PETER HORSFALL/Nighthawks: British male jazz vocal takes it back to the classic form and formula and is a tonic for those who like to hear things from the darker side with a hint of the tortured artist effect thrown in for good measure. With a heavy cabaret bent to it, this is a must for those that like it done right and like it deep.
LAURA BENITEZ & the Heartache/With All It's Thorns: A breath of fresh air kind of record that makes a new sound out of a collection of the tried and true. Rollicking Americana/country with traces of Tex-Mex and gulf coast in the mix, Benitez has simple songs that are appreciated for their directness that cuts to the chase. And the band cooks right along in the groove. Sweet stuff that we need more of. Well done.
TEDDY EDWARDS/Complete Recordings 1947-1962: Before Lady Miles pulled him out of retirement for "Sunset Eyes 2000", Edwards was a be bopping daddio laying down the original "Sunset Eyes", recording 10 inch records and standing tall with Dexter Gordon and Wardell Grey until he decided to heed the cry to ‘go west young man' at which point the took his sax and headed off for the cool. This collection showcases 10 albums as a leader recorded over a long period that shows he was too busy making it work for others to hog the spotlight for himself. One of those cats that could write them as well as play them, this fatly tracked collection is a more than welcome journey through the past. Hot stuff throughout.
KING CURTIS/First Eight Classic Albums 1959-1962: He opened for the Beatles at Shea Stadium, backed up Aretha during her golden period and wrote the original theme for "Soul Train". If that isn't enough to convince you Curtis was a legend and never blew a false note, you're an idiot. One of the greatest honking sax players of all time, this collection follows him through the beginning of his solo recording career and shows that even when musicians had to do as they were told, his quality always shown through. Killer stuff that shows what soul/jazz is all about and is loaded with stuff that will live forever.
MICHAEL TRENI BIG BAND/You Better Watch Out!: And these are the right hands to drop Christmas music into for a big band treatment. Even going so far as to take Yiddish stuff and turn it Latin, these cats can play and bring sly humor in as well. Hot happening stuff that'll warm up December and spread holiday cheer in fine style.
TIMOTHY COOPER/Global Skies: A multi media cat with a social justice bent, his solo piano works here are influenced by his global trotting and seeing the contemporary version of man's inhumanity to man and how it needs to be rectified. Far from being new age namby pamby noodling, Cooper gives you music to make you think, even if it all coming from solo piano. A tasty stretch for your mind.
SIMON PHILLIPS/Protocol 4: The prog drummer comes in with angular jazz/rock prog tunes that tune it up nicely. With shredding front and center, this set is a must for the open eared that still wish the merger of 70s prog and fusion walked among us. Hot stuff.
STARK RAVING BLACK
LEWIS BLACK/Black to the Future: Two discs, including the audio to a show that was almost lost, Black comes out to rave but even he wonders what there is for him to rave about since the stuff he observes these days is nothing but a bunch of jokes that write themselves. Somehow, he rises above the lack of new material offered him to show once again, the emperor has no clothes on. He's probably being just too tough on himself because my sides hurt from laughing so much. The Mark Twain of our times continues to be on a major roll. Well done.
STEINWAY & SONS
JENNY LIN/Philip Glass-Complete Etudes for Piano: At this point in time we know one thing about Glass--either you love him or you hate him---or you're indifferent to him. If you don't love him, Lin could be the factor that changes your mind as her interpretations are one step removed from the composer and she feels free to add her own special sauce to the proceedings. This double discer of piano ace Lin on parade shows her cleverness and dexterity in making this music so much more than the sum of it's parts. A skillful interpreter, this collection could be the start of a beautiful relationship. Hot stuff for the high minded.
PROFESSOR LOUIE & THE CROWMATIX/Lost Band Tracks: Talk about stuff buried so deep in the Sony vaults that it'll never surface even as bonus tracks on a future volume of the Bob Dylan bootleg series... In 1991, a Columbia producer got the great idea to engineer The Band's comeback by having Jules Shear take the place of Robbie Robertson as the lead writer of the crew. Songs were written, studio time booked, and....nothing. Professor Louie who was involved with those sessions drew together a bunch of the cats that were around those sessions and recreated the original tracks that will probably never be heard again. The result? Pure proof The Band wouldn't have had a 90's career bounce if Louie didn't have his hand on the wheel. Now we finally know who the real wheel that was on fire was. Even without The Band hook, this is another fine release from a crew that understands what roots rock is all about.
Volume 41/Number 13
November 13, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record
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