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CORY WEEDS & THE JEFF HAMILTON TRIO/Dreamsville: Whoa! Simply wonderful straight up jazzbo blowing rules as this ‘duo' light sparks again on their second outing. With a non homogonous set card they manage to put their own, unique stamp on, this is the stuff for the people that want real playing where the playing is front and center. Swinging and upbeat throughout, this set has the crew tossing off more chops than most can master. Totally sweet, solid stuff throughout that'll have jazzbo listeners grinning from ear to ear.

JIMMY FORTUNE/Sings the Classics: After capably overcoming being the ‘new guy' in the
Statlers, Fortune went on to prove his mettle again and again. With the rest of the crew retired, Fortune still has to go out there and make his own fortune. At first blush, this collection of his fave tunes looks like he's trying to rule the spinner rack in the gift shop but after he kicks things off with a smoking take on the most perfect 12 lines in country music, you can forgive him for "Country Roads", "Wildfire" and others you might have wished he didn't do but did and did them right. A nice solid commercial country set for people that want to tap their toes without angrying up their blood---and there's nothing wrong with serving that audience when you can do it sincerely like it's done here.

JOHN BARRON/Moods: From Detroit the bassist comes and the strings are dripping with an appropriate amount of funk for a white boy that's been playing on both sides of 8 Mile Road. Across the days of his career. Keeping it greasy, he let's fly with stuff that doesn't fit into his other formats and shows he got a lot off sides to his stuff. Check it out.

LOFT CLUB/Heart's Desire: A new bunch of English malcontents that's making waves in the world of spins. Indie from across the pond, this is the nu sound where it's all about singles and tossing them out as quick as possible. You can see kids that don't care about chart position being drawn to this.

JOHN NEMETH/Feelin' Freaky: How come they forgot to call Jon Tiven? Take one of those Dickinson boys, have him round up one of those Hodges and then order a hang with an authentic old school soul man. What to do you think would result? A load of blue eyed soul that recognizes contemporary problems and goes beyond. No stranger to taking home an arm load of blues awards, Nemeth and his bunch hit it out of the park again with a set that moves, grooves and stomps at the highest heights. Killer stuff from players that play with heart. Well done.

NATHAN OLIVER/Head in the Sand: And we find alt.rock has become so long in the tooth that it's now breeding it's own nostalgia. Gen Xers may have mortgages but they haven't mellowed if this set tells us anything. The heavier side of alt, this set is right in the pocket for malcontents that are still angry, young men in their hearts.

CUONG VU 4TET/Ballet: The rising avant garde trumpeter gets to face off with Bill Frissell when he's not being told what to do for a label that let's them do it their way. Taking on the music of Michael Gibbs, this is just one of those records you have to get out of the way from when it comes rolling down the hill at you-----because you just can't tell these improv aces what to do. You either get it or you don't.

GIACOMO GATES/What Time Is It?: Jazz vocalist Gates changes things up a bit this time around but that doesn't deter him from his mission to be/stay one of the top vocalists around. Digging into more of an after hours feeling this time around with his time keepers, Gates hits those hipscale places mightily and shows he's a thorough jazzbo through and through that can keep the past in the present and make a well wrapped present of it all. Well done all the time.

RAY MANTILLA/High Voltage: An apt titles for an electricifying round of Latin jazz that cooks with all burners blazing. A highly skilled vet that knows how to lead the proceedings from the back of the riser, his mission to make the party caliente and keep the temperature rising. Hot stuff throughout.

VANESSA RACCI/Italiana Fresca: This is not an old school Starbucks Italian song comp. A modern gal from an old school New York Italian household heard her grandpa play his old records around the house all day long. In anti diva mode, she refashions these tunes easily into being at home on "Mob Hits" compilations for hipsters. Viola, she's made them fresh and fun for everyone in the process. Bringing in some real jazzbos to keep it real, nobody is going to call you a Moustache Pete when you get to grooving to these classics. Fun stuff with just the right touch throughout, her cd could easily replace Jimmy Roselli's in certain glove boxes in certain cars. Killer stuff throughout.

Volume 40/Number 171
April 21, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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