HAMILTON DE HOLANDA QUINTET/Casa de Bituca: The label knew it doesn't get any better than this so they let one of their leading light acts have a CD DVD combo package to hallmark this celebration of Milton Nascimento as well as this crew's 10th anni together. De Holanda hits it so far out of the park it might go all the way around the globe before coming back to rest where it started. With the crème of Brazilian jazz right there in the mix, you cannot say you love Brazilian music without loving this set. Utterly killer stuff throughout from pros that walk it like they talk it and really mean it.
AL CORTE/Mojo: For his second set, Corte doesn't need to re do any more Memphis blues classics when he has what's left of the original Hi Records rhythm section carrying on behind him at Willie Mitchell's old studio. So he kicks it out on originals that sound like they should be classics. With the classic show band blues sound smoking behind him, this is a set of those who'd like to be old-timers but want their own stuff need. Memphis rules!
JOHANNES LINSTEAD/Azul: So the great acoustic guitarist drops another great album. What's the news? He got the memo that times are tougher for musos all over and you have to up your game to keep old listeners and get new ones. Fear not, old fans, he's upped his game here with great results. Fun listening guitar play recorded in several opposing locations infuse his flamenco with new energy, and there's new pals to lend a hand as well. Tasty stuff that goes the extra mile from a cat that has yet to let you down.
MICHAEL SPIRO-JOE GALVIN/Bakini: With all the jazz in place at Indiana University, who knew there was a section devoted to Afro Cuban drumming. These two cats gathered a few other like minded world beat travelers to show you how the casual ear might think it all sounds the same but has enough nuance to fill an encyclopedia. A solid set for the deep and real drum enthusiast, this is more in the spirit of Nonesuch Explorer's than it is casual world beat excursions. It's as authentic as you can get while still being in the middle of pillbilly country.
MARK VICKNESS/Places: A little time travel anyone? Back when Leo Kottke first made his mark, there were a bunch of fine guitarists that followed in his wake and the instrumental half of Glass House sets solo sail here along that same path. Veering in the opposite direction of John Fahey, these cats were closer to Chris Parkening but didn't head in the classical direction. A killer set for those looking for a set of pure music and killer playing, Vickness plays like it's a calling and delights the hard core guitar fan with a ride of pure enjoyment. Killer stuff he makes sound all too easy.
CARL VOLLRATH/Warrior Monks: Sounding like someone that ate Cinemascope movie soundtracks for breakfast, Vollrath's original neo classical works take you back to the day if you're a music fan of a certain age. Since a lot of those Cinemascope epics were about the spectacle more than the story and were set in far away places with strange sounding names, this is music in search of a soundtrack as badly as "Hocus Pocus" was. Grandly sweeping stuff that takes you to places you've only seen in dreams (or on movie oldies channels), this is a first call sonic get away where the instruments tell all the story you need to hear. These days this is something wonderfully out of the ordinary or the expected, ripe for full adult enjoyment.
GREGORY W. BROWN/Missa Charles Darwin: Some serious egghead alert here. Brown takes the writings of Charles Darwin and recasts them as liturgical music giving you one of the greatest head fakes of all time as the casual listener will think this is a throw back to the singing monk records in vogue a few decades back. Making his point about the intersection of religion and science in a most sleight of hand way, this has got to be a full on gasser for people that really live the lives of the cast of "Big Bang Theory".
NEBULA/The Haiku Project: A collection of organic music that arose organically as a vocalist that was using the muso's music to put her kids to bed for years ran into a chance meeting with the composer who has been recovering from a bad traffic accident and using his music to heal himself. A different flight of fancy from what you might expect from healing music, the synth and voice are there, expertly intertwined, but the special sauce ladled out freely makes all the difference since this is coming from a personal place from both main participants. If the typical suburban mom doesn't have this in the car after yoga class, then she's just doomed to be a hopeless multitasker accomplishing nothing on her way to no where.
BERNWARD KOCH/Filled With Light: You've got to give new ager multi instrumentalist Koch a lot of credit for keeping true to his original vision and not selling out while keeping his aim true as it ever was. A gentle set that celebrates living in the light, this almost one man band has developed a deeper feeling for tranquility over the years and makes it really shine here. A gentle set that is not twee, Koch opens the door to a new phase in his instrumental music career in fine form. Well done throughout.
TERI PARKER/In the Past: An apt title for this set as a third of the Parker Abbott trio steps out on her own with some other pals, including the luminously golden Allison Au, for a date that has a from the jazz past feel. Art without being artsy, this is a first call listening date, particularly for people in need of gorgeous playing that will simply take them away. Solidly played throughout, this is how they keep things hot in Toronto over the winter.
REZ ABBASI/Unfiltered Universe: With help from the Duke Foundation, Abbasi finally finishes his trilogy by taking us to an up market opium den where the vibes are even more important than the vibe. A tasty, wild world beat date that fuses things that have never been fused in the genre before, Abbasi firmly stakes his claim as being one to keep an ear on. Wildly creative and left leaning but it never rolls off the rails.
Volume 40/Number 344
October 11, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record
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