Fricke's Picks: A Punk-Jazz Ruckus

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Curlew were another of New York's confrontational pleasures at the turn of the Eighties, an avant-jazz band — including saxophonist George Cartwright, guitarist Nicky Skopelitis and bassist Bill Laswell of Material — high on Ornette Coleman and punk-rock energy. A reissue of their daunting but driving 1981 debut, Curlew (DMG/ARC, a label started by the New York shop Downtown Music Gallery), comes with a second CD of hard-rock harmolodics, taped live at CBGB in 1980 with Coleman's son Denardo on drums. It is more heat wave than No Wave — the kind of art and fun you could have on the Bowery long before the condos and boutiques moved in.

[From Issue 1065 — November 13, 2008]

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