HAARLA KROKFORS ALTSCHUL/Around Again: If the music of Carla Bley can reach out to Wilco fellow travelers, what hope can this piano lady have of escaping it, especially when surrounded by two hell raising pals that are up to the challenge of focusing on Bley's pre-"Escalator Over the Hill" compositions? Giving these often one page compositions all due white space and non-white space, Haarla is so fascinated with these works that she channels the spirit of young Bley in a way that current Bley doesn't have to feel like she's competing with her younger self. Stellar stuff that shows just how far a teen age jazz club cigarette girl can go if she gives herself the permission others might not. A blazing journey through the past.
WADADA LEO SMITH/Rosa Parks-Pure Love: As we celebrate the 50th anni of AEC/AACM, it seems only fitting that Smith takes civil rights jazz back to the church basement and samples fellow AACM travelers as well in this multi cast muso extravaganza. Loaded with progressive, left leaning sounds, there's no need to keep searching for BYG cds when you have something new like this at hand. Smith was one of the originals charters of the terrain and his hasn't lost his eye for navigation a whit. Check it out for a blast from this master.
MOPPA ELLIOT/Jazz Band-Rock Band-Dance Band: The eclectic head of the Hot Cup crew serves up a triple album on two discs showing each of the facets of music that interests him outside of the jazz he's known for. Talk about lines being blurred---are you ready for pomo Dixieland? Whatever genre splicing he ever wanted to do is done here. Moldy figs might choke on their tongues listening to this but this is the shot in the arm jazz needs to bridge the past and the present and bring new, young ears into the tent If jazz survived Miles' sea change ala "Bitches Brew" this set won't stop the sun from coming up tomorrow morning either. Trail blazing, wild and wooly fun stuff that meets Elliot's challenge of challenging the listener. Whew!.
ANTHONY ROGERS/One Day: This cat's been at it so long that he was probably looked up to when Patton Oswalt was kvelling over DC area alt.bands. Taking his cue from Zappa's "We're Only in it For the Money", there's less mocking and more compassion but you could probably fool grandpa into thinking these are outtakes from those sessions. The leading edge of pillbilly area resistance against an America that's forgotten about being a kinder, gentler nation, it's time youth started rebelling against something substantial. Collectors should note, the vinyl is limited to a pressing of 250 and the album is spread over a 7" and a 12" packaged together.
GREG MURPHY TRIO/Bright Idea: Coming back from the 90s version of a jazzman's life, this propulsive piano man surrounds himself with some pals up for the challenge of keeping up with him and shows that he's back by turning "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" into an express train you won't recognize. Hard hitting stuff from a cat that's gotten the gratitude attitude and shows it by being thankful he can turn your head, this might be classic piano trio work but it's got a mighty ear turned toward the future. Hot stuff.
(Whaling City Sound 111)
YANIV TAUBENHOUSE/Perpetuation-Moments in Trio V. 2: It's a piano trio set but it does a great job of veering away from cocktail jazz even when the crew is working out on chestnuts. Smart stuff with a leading edge throughout, this is a cat that doesn't want to be relegated to the background and makes every effort to make his presence known. The kind of stuff that easily stands out, this is for those muso ears that really want to get into the music. Well done.
(Fresh Sound 567)
Volume 43/Number 75
January 15, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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