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DJ Kool
Let Me Clear My Throat

DJ Kool's Let Me Clear My Throat is a party record--that is, Kool plays instrumentals of classic rap records and repeatedly exhorts partiers to throw their hands in the air and make noise. The single "Let Me Clear My Throat" is state-of-the-art wildin' over DJ Mark the 45 King's archaic "900 Number" beat. Kool does similar work over Naughty by Nature's "Uptown Anthem" on "I Got Dat Feeling." American Recordings is clearly taking a risk putting Kool's show-stopping acrobatics on CD; party rhymes are best kicked live. The shelf life of a CD like this is relatively short--the novelty wears pretty thin after a few listens. Let Me Clear My Throat might work for a hip-hop aerobics class, but if DJ Kool ever tours, I'll be the first in line. (Todd S. Inoue)

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Karen Carpenter
Karen Carpenter

Even at the height of their '70s popularity, the Carpenters were the scourge of rockists. Though Karen Carpenter's vocals bordered the frigid, one sensed a deep emotional undertow, a longing that subverted the notion that AM radio was for teenyboppers only. Recorded in the duo's later period, Karen Carpenter was deemed too "un-Karen-like" (read not MOR pop enough) to be released then. Listening to a discoized "Lovelines" and the faux C&W twang of "All Because of You," I would be inclined to agree. But on those rare occasions when the marquee arrangers, most notably Rod Temperton and Bob James, play to the singer's strengths, it is obvious that she could do more than Carpenters work. The Bob James­arranged "Remember When Lovin' Took All Night" situates Carpenter in a pop-jazz setting to fine effect; and her duet with Peter Cetera on "Making Love in the Afternoon" is easy listening in the best sense of the term. (Nicky Baxter)

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Wayne Perry & the Cosmichoir
Sounds for Self-Healing

I had a backache last week and thought some Advil would help. Wayne Perry must have telepathically dialed me in, because this CD found its way to my desk just in time. Sounds for Self-Healing is a simple affair; you look up your ailment on the "Correlative Healing Chart for Sound Therapy" printed on the CD jacket, cue the track and let the layered voices (enhanced with a little reverberation) go to work. Each particular vowel sound (A, E, I, O, U, sometimes Y) apparently releases healing and empowering agents to cure physical (constipation, colitis, epilepsy) and emotional ailments (inflexibility). The CD jacket recommends you listen to it twice a day for best results, then simultaneously warns that the CD shouldn't be used in place of medical treatment. My backache left the next day. Maybe Perry needs to cue up track 11, which correlates to indecision. (TSI)

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Talib Kibwe
Introducing Talib Kibwe

Those familiar with the work of Randy Weston know that Talib Kibwe ("Keeb-way") has been musical director of the pianist's assorted groupings as well as leader of his own ensemble. Equally at home on his full-bodied alto, sinuous soprano and throaty flute, Kibwe is a postbopper whose influences encompass the likes of saxophonists Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath but are hardly limited to them. The self-penned "The Lady in White" is a lushly romantic number; Kibwe's flute solo is the very model of taste and moderation, never straying far from the melody. "Hi Fly" opens with a typically compelling Weston solo, followed by Kibwe's alto. The interaction between the two is intimate, like friends conversing about old times. (NB)

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From the January 30-February 5, 1997 issue of Metro

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