CHUCK REDD/Groove City: The kind of cat whose good vibes have added the needed sparkle to the many sessions, dates and groups he added his touch to over the years steps out with a wonderful tour de force date where it makes it all sound so much easier than it really is. Surrounded by good company that's he's rubbed elbows with on countless dates, it's time this stellar addition to any line up gets the chance to be a star in his own right. A straight up straight ahead winner, this is what the real jazzbo comes for. Hot stuff.
ERIC JERARDI/Occupied: Just because it was Holy Modal Rounders who said good taste is timeless doesn't mean it's not so. Don't you just hate the haters that proclaim something out of date? From the opening horn riff, this set is unmistakably Muscle Shoals and how can that ever be out of date? Taking blue eyed soul to the max, Jerardi blows the roof off the sucker with the help of the classic Swampers that are still up for it and those who have drunk the local waters and became imbued with the natch. If someone could slip a copy of this to Van Morrison, Caledonia soul would be back on top of his menu. Killer stuff throughout.
GUY MINTUS TRIO/Connecting the Dots: Here's a nifty little mind blower for you. A piano trio that sounds like they've never spent any time in a cocktail lounge is world wise without really being world beat no matter where they pull their influences from. Savvy enough to add to their outlier cred by inviting Dave Liebman along for the ride (on a Hebrew prayer, no less), this is a cat you really want to keep an ear out for. Stretching modern jazz to new limits but staying in bounds, Mintus just plain dazzles with his talent and tyro energy. Hot stuff.
(Mintus Music/Jazz Family/ARE Group)
DEBORAH SHULMAN/Shakespeare Project: When most people think of Shakespeare these days, if at all, they think of Bob DeNiro on Saturday Night Live going ‘yeah, Shakespeare' while making the jerk off motion. Shulman is no mere art chick going ‘look at me' as you can tell by the first call jazzbos she got to gather around this fire. Actually following in Cleo Laine's 1964 footsteps, Shakespeare and all that jazz isn't all that outré a concept. If you didn't know Lord Buckley's fave playwright was the one behind the words here, you wouldn't get your anti-egghead hat on in approaching it. This is the path to take if you want to step outside the lines and do it with some real style and class. Well done.
NICK SANDERS TRIO/Playtime 2050: With dark humor in spirit and an ear toward the future, Sanders third outing finds him going in to all original territory with his trio in tow, keeping apace. Exploring new realms for jazz piano trio, Sanders is a singular voice that way wander off the beaten path but will never be lost in the wilderness. An ear opening date for open ears, these cats chart new courses in listening music that is a sonic tonic throughout. Well done.
SUSAN WILLIAMS & the Wright Groove/It's About Time: With all the players that learned blues either in Chicago or from Chicago, it's about time Chicago got some locals in the game at IBC where this crew and this record are getting some well deserved notice. Band and singer bring the funk and grease to this set of white girl blues full of flame stokers. Wonderfully down and dirty, this is the grand kind of stuff that doesn't make it out to the suburbs.
GODWIN LOUIS/Global: It marks a very special moment when you can tackle a double album of challenging music that isn't work to listen to. Stuff like this doesn't have to be like a marathon where you feel like you can congratulate yourself for feeling like you've walked a mile on glass to get through it. You should be able to let it flow. This world wise cat has always been fascinated by music, which led him get DNA testing which led him to find his Haitian roots weren't as pristine as he thought they were. This opened the door to him investigating the sounds of the Afro Cuban Diaspora. All that is a long winded way of adding up the elements that make this a double disc of wow. Whether mash up or straight ahead, this sax man blows your ears wide open. Taking being an armchair traveler to the max, this'll get anyone's head spinning, in a good way, of course. Smoking.
(Blue Room 1004)
PAUL JONES QUARTET/Process: Take a leading light of modern New York jazz, give him a Sunday afternoon in Rome where he'd rather roll tape with the cats he'd just finished a tour with than look at the Spanish Steps and he makes it sound like the best of 52nd St isn't in the rear view mirror. Applying his chops in the way that second grade teachers wished you'd have applied yourself to math, this is most solid and righteous jazz listening date that deserves and demands to be heard. A winner throughout.
SAMANTHA BOSHNACK'S SEISMIC BELT/Live in Santa Monica: In which we find the answer to the question: can you win an award from Herb Alpert and turn around and make a record that Carla Bley would have been proud to release on Watt 40 years ago? This record answers both questions at once with a big yes. Displacing Rickie Lee Jones as a girl at her volcano, Boshnack's fascination with volcanoes is the inspirational driving wheel behind this release so much so that you think you can hear the magma fermenting as you listen to this. Gleefully but seriously coloring outside the lines, progressive jazz fans will not go wrong taking a byte out of this. Well done.
Volume 43/Number 107
February 16, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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