Record Report (#6): September 7, 2006

Be Your Own Pet (Ecstatic Peace): Nashville teens with a rock solid backbeat and enough noise to fuzz up the requisite attitude. They probably won't last now that a founder has quit to look for a nice college, but this won't be the last you hear from at least some of them. Note "Parental Advisory Explicit Content" logo. Presumably that's meant to warn off your parents. A- [rock]

The Best of Studio One (1967-80, Heartbeat): With so much to choose from, this selection from legendary Jamaican producer C.S. Dodd's studio seems a bit arbitrary. It skips the early ska years that Dodd dominated, focusing instead on rocksteady stars little known outside Jamaica -- Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, John Holt, Slim Smith -- and later the rasta roots take on reggae -- Abyssinians, Gladiators, Wailing Souls. Throws in a little "Rub a Dub" too. A- [reggae]

The Claudia Quintet: Semi-Formal (Cuneiform): Leader John Hollenbeck is a drummer, so it's no surprise that the pieces are all rhythm studies. Although the soft tones -- accordion, clarinet, vibes -- still predominate, the textures have loosened up since 2004's I Claudia, even incorporating a bit of pedal steel. But the most welcome innovation comes when Chris Speed reminds us that he also plays a mean tenor sax. A- [jazz]

Ghostface Killah: Fishscale (Def Jam): Pretty toney last time out, but here he's Killah redux. He's always been the litterateur of Wu-Tang world, but this is the first time he's hooked me on his stories, if not necessarily the skits. That's probably because the beats and samples are up to snuff -- they drive the words, but they don't hook on their own. So it comes back to the stories. The one about momma "Whip You With a Strap" is wrenching. A [rap]

Michy Mano: The Cool Side of the Pillow (Enja/Justin Time): A Moroccan DJ working in the Oslo melting pot, his gnawa roots lifted by Paolo Vinaccia's electrobeats, Bugge Wesseltoft's keyboards, Bendikt Hofseth's tenor sax, scattered tablas and neys, expressed through Arabic folksong and French rap, its gypsy identity connected not to the Roma but to the idea that when one knows nothing but travel everything strange comes to feel like home. B+ [world]

Bob Marley & the Wailers: One Love: At Studio One (1964-66, Heartbeat, 2CD): More identifiable by C.S. Dodd's studio groove than by the soon to be famous singers -- Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingstone were peers back then to the still teenaged Marley. But even if "Simmer Down" was just a one-shot ska smash, "One Love" pointed forward, and Marley shared writing credits on both. Ten years later Marley became the real Conquering Lion, introducing reggae to the world and becoming synonymous with it. This is more than juvenilia, but just a prelude for what followed. B+ [reggae]

Gatemouth Moore: Cryin' and Singin' the Blues (1945-46, Savoy Jazz): The best of the three bands here was led by Budd Johnson with some Ellington sidemen, but all swing hard behind one of the day's more powerful blues shouters. Moore lived to be 90. He worked the sticks until he got this shot on National, then got religion and slipped back into obscurity. A- [r&b]

Mario Pavone Sextet: Deez to Blues (Playscape): Pavone describes his music as upside down: the bass and piano set the melody while the horns and violin countermove. Pavone's bass is certainly at the center of everything, the core force that drives the piano and drums of long-time comrades Peter Madsen and Michael Sarin, while perturbing Steven Bernstein's trumpets, Howard Johnson's bass horns, and Charles Burnham's violin more erratically. The complex interaction is wondrous. A- [jazz]