Remember Neneh Cherry? She took the music world by storm in the late-1980s/early-1990s with her Raw Like Sushi and Homebrew discs and singles like "Buffalo Stance" and "Trout," which featured R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe. Then, she pretty much disappeared. Now, she's back in a big way—at least if you're a fan of avant jazz.
A collaboration with Scandinavian trio The Thing and a nod to her stepfather (trumpeter Don Cherry), The Cherry Thing might be the best jazz album of the year. More direct than smooth, Cherry's vocals prove to be a perfect match for her free jazz accompanists—saxophonist Mats Gustafsson!, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, and bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten—and bold choice of material, which includes MF Doom's "Accordion," The Stooges' "Dirt," Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," and Ornette Coleman's "What Reason." The inclusion of her stepdad's "Golden Heart" is a nice touch.
Anyone expecting another Homebrew will be sorely disappointed, but I'm already hoping for The Cherry Thing 2.0. Some stateside tour dates would be nice, too!