Neneh Cherry and The Thing: The Cherry Thing

I’m in a daze. My mind is officially, seriously blown. Worlds collide, grow larger, stranger, and more wonderful.

I’ve been listening to a lot of crossover stuff lately, music that manages to bridge those seemingly distant worlds that define my deepest interests. On this side of the ocean, the sweetest pop; on that side, the darkest noise. Oddly enough, Drake has been in heavy rotation. SBTRKT, James Blake, Nicolas Jaar, Kanye West, Bushman’s Revenge, Nite Jewel, Julia Holter, Grimes. It’s been a very enjoyable trip.

But nothing, seriously nothing, could have prepared me for the news that Neneh Cherry—Neneh “Raw Like Sushi” Cherry—is heading a new project with the powerhouse free jazz trio of Mats Gustafsson (saxophone), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums).

Yep. Neneh Cherry and The Thing’s The Cherry Thing is set for a June 19th release on Smalltown Supersound. Along with their own compositions, the band offers their renditions of work by Suicide (“Dream Baby Dream”), Ornette Coleman (“What Reason”), The Stooges (“Dirt”), and Don Cherry (“Golden Heart”).

I now realize that this whole situation shouldn’t be as shocking to me as it is. Neneh Cherry is Don Cherry’s daughter. The press release for this thing, this cherry thing, tells me that Neneh Cherry had a life before “Buffalo Stance,”—she was a member of The Slits, for instance—and she had a life after “Buffalo Stance”—she collaborated with Tricky and Damon Albarn. It’s my problem that my knowledge of Neneh Cherry begins and ends, abruptly, in 1988. I was 11 years old. When I think of Neneh Cherry, I think of hoop earrings, Jackie Rodriguez, the playground at Hawkins Street School in Newark. I think of this:

But The Cherry Thing is not that. It’s awesome in an entirely different way.

markbou's picture

I'm looking forward to listening to this. If you get a chance and can find it, check out Neneh Cherry's recordings with Rig Rig and Panic - in particular "You're My Kind of Climate" and "I Am Cold" - you can find low quality versions on YouTube.