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Do-wop of Death

Jack Kevorkian and the Morpheus Quintet
A Very Still Life
(Lucid Subjazz)

Reviewed by Richard von Busack

One can hope that Dr. Jack Kevorkian's album is the vanguard of a new trend of celebrity records. Unfortunately, the doctor had too much taste to go for the obvious covers, such as Judas Priest's "Suicide Solution," Elton John's "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself" and "Theme From M*A*S*H (Suicide is Painless.)" This is breathy, sparse West Coast jazz composed by the notorious doc and performed by a subdued backup group, of which saxist/flautist Jay Work appears to be the most talented. The music isn't as engaging as the liner notes themselves: "You never knew that the man they call 'Dr. Death' is a huge fan of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The prosecutors would be justified in coming after me if I dared compare my musical efforts with any of these men." Jean-Pierre Rampal and Windham Hill would have been the more obvious citations. It seems that the good doctor has found a new way of putting people to sleep. (RvB)

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