PABLO ASLAN/Contrabajo: The undisputable bass ace takes a slight detour from his tango/jazz and delves into the world of jazz/world/classical charting his own course in the terrain of works for bass and string quartets. High tone listening that's not at all egghead, this is simply the sound of a master stretching his wings and seeing what new heights he can fly to. A smoking recital kind of set, this is not only the kind of set that can turn your head, it can change your thinking. Hot stuff throughout.
CYRILLE AIMEE/Move On; A Sondheim Adventure: Taking Sondheim to pomo edges, his catalog is up for the challenge. Tackling a bunch of songs that wouldn't be familiar to the Sondheim tourist, these reinventions of Broadway standards aren't quite jazz, aren't quite cabaret but they show just how forward thinking the composer was at all times. The kind of set that can turn younger tastes on to the works of an 88 year old master, it looks like his works wilier forever, even if presented in ways not imagined.
(Mack Avenue 1144)
RJ CHESNEY/Amateur Revolution: A southern roots guy that was inspired to become a writer when a chance meeting with Abbey Lincoln at a NYC café where he was working turned his head. Which, of course, led him to hooking up with a Norwegian movie maker which made the genesis of this album. Talk about a world full of serendipity. A rough hewn roots guy comfortable with genre splicing, he sounds nothing like that other guy with the same last name and makes music that's at home not being with the masses. Check it out.
DAVE RUDOLPH QUINTET/Resonance: The long time Florida drummer finally steps out on his own, with the backing of several local luminaries, crafting a solid post bop outing that swings, sways and makes the day. Angular without ever being abstruse, the sound is largely inviting And never a chore to listen to. Sunny jazz from a sunny clime and it all works well. Check it out.
ERNIE WATTS QUARTET/Home Light: The master blaster tunes up his sax and his crew for an easy rolling date that has too much edge to be smooth jazz but never crosses the line into off putting. Making it all sound too easy, as usual, wherever Watts wants to take you is a good place to go. Well done stuff that's getting rarer and rarer these days. don't le t this slip though your fingers.
(Flying Dolphin 1012)
MICHAEL McDERMOTT/Orphans: If McDermott wasn't fighting demons, he might have hung in there and we would have never had John Meyer. Now making up for lost time, this album isn't one of outtakes, it's songs that didn't make it on other albums that just wouldn't leave him alone until he applied final touches. If you've been digging his comeback trail, this is another one that'll get you tapping your toe ferociously. Dark themes are explored with a driving beat and solid impact is made.
CHUCK DEARDORF/Perception: The bass ace takes kind of a busman's holiday by digging into jazz and rock chestnuts he likes and wants to leave his imprint on in the company of fine company. A first class jazz listening date, this is the perfect companion for when you want to sit back and take it all in. Solid.
MICHAEL KOCOUR/East of the Sun: There's an army of saloon piano players out there that are perfectly enjoyable, but Kocour is one of those one in a hundred kind of players ala Dave McKenna that just makes you go ‘man, what are you doing here?' if you should happen to stumble upon him by accident. A solo piano set of standards from jazz, pop and country---this is just one of those sets that raises the bar soooooo high. One of those times that all it takes is one man and one keyboard to say all there is to say. Killer stuff.
MAY OKITA/Art of Life: Recorded shortly before she left LA to return to Japan, what can you say about a jazz vocal trio where the other two cats are Josh Nelson and Larry Koonse and you were taught your moves by Tierney Sutton? The set card is mostly familiar tunes done up in a new way giving this a freshness that removes it as far as possible from the cocktail realm. It might be sitting down listening but it certainly gets your pulse racing---even in it's laid back moments.
LAURENT DAVID/Naked: You really don't have to be a Jaco geek to get what's going on here although it'll help you through the artier moments. David is so passionate about what he does, all he needs is 4 strings to open sonic realms you never would have imagined. This should be a precious set but it's more than provocative throughout. Has the gig economy taken DIY to new levels? You try doing this is with just ten fingers. Wild!
Volume 43/Number 71
January 11, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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