Neneh+Cherry++The+ThingIt’s a very cherry thing when you discover new music.  And it’s not often you get to say, “Wow, never heard anything quite like that before.”  That’s Neneh Cherry’s 2012 record “The Cherry Thing.” It starts out as kind of a cool r&b/hip-hop thing and then turns into an intense jazz thing. And then goes back to the melodic r&b thing, and then back to an Ornette Coleman or John Coltrane thing, and then well, it’s both things simultaneously, with Mats Gustafsson blowing monster lines on tenor and baritone sax and Neneh’s slinky, supple voice dancing above and around the storm.  Mats leads this little ensemble called “The Thing” and they are so tight and loose, cool and exuberant. An amazing sound. There are originals and some cool covers of songs from Suicide, Iggy and the Stooges, Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman.  This a record that both Carla and I fell for immediately.  It’s not a record you can just put in a box. It isn’t background music. It demands attention. It’s unique, original, uncompromising.  It’s also melodic, swinging and soulful. It’s a very, very cherry thing! It’s all right! – Jammer

We asked the band for their “go to” albums; music they continually gravitate to for deep inspiration. Carla likes to draw a hot bath, crank the boom-box, and chill to John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” Chet Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost,” and two early discs from Van Morrison: “Astral Weeks,” and “Veedon Fleece.” Rich’s wide-ranging picks include the Brazilian singer Maria Rita’s first two albums, Clifford Brown & Max Roach’s “In Concert – L.A. 1954”, plus Erik Satie, Jascha Heifetz, Joan Baez, and The Beatles. Tim likes to put on his headphones and jam along with the Jack Bruce-driven, British-blues-based, psychedelia of Cream (“Disreali Gears,” & “Wheels of Fire”), and also “Clapton and Winwood Live.”  James is stuck on those late 60’s, early 70’s, Jimmy Miller-produced, Rolling Stones records, especially, “Exile on Main Street,” and Neil Young’s loose and dark-edged, “Tonight’s the Night.” He also zones out to the “Donnie Darko Soundtrack.”  “Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?” – Jammer