Picks and Pans Review: Up & Down Club Sessions Vol. 1 & 2
Supermodel Christy Turlington doesn't want her latest project to wind up in cut-out bins. So rather than catwalking from the fashion runway into the recording studio like Naomi Campbell, whose 1994 Babywoman CD flopped in the U.K. and still hasn't been released here, Turlington is just letting the music play—courtesy of performers at San Francisco's Up & Down Club, in which she's a business partner.
These two volumes of live recordings bill the Up & Down as "the club that spawned San Francisco's acid/new jazz movement," and judging from the assembled talent, Turlington and her partners have reason to boast. Hueman Flavor has clearly mastered acid jazz's kinetic cocktail of hip hop, funk and contemporary jazz, and percussionist Josh Jones pushes the form by putting a tropical-pop twist on "Blues in Havana" and "Up & Down."
But what about the club? These Sessions never really take you there. A little audience reaction or some onstage banter might have helped. Instead you get promising players who might as well be tooting their horns in the same sterile studio that sprung Campbell's Babywoman. (Prawn Song/Mammoth)