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811 GOLD
LAURA TATE/Let's Just Be Real: The latest from this sassy pants, Texas blonde is just the right thing if you are looking for a good time blues eyed soul/bluesy set that delivers a fast ball down the middle. Totally made for good time listening, southern soul from various points on the map convene here in Texas with right choices in personal and songs running wild throughout. Not trying to be Bonnie or Angela or anyone but herself, Tate makes her mark, leaving a firm impression for when you need music for that Friday state of mind. Smart stuff that just doesn't let you down.

CORNELL CC CARTER/Vindicated Soul: At this point in time, the nexus between classic Memphis and classic Detroit soul isn't the gulf it once was. In the hands of today's soul cat bringing it all back for today's soul fan, heart is what separates this from a gift shop record that covers the same territory. With a rich field to mine, journeys though the past could go on forever. Well done.

DOUBLEVEE/The Moonlit Fable of Jack the Rider: A throwback to 70s concept albums when it didn't all have to make sense as long as it sounded good and somehow maintained an internal consistency. Outsider music that colors inside the lines that reveres the 60s ethos, this set is for today's lit minded listener that wants an experience to leave them guessing as often as it enlightens. Crazy stuff indeed.

GARY CAIN BAND/Twangadelic Bluesophunk: Given high props by Captain Rit, Cain is a high wire blues/rock guitar slinger that mixes pyrotechnics with chops and doesn't need anything more than his Fender Sunburst to blow you away, raise the roof and all that other stuff that means he's frying your synapses. Killer original stuff that those in the market for a new guitar hero will take to heart. Hot stuff.

MUSIC ACTION ENSEMBLE/Foundation: The cat behind this all has an earnest, young social agenda behind his music but we find it to be totally cool world beat/jazz and are happy to leave the messages for Western Union to send. Assuredly a smart cat that manages to be not too smart for the room, this is a deluxe excursion for the armchair traveler to sink into with the Steps crew as their capable tour guides. Dazzling and enchanting throughout, this is a fine case of real music for real musos.

BLACKBURNER VS DMX/Dog Eats Rabbit: Electro beat bassmasters team up with DMX for both of them to find themselves taking it to new levels of their respective games. Keeping it real and way underground, this goes beyond what you'd expect from a rap set of tomorrow. Wild stuff that messes with your mind in a sonic assault that just doesn't quit. Bad ass throughout, it's hard to tell if this will get more traction as the sound of the streets or white, suburban kids pissing off their parents. Wild and as fresh as it gets circa today

JOE POLICASTRO TRIO/Screen Sounds: The Chicago bassist that's played for the Obamas shows he can be a jazzbo that follows Tina Turner's dictate to play it nice and rough. Parading a load of TV and movie themes in way that you almost wouldn't recognize them, Policastro and his bunch swing from the chandeliers and aren't afraid to push the envelope as far as it will go. Wild stuff certainly not for those looking for a gift shop record based on these titles, restless creative types will liken this to what Miles and his funkiest bunch would have turned out had they gone this route. A wild ride throughout.

GUY MINTUS TRIO/A Home In Between: Up for a trio of rising young hitters that rub elbows with the crème of the nu jazz field? This bunch masters well the art of being hip without being hipster showing they can really shine up their ECM side and keep their improv chops in tact. First class sitting down jazz, this crew knows how to rock it under the radar without putting you to sleep and achieving quite the opposite. Solid stuff from a crew that's well on their way.

MUMPBEAK/Tooth: The avant garde moves to the right as prog meets free jazz, genuflecting to St. Zappa along the way. High tone progressive music for the 70s connoisseur that wonders how it would all sound toady, this is sitting down music done right. Tasty stuff that doesn't lead you astray, prog fans of all ages have something to bond around the camp fire with here. Solid stuff.

JAMIE SAFT/Loneliness Road: The versatile pianist of long standing hooks up here with Bobby Previte, Steve Swallow and Iggy Pop (!)(?) for a set that's way outside what you would expect from this progressive label. Pop was quite the charmer on a French café record 20 years ago so his moving outside his perceived comfort zone should come as no surprise to long time fans. All are given the freedom here to chase the muse and creative jazzbos like this know what to do with freedom like that. Quite the engaging record any self respecting jazzbo will enjoy, this is what happens the when right sparks are given enough air to ignite in fine fashion. Well done throughout.

Volume 40/Number 185
May 5, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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