African Swim and Manny & Lo

John Lurie

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African Swim and Manny & Lo Review

by Tim DiGravina

Renaissance man John Lurie displays track after track of abstract jazz vibes on this exuberant album compiling two film soundtracks. The general atmosphere is one of gentle jazz inflections. There's a mysterious, Southern air to much of the guitar work. Most of the songs are quiet yet emotionally charged instrumentals. When Lurie and his collaborators (including Medeski, Martin & Wood and Marc Ribot) do supply vocals, they're quite humorous and effective. "Big Trouble" sees Lurie telling hilarious tales of the dilemmas of everyday desires, using the vocal stylings of a Southern bluesman. "She's Not a Nurse" is a joyous Ramones-style romp, with raging punk overtones. The only complaint against any of these songs, across both soundtracks, is that they're simply too short. Many songs just start to register their charms and then end under the one-minute mark. Thankfully, the rolling, cocktail interplay of "Manny & Lo (End Titles)" lasts six minutes. It's hard to imagine any of these 25 songs not working perfectly as the score to any film, since Lurie attempts and masters so many different musical styles. African Swim and Manny & Lo sees Lurie creating remarkably pleasurable, accomplished jazz soundscapes. Atmospheric and controlled, Lurie's music works as a darkly humorous, pretty ode to life's hardships and simple pleasures. It seems as if John Lurie can do no wrong.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 John Lurie 03:14 SpotifyAmazon
2 John Lurie 03:11 SpotifyAmazon
3 John Lurie 03:09 SpotifyAmazon
4 John Lurie 01:05 SpotifyAmazon
5 John Lurie 01:13 SpotifyAmazon
6 John Lurie 01:01 SpotifyAmazon
7 John Lurie 01:05 SpotifyAmazon
8 John Lurie 01:07 SpotifyAmazon
9 John Lurie 00:54 SpotifyAmazon
10 John Lurie 01:24 SpotifyAmazon
11 John Lurie 02:56 SpotifyAmazon
12 John Lurie 01:44 SpotifyAmazon
13 John Lurie 01:59 SpotifyAmazon
14 John Lurie 00:40 SpotifyAmazon
15 John Lurie 01:38 SpotifyAmazon
16 John Lurie 00:26 SpotifyAmazon
17 John Lurie 00:50 SpotifyAmazon
18 John Lurie 00:48 SpotifyAmazon
19 John Lurie 00:32 SpotifyAmazon
20 John Lurie 00:58 SpotifyAmazon
21 John Lurie 00:40 SpotifyAmazon
22 John Lurie 00:41 SpotifyAmazon
23 John Lurie 02:34 SpotifyAmazon
24 John Lurie 00:54 SpotifyAmazon
25 John Lurie 06:07 SpotifyAmazon
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