Picks and Pans Review: The East Thirteenth Street Band

updated 04/13/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/13/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The East Thirteenth Street Band

A semipro jazz band that's a lot more semi than pro, this group is made up of artsy Lower Manhattan types. Among them are painters Larry Rivers (tenor sax) and Howard Kanovitz (trombone), James Joyce scholar Myron Schwartzman (piano), art historian David Levy (baritone sax) and musicologist Howard Brofsky (trumpet). They play a light bop style—nobody hurries the pace very much—and perform such standards as Georgia on My Mind and You've Changed as well as original compositions. The novelty of the band and the melodic sense of Levy and Schwartzman would make this a passable album, but vocalist Phoebe Legere, a former rock singer, seems to be doing an atrocious parody of Carol Channing doing a parody of June Christy. Her vocals have a fingernails-on-the-blackboard quality that erases all the charm of having such an interesting collection of musicians play jazz. Next time, guys, see if you can get somebody more appropriate—Judy Chicago, maybe, or Louise Nevelson, to scat a few choruses. (Rizzoli)

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