ALLEN CARMAN PROJECT/Carmanology: Ain't it great to have friends that gather around to help you dust off some chops you haven't used for a while and the results are a mother? The bass ace put his aspirations aside for a while only to hook up with a) Nile Rodgers and b) the Rolling Stones' old pal Philippe Saisse to kick it with some old school smooth jazz with some bite. A full on, four on the floor party that just won't quit, this is the kind of stuff that'll get jaded adult ears back in the groove. Full and fresh, this'll get the blood flowing better than clopidogril with none of the sinister side effects as well as getting you moving to boot. Killer grooves by a gang of pros that know how to deliver.
DARWIN/Origin of Species: Some prog rock stalwarts band together for a double album full of prog moves, sci-fi and melodic moves that are deceptively ‘mainstream' as they take it to the cosmos and beyond giving genre fans a solid dose of what they want. Adherents to keeping the concept album alive and well, this is easy stuff to get lost in and let the bruising effects of the real world slide off your back in the process. These cats know what they are doing and what you want to hear.
ROSCOE MITCHELL ORCHESTRA/Littlefield Concert Hall Mills College March 19-20, 2018: Someone must have seen my glowing review of ECM's recent AEC and Friends box set and put me on the list for this figuring I'd know what to do with it. If you know Mitchell's work, you'll know what to do with this. Beginning long after the hymns to the seventh galaxy end, Mitchell and his other co-horts take this to the land beyond space where you can still hear God saying "Ommmmm" and creation is in effect. Written in a place where improv meets composition, this is a wild ride where the wheels never fall off no matter how close you think they come. A sure bet for the adventurous.
(Wide Hive 345)
MIGHTY MIKE SCHERMER/Bad Tattoo: If you don't know this cat, you haven't been reading liner notes or listening to band shout outs at the right shows. A white boy with the blues (and more), you'll think he's from the ‘I got the blues/I paid my dues' school of white boy blues, but this cat that's been hovering in the background for far too long is way too hip and chop laden to release something that hasn't had all the clichés excised before tape starts rolling. The kind of party on a platter you always hope to run into, he redefines roots music and keeps kicking ass after there's no asses left to kick. Wonderful, heartfelt stuff that'll hold you rapt throughout.
(Vizz Tone/Finedog 61041)
TONY HOLIDAY/Porch Sessions: After all the yammering we do about back porch music.... This harmonica cat who's on the road 200 nights a year made stops along the way to record contemporary blues great on their porches. It doesn't get any more organic than this. Capturing the field recording vibe throughout, styles vary, moods change but the entire vibe puts you right in the pocket of the great label samplers of 50 years ago. A great ear opener, this is a real immersion in what's what right now. Killer stuff.
(Vizz Tone THP01)
DAVID BERKMAN SEXTET/Six of One: A piano ace that knows how to give the rest of the crew some, Berkman's touch here is light and easy going, bright throughout and always sprightly giving this tasty set a welcome buoyancy that makes it feel like it's 5 o'clock, Friday afternoon, somewhere in the world. Easy going without ever being mush, this is the culmination of a cat that's been at it for over 20 years, never standing still long enough to let grass grow under his feet. A stone cold delight throughout.
HERLIN RILEY/Perpetual Optimism: The Nawlins native that's also the long time drummer at Lincoln Center might play the blues once in a while, but he doesn't have time or capacity to have the blues. This buoyant set by him and his long time band of rising leaders in their own rights is upbeat, happy stuff that does a degree of mash up but always stays on the sunny side. With the energy and urgency of soul jazz without the heavy overtones often associated with the genre, these cats move with the groove and give more bounce to the ounce. Killer stuff that'll easily turn any frown upside down. A great entry throughout.
(Mack Avenue 1136)
CLAUDIA VILLELA/Encantada Live: 40 years in and it took a house fire that wiped out all her back pages to move the vocalist to create a real tour de force for her 6th album. Heartfelt with an ethnic Brazilian edge the world can relate to, if there was ever a time for a first class sonic getaway, this is the set that provides the time and place to stage it. A work that stands in a class by itself, we're going way beyond world/jazz here to secret place you can only enter by invitation. It just doesn't get any better than this.
COYOTE KINGS/Rocket: Time for a little jam band action as these vet blues rockers turn the amps up to 11 and let the fur fly. High octane stuff for when the sun hasn't quite gone down yet and you're still feeling it, you can feel the fists air pumping as this plays. Hard rocking like it's meant to be.
DAVID LIPTAK/Dove Songs: This educator checks in with some cutting edge modern classical works that are purely ars gratia artis. Solidly in the Sunday recital pocket, eggheads need love too and this gives it to them in spades. Inspired by dedication and devotion to craft, this set hits all those high marks.
(New Focus 224)
Volume 43/Number 138
March 8, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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