An occasional update of music releases


Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon (Hollywood): This is one of the better examples of the trend toward tribute albums, with various rock bands covering the solo music of the most musically experimental Beatle. Lennon's more rocking side is exposed here, with much of the music, written more than 20 years ago, displaying a raw energy and passion that should put today's grunge and punk bands to shame. Among the better selections: The Red Hot Chili Peppers' rambunctious take on ''I Found Out,'' the Screaming Trees' raw ''Working Class People,'' and George Clinton's funky version of ''Mind Games.''

- Frank Scheck

Rickie Lee Jones - Naked Songs (Reprise): This is singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones's contribution to the all-acoustic ''unplugged'' trend, and it's marvelous. Packed with 15 of her best songs - from her old hit ''Chuck E's In Love'' to the new ''Autumn Song'' - this disc allows Jones to show off her rich, versatile voice, sliding easily between melancholy jazz and happy pop tunes. Jones accompanies herself on guitar and piano, with a little help from bassist Rob Wasserman and an admiring audience. Listening to this CD is like having the Duchess of Coolsville right in your living room. With ''Naked Songs,'' less is more.

- Elizabeth A. Brown


Call of the Valley - Shivkumar Sharma, Brijbushan Kabra, Hariprasad Chaurasia (Hemisphere Records): Kashmir has always been South Asia's alpine paradise, and no music captures its beauty like the 1967 album ''Call of the Valley.'' This record changed the way Indians listened to their northern Hindustani musical style and influenced Western musicians from George Harrison to Yehudi Menuhin. Hemisphere Records deserves high praise for reissuing this classic. With their dulcimer-like santoor, acoustic guitar, and bamboo flute, the trio has created music that begs to be replayed.

- Scott Baldauf

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