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LEWIS PORTER/Solo Piano: Tres ineresante. He's not Dave McKenna and he's not a hell raiser even though he has the freedom here to be one. He's the thinking man's barrelhouse piano player, the one where there's a salon and a parlor and a bookcase scattered among whatever else might be going on. He knows the chestnuts and how to properly display them in new settings and his creative approach is a winner throughout. A really fun set of side tracks to journey down.
(Next to Silence 1)

TRIPLE TEA/Tunnel: Modern jazz sails past the old sign posts with this pomo take on the future of jazz. A wild careering set that takes no prisoners as it rockets forward, this is what they'll be partying to on Mars next year. Highly chopped and well disciplined, they know from whence they create and they deliver like real seasoned pros. Lend an ear.

PAUL DIETRICH JAZZ ENSEMBLE/Forward: He has modern leanings but his big band roots show like a dye job that needs to be retouched. With a real Chicago accent to his work, this local cat shows how to make grand, sweeping gestures that careen from ice to fire in a heart beat. Smart stuff calibrated to go the distance, here's a local cat sure to be bringing the spotlight back home for us all. Tasty stuff throughout.

CHARLES WILLIAMS TRIO/Flavors of Jazz: A jazzbo piano man that's been at it for over 40 years, bringing the heat to Kansas City all that time while traveling the world, he's never forsaken his gospel roots and delivers a set that feels right in step with Chicago piano trios of Chicago's late 60s that were getting disrespect from their pop's for leaving the church behind for secular goodies. Not retro or recidivist, this is a celebration of a groovy sound that really never went out of style and he celebrates like a champ. Hot stuff.

JOE POLICASTRO TRIO/Nothing Here Belongs: The bass man takes the lead here in this set that's a departure from their past recorded forays as they leave their restaurant roots behind and take off on a flight of fancy that's all their own. Modern and forward thinking, this is a good case for not poo pooing millennial jazz as they have a vision that could be as earth shaking as Miles finding the funk. Delightfully spirited and genre blending, if they can get your attention in a restaurant, think of what they can do when you're sitting back and grooving to it. Well done.
(Jeru Jazz 11)

BLOODEST SAXAPHONE/Texas Queens 5: Only in a pomo world... A Tokyo sax retro band goes to Texas to meet up with a bunch of bluesy ladies that know how to belt. Tape rolls sparks fly. This is so marvelously old school that it's totally modern. Whether or not you think this should work, it really does. When the Queens and the chop sticks get flying together over Willie Dixon, there's a generation of white boys with the blues that are gong to need to step aside and tip the cap. Honking, bad ass real down home show blues that might be a step away from church, but that step is a mighty big leap. Killer stuff from the heart and soul.
(Vizz Tone/Dial Tone 30)

PAUL NELSON/Over Under Through: With instrumentation that sounds like Ry Cooder would sound if he really left SoCal to do his soundtracks and flights of fancy, this is white boy blues championed by a flock of white boys in support roles that almost lift this set to a new genre by itself. Utterly tasty in all departments, Nelson kicks it here hard and the result is amazing. A stone cold winner throughout, this set really shakes things up in a good way. Well done.
(Riverwide 1217)

BIG JAY McNEELY/I'm Still Here-Big Jay Sings the blues: Making his first real blues album at 91, shortly before his recent passing, the long time jazzbo that was around at the birth of rock n roll, shows how he could sing it as well as honk it. Natchurl blues that reflect Watts poverty instead of cotton fields hardship, if you dig the blues as they were meant to be, this blistering set will raise a ruckus for you. Hot stuff.
(Cleopatra Blues 1083)

SOL GABETTA/Schumann: Gabetta grabs her violincello and hies it back to 1850 when Schumann was just given a royal appointment and launched into one of his most creative periods. Gabetta samples a nice cross section of his output and revs it up in high gear as always. More than a mere recital record, this is period music played to the max and played to make all ears feel welcome. Tasty stuff that'll never be mistaken for arts council music. Well done.
(Sony Classical)

TIFFANY WILLIAMS/When You Go: Listen to this closely before you write it off as just another pissed off millennial gal bitching about life's speed bumps. This award winning fiction writer is a real girl of the land with eastern Kentucky Appalachian dirt in her veins and she writes modern folk music songs of the land. When taken in stride, this could easily be a folk music boom era record when the real stuff was hanging out at street corner country stores not worrying about being discovered. Deep and on the money, this is a gal you are going to be hearing more of once Nashville gets down to business. Well done. (Blue Redbird)

Volume 43/Number 74
January 14, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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