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BROTHER JEROME/Progress: Inspired by the death of his brother, the remaining brother finds he wants to follow in the late brother's footsteps as a righteous person and intends to follow that calling through genre spliced music. An interesting debut that is loaded with inspiration and channels DIY spirit well.

AMIT PELED/To Brahms, With Love: Take worthy contemporary cellist, put Pablo Casals' cello in his hands and let him go to town on some hallmark Casals recordings. What do you think is going to happen? A perfect example of the good stuff that can come from putting the right stuff in the right hands. A simple but lovely set that plays out like a classical recital being performed just for you.

MARSHALL/Carnivals and Other Tragedies: A old guy with a smart phone and Steve Dawson as a pal looks back on a life of ups and downs that should hit home with AARP members that still have some fight left in them. A message to the kids, get over it, things just don't get better than they are now.

RICHARD HOWELL/Coming of Age: Hard driving jazz funk from a cat that feels he's learned his lessons from the masters and is now ready to go out and be a master on his own. Looks like he's right. Zesty, high octane stuff that careens in a delightful but not too reckless fashion. Not a throwback but a reminder of why you should dust off some oldies and remember how sweet it all was when this sound was in flower.

FLAV MARTIN & JERRY MAROTTA/Soul Redemption: Grown ups will get this date as Peter Gabriel's rhythm section hark back to their Woodstock days and hook up with a guitarist that has graced loads of recordings for an easy going zeitgeist recording that has it's roots in progressive singer/songwriter soil. The lyrics preach to the choir but there's nothing wrong with that when it's done right.

JOE GOLDMARK/Blue Steel: The pedal steel ace really mixes it up here. Taking the country instrument to more a blues/R&B setting, he lets fly in the glorious way that labels used to let producers and sidemen have a day in the sun with a busman's holiday record that only those in the know knew about and loved. High octane stuff that brings you back to the honky tonk, this gasser springs from the Bay Area so old hippies are invited too. Killer stuff.

MA*JID/Sound of a Flower: A jazz violinist that's played with a load of greats in jazz and classical does it his way here and it's not overblown to say he has the history and future of jazz at his fingertips. You can hear almost anything you've ever dug in his journey through the past and you better be ready to hold on tight when he blasts off to the future--often doing both at the same time. Left leaning ears wont be able to get enough of this.

MISHA PIATIGORSKY TRIO/Stained Glass and Technicolor Grooves: A killer pianist worthy of wider recondition turns in a live date with a quartet that hits it out of the park on originals and covers. Playing with a passion that turns into pretty music for the people, but only through the side door, this energetic, engaging set shows that real jazz is everywhere. Killer stuff that hits all the right notes throughout.

SLEEPY ZUHOSKI/Better Haze: An eclectic set that winds it's way back to shoe gaze more often than not hit's the nail on the head for fans of ethereal pop that likes to swirl.

CHRISTIAN ARTMANN/Our Story: A perfect example of the kind of record that can be so yukky when turned in by the wrong hands. A master flutist that isn't looking for the easy way out pushed the envelope in the name of art with some pretty high class pals. They push and the get that rock over the hill. It's art but it holds your attention and keeps you engrossed. Imbued with Euro sensibilities that arc toward reaching the listener instead of pushing them away, this solid set is an accomplished recording that will grow and thrive across time. Hot stuff.

Volume 41/Number 168
April 17, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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