best known to the pop world as the artist who gave us "Buffalo Stance," but as the stepdaughter of jazz legend Don Cherry, she's always been well educated in less popular and artsy strains of music. This collaboration with Scandinavian free-jazz trio The Thing (which took its name from a Don Cherry tune)—like her ventures with Gorillaz, Groove Armada, Massive Attack, and Tricky—illustrates her versatility as a singer, plus her fellow musicians' eclectic taste and ability to transform material into something entirely new. Their version of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" brews for more than eight minutes, with Mats Gustafsson's sax, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten's upright bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love's drums forming a web of sound that's rich beyond its simplicity. The sound is that of an experienced trio whose members have established lines of communication within the notes. The Stooges' "Dirt" retains its punkish hue, while Gustafsson's sax hits fever pitch. Ornette Coleman's "What Reason Could I Give" evokes a gentler side.


Born: March 10, 1964 in Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The stepdaughter of jazz trailblazer Don Cherry, vocalist Neneh Cherry forged her own groundbreaking blend of pop, dance, hip-hop, and R&B, presaging the emergence of both alternative rap and trip-hop. She was born Neneh Mariann Karlssson on March 10, 1964, in Stockholm, Sweden, the daughter of West African percussionist Ahmadu Jah and artist Moki Cherry. Raised by her mother and her trumpeter stepfather in both Stockholm and New York City, Cherry dropped out of school at age 14, and in 1980 she...
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