The Lounge Lizards

Live in Berlin, Vol. 1

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Live in Berlin, Vol. 1 Review

by Scott Yanow

When saxophonist John Lurie originally formed the Lounge Lizards in 1978, it was a type of joke band, a satirical group that made fun of the idea of a jazz combo. However, after a short time he began taking the music much more seriously without losing his wit. The 1991 version of the Lounge Lizards was potentially one of his strongest, featuring such notables as saxophonist Michael Blake, trumpeter Steven Bernstein and vibraphonist Bryan Carrott. However two of the six selections on this Berlin set are very brief and the longest one, the 19-minute "Mr. Stinky's Blues," is a rather aimless introduction of the group members to the audience. Since it is in the middle of the disc, it slows down the little momentum that the band had built up during its best performance, "King Precious." The net result is that a strong group is wasted on largely inferior material which comprises a forgettable CD. Surely the Lounge Lizards performed more substantial material during their Berlin concerts than this collection.

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