Hue & Cry, Jazznotjazz (59:49); Linn Records AKD 057, 1996 Skyscraper Management P.O. Box 216 Boston, MA 02117 Phone: 781-788-9906 Cyberhome: www.skyscraperusa.com Hue & Cry is an 80s pop duo that hit the charts repeatedly in Britain but didn't make a dent in the States. Pat and Greg Kane have taken the act through various incarnations, the latest being this disastrous foray into poppy jazz/fusion. Pat sings and Greg plays acoustic piano, and they're joined by Ewen Vernal on electric and upright bass and Sandro Cianncio on drums. To lend the project jazz credibility, the brothers Kane packed the session with celebrity cameos, managing to pull in Mike Stern, Michael and Randy Brecker, Danny Gottlieb, and two excellent Scottish jazzers - tenorist Tommy Smith and pianist Brian Kellock. They could have communed with Coltrane's ghost and this material would still be dreadful. Pat and Greg Kane have been compared to Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen for their melding of pop and jazz. But Steely Dan had melody and hooks, two things this record utterly lacks. Steely Dan also had a distinctive touch when it came to lyrics. Hue & Cry's lyrics are distinctively horrible. Here's a line from "Free Like You": "Don't call me ungrateful/ just call me Tuesday nights." If you think that's bad, "Remember Me" will have you running for the sick bucket: "To call it sex would be understatement/ we're just a power-generation/ big fall into diamond darkness/ I pull on my clothes and I see her/ awake and not crying and eager." If I were forced to pick the most tolerable music on the disc, it would be "I'll Be There for You" and "Austere and Beautiful." But I won't be returning even to these anytime soon. ~David R. Adler, 12/8/99
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