Picks and Pans Review: Magic
updated 04/20/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/20/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST
A lot of the alleged magic is in how Browne makes his wonderful trumpet all but disappear from parts of this album. Jazz purists will not be alone in objecting to Browne's merely sniping at feeble disco-funk melodies in little solo bursts, as he does here on Let's Dance (not Benny Goodman's theme, by yards), on the title song and on the all but self-mocking Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move). On the other hand, jazzmen have to eat, too, and bills-paying pop needn't dull talent irrevocably. Browne did slip into this LP a version of God Bless the Child that explores the melodic and emotional possibilities of the great Arthur Herzog-Billie Holiday song, and he shows an ingratiating, if uncertain, singing style on a couple of tracks, too. But this isn't a jazz album; there's not even much fusion in it. Perhaps it will buy Browne some time.