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DEAN FORD/This Scottish Heart: He looks like a geezer but doesn't sound like one. One of the driving wheel's of the 60s group Marmalade, Ford looks back at his life over a two disc spread and delivers it all in folkie fashion on a set recorded in his kitchen on a laptop. It's amazing what you can do these days. Even it most of it is a look back over his life and times, it's not an exercise in nostalgia---unless you're looking for some easy rolling music that doesn't hit you over the head. Check it out.
(Shine On 1)

BLUE STANDARD/A Good Thing: Top shelf jazz/cabaret male vocal that takes a nice walk down memory lane adding all it's own special sauce rather than try to recreate what was. Powered by a pair of pros that wanted to shake it up a touch, vocal fans will get a nice kick out of these proceedings as it's helmed by no mere manques singing Sinatra into their hairbrushes in the mirror. Check it out.
(Big Time 7)

ALISTER SPENCE & SATOKO FUJII ORCHESTRA KOBE/Imagine Meeting You Here: Two full on hell raisers get together for a set of works for improv jazz orchestra. What a mouthful. Oddly, the music seems to take them both to places they've never been before. Very much an egghead delight of a release, this is almost new age music for the cutting edge jazzbo that wants to delve within for an hour. Often too subtle to be called a wild ride but it really is.
(Alister Spence 8)

KATHERINE RONDEAU/Unfortunate Point of View: Oddly enough, we seem to have forgotten that the folkies were at the forefront of protest music--so it should be no surprise that Rondeau brings #timesup to the back porch. Knowing when to back off before getting strident, she let's her rich alto power originals and folkie covers, cutting through the morass and dross getting right to the heart of the matter. Finding that white girl sweet spot where folk meets blues, this is a smoking, all around set that delivers the goods with ease. Killer stuff throughout, this is a fine slice of the real deal.

JON LUNDBOM & BIG FIVE CHORD/Harder on the Outside: Once again knowing when to apply the brakes, Lundbom and crew know how to take it over the top but keep the wheels from flying off the rails. Wild and wacky free jazz that ambles all over the yard at high speed, if only all freebop could be like this. A real snootful for the progressive jazzbo that isn't hipper than thou.
(Hot Cup 181)

ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ-PEDRITO MARTINEZ/Duologue: Wow. Quincy Jones is lurking in the background of this Cuban duo and it sounds a lot like those sets jazzbos were making in the late 50s as they discovered and added Afro Cuban sounds to their kit bags. The difference is this sounds modern and doesn't have the stilted feeling a lot of those record had. And Quincy getting the chance to do more of what he wanted when whitey wanted him to make more Lesley Gore. Utterly smoking, this is a major party on a platter. Hot stuff.
(Mack Avenue 1145)

JEFF MAMETT/Carry Me Back: He looks like he wants to take you back to Elko but he's a country singer in the traditional mode as filtered through the outlaw and outlier lenses. Real stuff for people that live in the country and not the exurbs. Easy rolling stuff that hits all the right notes in unfurling it's vast charms, you ain't heard nothing like this since we all went back to Luchenbach with Waylie, Willon and the boys. Hot stuff.

KELLY HAFNER/If It's Love: White girl soul from Austin with that contemporary moody edge is on tap here. A woman that has the sound in her heard that's more than voices speaking to her, she knows how to get it out and in the grooves. Tasty stuff that just invites rainy afternoons and a cup of something.

ORTEGA SILVERIRA ELIZARDE/Espontaneo-The Abdala Sessions: Practically a one of a kind/you had to be there session, the principles got together on the fly and let it all happen in the studio in various combinations and modes. Sizzling stuff resulted. A high octane indigenous jazz set that goes beyond mere boundaries of world jazz, this is how it sounds when three pals get together to jam and not worry about product placement and branding. A winner throughout, the old hippie dream comes back into focus here.
(Ansonica 12)

VOCAL UNIVERSO/Musica Universal: A perfect example of how when music is working, you don't even have to know what the singers are singing about. This four piece Cuban woman vocal outfit sounds so good together you just want to listen to them all day. Sometimes you recognize the songs, most of the time you don't---and you just don't care. And it's acapella to boot. Lovely voices swinging with two fisted action, this set shows how you sometimes don't need more than that. Hot stuff throughout.
(Ansonica 11)

Volume 43/Number 58
December 28, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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