ERIK JEKABSON SEXTET: An impressionistic view of the San Francisco Bay area recorded all in one day in the old Fantasy studios. You feeling the jazz here? Kicking it off with a stroll down one of Berkeley's diverse main drags and taking the in the sights and sounds from there, this well traveled trumpeter doesn't miss a bet pulling out all the stops and putting in the right touches no matter how minute. Taking it all in on a what's a short trip from Cannery Row to the top of the hill, the metro area is well covered here. Never creative just for the sake of it, he brings his painterly eye to his ear and the two mesh in a delightful musical hug. This is the kind of straight ahead jazz travelogue you want to hear.
(Wide Hive 343)
JOEL HARRISON/Angel Band Free Country V. 3: Americana meets jazz as played by a crew as diverse as the song stack. And it's still fresh in it's third installment so this is no novelty that's going to run out of steam anytime soon. Never one to harness anyone's impulses as long as they are good ones, the guitarist comes closest to reminding you of early 70s Carla Bley this side of Carla herself. A sure fire mind blower for the left leaning that wouldn't have it any other way.
(High Note 7319)
CYRUS CHESTNUT/Kaleidoscope: The piano trio vet puts so much jazz into the classics on display here that you don't even know you're listening to classical music. It's not all classical, but it sure feels like a classic. Swinging throughout no matter how close the crew plays it to the vest at times, plain and simple, this is a killer of a piano trio date tailored just for jazzbo ears that want it freshly cut directly from the true vine. Tasty throughout!
(High Note 7317)
JAY T. VONADA/United: I don't think you've heard so much great Pennsylvania jazz since Omnisound was working Delaware Water Gap. A bunch of high octane pros get together to just plain kill it on a bunch of originals. I know you've heard of walking bass lines, but this cat plays walking trombone lines. Straight up, straight ahead, this is well played welcoming jazz that'll bring more into the tent than it intimidates and make a bunch of fans for life. Hot stuff throughout.
STAN KENTON LEGACY ORCHESTRA/Flyin' Through Florida: Recorded by the 2017 edition of the crew, I don't think Kenton recorded anything by English prog rock's MVP keyboard player, so moldy figs beware, these kids have an eye on the past, which is well represented here, but an eye on the future as well. Big band the way it should be and the way you like it, this bunch works hard to plant their seeds at the high school level to get the young ‘uns ears turning the right way. A tasty bunch that wears the name well, they know how to do the old man proud. Check it out.
AIMEE ALLEN/Wings Uncaged: A most right on, clear voiced jazz vocalist that can do the chestnuts as well as bring the originals, she's got the jazz in her soul and finds the right players to bring it out and let it out. Working with a small group of pros that have all honed their chops nightly in New York, this is straight up jazz vocal rather than cabaret no matter how intimate it gets. Vocal fans have a slice of pure enjoyment here.
ENRIQUE HANEINE/Mind's Mural: This world wise drummer's view of world jazz is closer to what I would call crime jazz so maybe he's trying to tell me something. Very much a left leaning, angular date, this is for the egghead that doesn't mind having his brains scrambled a little a long the way. It's a wild ride that all makes musical sense once you sit back and let it.
(Elegant Walk 2)
MARSHALL GILKES/Always Forward: The kind of trombone cat that can impress Maria Schneider, Gilkes faces off with the WDR Big Band here but he's firmly in control the whole way. Letting his horn run free among other horns in a most righteous setting, this is a wonderful sitting down jazz listening date that forces you to shut out the rest of the world for an hour and pay attention. Well done stuff in the hands of pros that never met any false notes.
(Alternate Side 10)
RUPERT & DREXLER/R&D: If this sax/piano duo date has a slight feel of deja vu to you, it's might just be because this is another slice of a live date that was originally released a while ago. With the simpatico that old pals can deliver on chestnuts, these two show up with everything you need for a fine time on a bunch of tunes you think you know. Tasty stuff that goes down well any old time, this is just the kind of date you need to stumble across to rejuvenate your ears. Well done.
(Rupe Media 30117)
SARAH REICH/New Change: A tap dance record that's not an instructional record? Nope. A bunch of jazzbos back up this tap dancer. A superstar in an almost forgotten art, this set shows how everything old can be new again. If you focus solely on it being a tap dance record, you might miss the point on how she's making the category important by shining a light on herself.
Number 41/Number 311
September 7, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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