BOB FERREL/Jazztopian Dream: If you're getting sense of a well laid old school vibe here, all we can ask is what do you expect from a cat that was blowing his trumpet with the Duke Ellington Orchestra when he was still in his teens? Now ready for social security, there's no dust on this cat whether he's kicking it out on chestnuts or originals. A solid jazzbo showing smarts at every turn, Ferrel has a grand listening date here that's sure to have you jumping around in your seat. Hot stuff.
BUJAZZO/Varley Uns Frieden; If you're so jaded you don't see what the big deal about Marilyn Monroe was when she was a dirty girl 50 years ago, how are we supposed to spark any recognition in your eyes over the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's Reformation Jubilee? Will making the music behind it modern and presenting it as something that sounds like it could be the soundtrack of some Broadway stuff like "Rent" help? It might. In that format you wind up listening to something that's good for you without even realizing it. Use this yard stick: if you dig Carla Bley, you'll get this record whether you care about the message or not. Next up, jazz Magna Carta? Check it out if you're left leaning first and foremost.
SHANNON BARNETT QUARTET/Hype: Barnett jumps on the old black jazz man paradigm by becoming a jazz ex-pat for the creative freedom it affords and proceeds to eat well and build her rep. Heavy on left leaning free jazz, this darling of her adopted German home keeps it angular and minimalist showing all how much you can do with so little. Tasty stuff for the moderately avant garde.
COMO ASESINAR FELIPPES/Elipse: A home grown, modern Chilean crew that has spent the last decade touring every inch of Chile with a set of modern mash ups that show us how kids in what we see as remote areas have access to satellite transmissions as well and dig the future too. Wild and wooly stuff that never goes where you expect it to in ways you might expect, this bunch knows how to bring it. This is how urban sounds in the third world.
LLOYD SPIEGEL/This Time Tomorrow: Modern, in the sense that he doesn't have to sleep in the back of a Cadillac as it rumbles out of town, this heavy duty white boy with the blues has killer contemporary lyrics, knows how to fire off some killer riffs and generally keep things on his admitted road warrior tangent. If this was the early 70s, this cat would be the darling of the campus coffeehouse circuit. Heartfelt, back porch blues that hit's the bulls eye with every arrow, this is a set of pure crème de la crème of the crop. He knows how to give the listener what they want and does it without pandering on a single note. Smokingly, killer stuff.
LEONARD GRIFFIE/Better Late than No Time Soon: A white boy with the guitar slinging blues knows there's more to this than wearing the right kind of hat. Leading a crew that follows in step with where ever he goes, Griffie knows how to growl and snarl and pretty much recreate a show room experience without it feeling contrived. He knows how to deliver all the moves that feel like they were imported here directly from west side Chicago, there's just nothing here not to like. Well done throughout.
BILL EVANS/Another Time: Who knows what you're going to find when you rummage through a dead guy's closets? How about a foreign radio recordings that's only the third record to come out with JackDeJohnette as a member of the trio? The companion set to Evans' "Some Other Time", this collection is a must for anyone that ever complained Evans' recordings were too dry. This one is wet and he really swings. Put it on, let your jaw drop (as it will) and let the good times roil. Killer stuff.
SAM MARINE/Big Dark City: A solid heartland rocker that follows in the footsteps of the greats that have come before but manages to forge his own way as well. Fist pumping music that lets the pent up hormones rage.
ORIGINAL BLUES BROTHERS BAND/Last Shade of Blue Before Black: Ok kids, before you start busting a gut that there's a bunch of ringers here from Saturday Night Live, just stop and think about this----those cats were the original band. So, this is what hooked Jesse Winchester at Club Manhattan over 50 years ago---with some of those same Memphis cats strutting their stuff here. Showing how worthless plans are, this bunch was supposed support a one off joke that's turned into a sprawling empire. More than a collection of mostly white boys with the blues, they leap merrily over the genre fences delivering something that starts out as R&B and ends up in the land of anybodies guess. Killer stuff from a crew that invented the original moves and is still pushing the boundaries.
KIM WILSON/Blues and Boogie V. 1: Anybody that doesn't want to admit that Wilson can blow harder than Hurricanes Harvey and Irma put together just doesn't get how this white boy blues from one of the cats that's kicked off the modern tangent of same, all the while keeping it old school. A collection of jams that show his love for west side Chicago, Wilson sets the joint to jumping and nobody around knows how to quit. The kind of cat that knows how to give some back, there's some smoking performances here by some who are gone that wouldn't have been preserved otherwise. Party on!
Volume 40/Number 319
September 16 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record
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