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ASHLEY PEZZOTTI/We've Only Just Begun: The rising stars and stars of tomorrow have to come from somewhere, and the ambitious 23 year old jazz vocalist powering this release forward is in the pocket and on the money. With a driving band in step behind her, this set of originals show why she's been such a comet, rubbing elbows with the best and taking home recognition in her wake. A super set for vocal fans, this is a fine text book on how to hit it out of the park. Killer stuff.
(AP 1)

AMINA FIGAROVA/Road to the Sun: Celebrating 20 years in and showing no lack to her sense of wonder, this sprightly date mixes new age and jazz sensibilities without making a jazz/new age hyphenated release. The band is cooking, her leadership guides the way and her next decade is off to a smoking start. High octane, creative instrumental music runs the table here and runs it in fine form. A winner throughout.
(Amfi 14)

GREGG BELISLE-CHI/Book of Hours: If you've got a taste for the kind of guitar innovators that know nothing but following their own path, this New York guitar man is in your wheelhouse. Picking up two lengths after ECM leaves off, this set takes you to those realms far beyond the pale where anything can happen and usually does. Sure to take you places you never expected, this stylistic, quiet release is sure to survive for years being a hidden gem.
(Eyes & Ears 19-082)

LYL (LOCATE YOUR LIPS)/For Kenny: Look what was going on in the heartland that you missed. Back in the mid 80s, rocking punk funk was tearing it up with the charge being led by a crew that was close to the gold ring. The drummer has since passed and this two disc set is dedicated to him showcasing the timeless energy that punk has when it comes form within. The audience doesn't seem too large for a crew getting ready to hit the heights but the largeness of the sound makes up for it. The funny thing is, younger brothers and their dads are going to find a common ground here if they're out in the suburbs and feeling claustrophobic. A wild journey through the past that doesn't really feel like one.
(Daystorm 1)

ROGER LEN SMITH/Anything Goes: A hard driving folk rocker who just happens to be old pals with a cat from Foo Fighters cranks it up for his latest set, the first in almost a decade. Always in the right place at the right time to rub elbows with the crème of the crop, none of the lessons have been lost on him as he's also learned how not to make a false move. Tasty stuff that goes down easy, you boomers that will have a great time with this know who you are. Solid work throughout.

SEAN NOONAN/Tan Man's Hat: Noonan leaves the DIY ranks and makes the most of his first impression at the next level of the game. A wild and wooly multi textured mash up that fuses Zappa with wild hippie moves that add up to a trippy set that'll leave you feeling like you've never heard anything like this before. Seriously, who needs drugs when you've got records like this?
(Rare Noise 106)

CHAT NOIR/Hyperuranion: From traditional jazz piano trio to the place they are now, space travelers charting the course to tomorrow, this set veers from jazz from hell to explorations beyond Plato's original vision. Fudging the line separating experimental music from EDM, this kind of feels like what Sheldon and Amy would have played at their wedding. And yet, the wheels never come off. And my computer speakers give this amazing separation as well.
(Rare Noise 104)

Volume 43/Number 135
March 5, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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