MAGNETIC/Ep: Sax man Joel Moore wisely knows there's strength in numbers and that's why he can graciously step aside to make sure everybody gets some. This smart crew, led by a leader that has a few miles on his pedometer, deliciously play as one making a fine round of contemporary jazz on a set of originals that has the oomph to have been a longer set. Solid stuff that's always a treat and never chore to listen to. Well done.
JUDY NIGHT QUINTET/Sliding on Glass: It wouldn't have fit the format but it would have been cool if Night slipped in a Basie like few bars of "Curly Shuffle" Listen to it, you'll understand. As opposed to being a lawyer shrugging it off, Night is a doctor that shrugged off to get down to some jazz, presented in her own club. High minded piano jazz like you would expect from an analytical mind that grew up digging King Crimson, she knows her way round making some sitting down, listening jazz that keeps you mesmerized in your seat. ECM with a little more warmth, these sounds are sure to lower your fever as they rev you up. Well done.
DOUG MacDONALD TRIO/View of the City: Wes kind of cool never goes out of style and this guitar trio take finds the leader taking it back to New York has got a whole lot more New York than Indiannoplace to it. The set card is heavy on chestnuts so the tunes could be called off easily and the vibe is a stunner. Pure playing for hungry ears, this fast ball right down the middle is a solid bet for chasing the winter blahs away. Well done.
BOOGIE KINGS/Disturbing the Peace: Since so many milennials want to look like 1890s train engineers, maybe you don't have to be a habitué of 1970s college coffee houses to appreciate what a fine time these two whorehouse piano players roll out. Old timey like the stuff from Woodstock in the early 70s, these two swing up a boogie woogie storm that's a total gasser. Unironic throughout, this is the spigot to turn on for great fun. Well done.
SUTTON FOSTER/Take Me to the World: Broadway's comet turns in a charming cabaret/pop set that might walk the usual trails but doesn't examine the usual road signs. Mostly right in the format's pocket with some modern touches along the way, vocal fans are going to be glad they can get what they can of her on TV and are sure to be wanting more if they're located west of the Hudson. A totally luscious set that hits the target with room to spare.
(Ghostlight Deluxe 83356)
SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS/2018 Studio Cast Recording: PS Classics lost musical series resumes with an odd entry. A swinging star vehicle that was Cole Porter's last collaboration with Ethel Merman, and a hit, gets pulled from history's abyss with a total recreation that stands up solidly next to the original. Hard to believe a sure thing like this has become forgotten but if you really want to enjoy a classic Broadway experience down to the last note, inhaling this baby will be good to the last drop----without it feeling like a step back in time. Hot stuff.
(PS Classics 1837)
CHRIS O'LEARY/7 Minutes Late: Former sidekick of Levon Helm is no stranger to roots rocking, and he turns it up a notch. A hard charging set that straddles blues and rock with ever really grabbing the slash sign, this is a cat that loves to rock and knows how to do it right. Hard hitting stuff that delivers the goods, O'Leary learned his lessons well.
(American Showplace 7007)
JESSICA JONES QUARTET/Continuum: A nice dose of free jazz lite aimed at getting new listeners into the tent without them feeling overwhelmed and getting scared away. With the chops to be a hell raiser and get away with it admirably, this set focuses on less is more without watering things down to scare off the core purists. Improv in the hands of pros, this is a ride on an off ramp that'll give you great views.
PITCH RHYTHM & CONSCIOUSNESS QUARTET: It's the times we're living in that sends sax men like Tony Jones back to the church basement for some civil right/free jazz that expands the mind and opens the ears. Not fencing themselves into a particular vibe, you almost feel like this is a sonic history lesson through the underside of the black experience. A clearly wild ride, prepare yourself for an audio movie and all it's cinematic thrills and spills.
BENJAMIN BOONE-PHILIP LEVINE/Poetry of Jazz V. 2: Their first pairing of words and music was such a smash that this follow up is just a natch. Going back to the 50s hipster vibe of poetry and jazz, they keep it modern here but don't neglect their roots. While it still might not be for everybody, this is clearly a hipster top ten.
Volume 43/Number 59
December 29, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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