LOWRAY/Friends & Fakers: If the kids are getting fed up with beats and EDM, this set portends a return to the 80s, anti hair band division. Pre grunge flannel shirt rockers, these are the kind of cats that come out on the stage in their street clothes and keep it real from there. A solid soundtrack for raging, young hormones with no place to go to get released.
PETRA VAN NUIS & DENNIS LUXION/Because We're Night People: Hey world, it's time you found out what Chicagoans and Japanese already know, "Petra Sings" isn't just the name of Van Nuis's website. Performing around Chicago in various aggregations, Luxion's piano is one of her constants and the two of them tear it up here in this set devoted to the quiet side of night in a cabaret feeling duet set. Pure saloon jazz vocal that would make Sinatra proud he referred to himself as a saloon singer, this is one of those sets that will usher your taste into adulthood. Killer stuff.
(String Damper 2136)
DEVIN GRAY/Dirigo Rataplan: In which we address the question: can a white boy make civil rights jazz? If you don't mind that it sounds like it came from the suburbs--the answer is yes. Veering away from the obvious touchstones of progressive jazz, the drummer leads from the back of the riser getting all on board to play in synch while pursuing their out of synch goals. Left leaning stuff for swinging eggheads, this'll get you there with a smile on your face.
THE FIBS: Dark, down market rock for those that just can't sit through another playing of Bowie's take on "Amsterdam", this stuff actually sounds like a urban train careening through the bad part of town. Malcontents, rejoice--your wasted youth isn't going to waste with this as it's soundtrack.
RANDY WALDMAN/Superheroes: Back when superheroes weren't tent pole movie tropes and clichés, we had "Underdog", "Super Chicken", of course "Superman" and "Batman", "Mighty Mouse" and others. Here we have Waldman paying tribute to his misspent youth and bringing in a bunch of pedigreed jazzbos of a certain age to revel in the fun of playing souped up jazz version of said super hero themes. Wynton Marsalis doing Neal Hefti's "Batman"? Steve Gadd swinging "Underdog"? C'mon, jazzbos, you know you're digging this without even hearing it. Fun stuff for all seekers of truth, justice and the American way.
(BFM Jazz 302062443)
JOHN DAVERSA BIG BAND/American Dreamers: There's nothing standard about this set from creative whiz Daversa backing up DACA related singers, even when standards are put under the microscope. One of those jazz sets that does well by doing good, it's an ear opener and mind opener when voices are put to anonymous faces on the news. Now if we could just do something about them calling the Woody Guthrie classic "Deportees" a lesser known song... String, stirring stuff throughout.
(BFM Jazz 302062442)
FELIPE SALLES INTERCONNECTIONS ENSEMBLE/Lullaby Project: Salles and his 18 piece pan Latin jazz orchestra might claim to be using parts of Brazilian lullabies to explore the darkness we expose children to, but I'm feeling a Kentonian creative excursion. Either way, it works. A solid set for those who like the other side of big band, this well played, well executed set surfaces as solid listening music that's easy to enjoy throughout. Down will come baby, cradle and all---indeed. Check it out.
DEAN OWENS/Southern Wind: Amazing Americana from Scotland that sounds as indigenous as his passion for the sound. Feeling organic and back 40 with nay a blooming heather in sight, he knows the moves and how to make the right moves making this an enjoyable show kind of set. Unabashedly commercial while retaining it's soul and vision, this cat could lead the new British (Isles) invasion single handedly. Hot stuff.
KAT DANSER/Goin' Gone: A white girl with the blues that has a set that's so Canadian you should hear it have a few ‘eh, hoser''s dripping off it turns things on it's head and shows you how it's done. Authentic in that she's not trying to be something she's not, it's clear why every kind of blues ward turns it's attention toward her. An eminently enjoyable set that's a must for aging frat boys that don't see themselves as that, she's found that special sweet spot and ladles on the special sauce liberally. Well done.
(Black Hen 87)
KEITH OXMAN/Glimpses: The sax man teams up with Dave Liebman. Oxman is so into Lieb that if you look quickly, you'd mistake them for twin sons of different mothers. Oxman brings out the swinging side of Lieb here on this set that took flight when Lieb's plane landed and headed off for the session. Solid, straight ahead stuff that just lets the river flow where it will and it flows in the right direction throughout. Tasty stuff that just doesn't quit, the gang on board here has so much in the way of chops that it feels like they were saving some for the next go around. Killer stuff.
Number 41/Number 326
September 22, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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