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TOM HOOK/62: The label warned me this set by this Nawlins vet was a real cooker and it was no idle boast. A mature cat getting the chance to put on the show he always wanted to, Hook came to Nawlins by way of KC so there's a lot of jazz in his soul. Parading out a modern nostalgia in which Louie Prima, the Andrews Sisters and others it would take your grandpa to remember, the swinging party with the sizable crew bringing up the rear doesn't know when to quit. Fun stuff from when music was music and not sanitized product, Hook takes you back to a time and place that won't come again but it's certainly nice to fall into when a real practitioner makes it drop by. Killer stuff sure to fill your Rat Pack sweet tooth.

DAVID RICARD BIG BAND/Parallels: His pop was one of Mad's maddest artists and he is one funky cat that's like a funk version of white boys with the blues. Leading a sizzling crew through some smoking originals as well as some covers that sound nothing like you've ever heard them, he knows how to pick your brain and deliver exactly what you want to hear. Calling this his sorta serious record, don't believe it at all. The fur flies high and each track is a fully realized gasser. Hot stuff for smoking times.

RHIO/A Rhio Good Thing: Coming on like a modern bluesy boop boop a doop girl, she goes on to put Billie Holiday and Phil Ochs in the song stack because the current climate is on her mind. A wonderfully jazzy vocalist that knows how to swing, she knows how to serve up a fun outing that plays like an adventure. Vocal fans should tune in here to grab a really sweet treat.

JOHNAYE KENDRICK/Flying: Kendrick studied at the Monk Jazz Institute with a bunch of the crème of contemporary jazz as her teachers and she had trouble performing in public because her stuff was so personal. Well, no wonder. She sounds like what must have been going on in Elvis' jungle room while everyone gathered there was waiting for him to finish his banana and peanut butter sandwich and come on down to give away a few Cadillacs. Whether she's sending a message or speaking her heart, she's a real wonder. Slanted toward art jazz, it makes you glad there's practitioners out there that want to be more than precious about it.

KATE REID/The Heart Already Knows: Oddly enough, this is the intimate Diana Krall record you've been waiting for. Each track is just the vocalist with a musical duet partner, all of them from your list of faves. The set list is varied, the mood is serious and the feeling is up close and personal. A most personal after hors set, you don't want to stream this because you don't want the compression to rob you of a single byte. A real jazz vocal high watermark set.

SMALL ISLAND BIG SONG: A way different kind of world beat in that it probably started out as a documentary and evolved into a soundtrack paying tribute to a south Pacific region that global warming is in the process of washing away. Nonesuch Explorer records were never like this as they take the various indigenous sounds and weave them together seamlessly into a mind blowing whole. Killer stuff for the armchair traveler that thought all the great kicks were done.

Number 41/Number 252
July 10, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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