HARRY ALLEN'S ALL STAR NEW YORK SAXOPHONE BAND/Candy Men: Not exactly a tribute or homage to Woody Herman's revolutionary Four Brothers sax section that jump started west coast cool so much as it's a remembrance to keep this sound alive and well in more places than repeats of old MGM cartoons on ever lamer channels where they might not be seen. Certainly not restricting itself to Herman claimed tunes, these cats are playing for the love of a great sound and vibe. And for all you young bloods that thought this was some cool riffs just for when that wolf was chasing the red head around before she showed up for her war effort job on the night shift---do yourself a favor and get educated. These guys are the bomb. Smoking stuff throughout.
MATTHEW KAMINSKI QUARTET/Live at Churchill Grounds: A smoking B3 player with an omnibus knowledge of those who came before, Kaminski is a real groover whether laying back or cruising at break neck speed. There's a lot of Chicago on the ball here as Chicago talent drives this session, it's a nice change up to hear some B3 with some celery salt and sport peppers in the mix. Yep, it's a tasty taste treat throughout that swingers must hear.
CLARE FISCHER LATIN JAZZ BIG BAND/Intenso: Brent Fischer is a good son. This is the last year Clare Fischer can be eligible for a posthumous Grammy, so not content to be satisfied with his 2012 Grammy win, he found unreleased tracks hidden away, called in cats that would be foolish not to answer the call and play along and has crafted a smoking set that's sure to bring home the statue once again. Smoking stuff right in the Fischer tradition, everyone here is hitting on all eight calling on inner reserves to make this the event it should be. Proof that even gringos can excel at Latin jazz if their heart is in the right place. Well done.
BUJAZZ0/Groove and the Abstract Truth: And just how do young bloods go about pushing the limits without sounding like they are just acting out these days? I don't know. I also don't know how they do it, but the German Youth Jazz Orchestra has found a way. Starting with the genre busting groundwork in Oliver Nelson's classic, they fine tune their contemporary ears and take that vibe to the next level of the game in such a way that it would probably warm Nelson's heart. A wonderfully forward thinking set, let's hope these kids never have to take day jobs to get by. Killer stuff.
METROMARA/Self Portrait in Twelve Colors: A jazz vocal art chick that American hipsters probably won't get unless they have self styled themselves as Berlin hipsters, Mara is one of those open eared cats that believes there's only two kinds of music, good and bad. Taking a little from here and there from all the things she admires, it's only a matter of time before she sheds her art chick skin ala Esparanza Spaulding and really shows how high she can fly. This is a smart set loaded with the kind of fearlessness that's sure to attract the restless ears looking to push the boundaries as well as those who know real talent. Check it out so you can say you were there first.
71180 (Jazz Thing Next Generation 65)
MICHEL PORTAL/Radar: This 80 year old is a legend and I'll bet you never heard of him. Moving to France and jump starting the free jazz movement there back in the day, he's as equally at home playing classical for eggheads as he is pushing the limits. Paired here with Richie Beirach for half the set, the duo does a fine improv job. The rest of the set finds him in the company of WDR big band showing how to do large scale improv, turning in an equally impressive set giving truth to his claim that he still enjoys playing live as often as possible. The kind of record that can still get made in Europe because it needs to be made, let's hear it for entrepreneurs with heart. Well done.
71319 (Jazz Thing-Live at Theater Gutersloh)
CAROL ROBBINS/Taylor Street: It's nice to see the spirit of Dorothy Ashby kept alive and well. The title tracks pays tribute to the Little Italy section of Chicago, so even if this was recorded in LA with top session jazzbos, the heartbeat of Chi remains at the core. Played as an ensemble date more than a look at me solo with background and coloration, the crew works well as one making this simply a sparkling, contemporary jazz date. Solid stuff that works well throughout.
FEEL LIKE GOING HOME-The Songs of Charlie Rich/various: Since his wild man days are pretty far in the past, most people think of Rich as the crooner that's going with the flow or pining for the most beautiful girl in the world. Back in the day, he was a hell raiser in Memphis and this multi generational crew of alt.country cats have the gumption to capture that lightening in a bottle. Focusing on mostly stuff he wrote back then, this is a solid look at the wild side of life when you could tear it up at a piano bar all night long. Solid stuff that it took the Phillips scions to recognize what pop had wrought back in the day. Hot stuff done right.
JAZZ HAUNTS & MAGIC VAULTS-The New Lost Classics of Resonance Records V. 1/various: So much music, so little time (and probably not enough money as well). How
do boomers and those younger know which daddio jazz to get into? Resonance has been doing a great job of releasing unreleased stuff but now they take it one step further. Assembling a sampler of the best of the best of what they've done, along with some previously unreleased material as well, they've given the boomer (and younger) no room to hide when they profess ignorance about these cats, no matter how well known and revered. A well preserved journey through the contemporary past, there's no longer any excuse to not know more than Davis and Coltrane with lip service being paid to Blue Note and Verve in general. What's more, everyone here is well worth being remembered. Killer stuff for the real jazzbo.
TOM TEASLEY/Eastern Journey: The one man percussion orchestra takes it to the next level of the game here. Not content with staying in the new age pocket, Teasley widens the scope of his work to take on a thematic, Chinese inspired outing. Mixing his keyboards and percussion instruments, he comes in with a work that's at once mysterious as well as sounding like some prog rock on the lighter side. The kind of cat that's been cleaning up on awards specialized to his various fields, the feeling of being at the top of his game and wanting to take it further underlies what's going on here. Certainly a bag breaker and a bar raiser, anyone with a taste for world jazz will be entranced by the new, high roads taken here that mix world/jazz/indigenous and quasi nature sounds into a wild new treat. Killer stuff.
Volume 39/Number 340
October 8, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record
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