DRED SCOTT/Rides Alone: Here's a sweet find for the open eared; a hip hop jazzbo that's played with folkies and dance troupes stepping up to the plate to record a traditional feeling piano trio date---and he plays all the parts. Very much a protean player that's been a hidden gem in San Francisco and New York, he's got a long discography but it feels like this is really his chance to step out and shine. A solid entry from a do it all kind of cat, there's simply nothing here not to like. Solid stuff throughout.
MATT SKELLENGER GROUP/Vitality: Some of the instruments on board here would make you think the bass man is making a world jazz date---but he's too eclectic for something that easy. A student of Victor Wooten and other greats, this cat doesn't want to scare you off with art for art's sake but he is a pro at pushing the envelope in ways that fly under your radar and open your ears. Tasty stuff made for easy time listening but not easy listening, this is solid jazz for a nu generation by an established pro.
THE LAST TAXI/New Destinations: Piano man Pat Battstone assumes a group identity as he heads back to Italy to shake things up with some new friends in his art jazz style. The accent here is on conceptual improv and the sounds reach across the waters and time zones with ease.
CONIECE WASHINGTON/Shades of Shirley Horn: Moving from the church to the rough and tumble world of the military, Washington took her exit to go back to the charmed world and solace in the sounds of Shirley Horn. Certainly getting herself imbued with the spirit of Horn, she's keeping the sound and attitude alive in fine form giving the best of the lot her all and making us all the richer for it. A top shelf jazz vocalist with a lodestar that's hard to beat, the purist will be more than charmed with this set. Well done.
REZA KHAN/Next Train Home: A guitarist that doesn't feel the need to be in the spirit of Wes, he rounds up some smoking fusion/jazzbo hitters and serves up a dandy contemporary jazz date that merrily and easily hits all the right notes along the way. Tasty throughout, a few spins of this beats the hell out of anti-depressants any day. Well done.
(Painted Media 1905)
GREG ABATE/Gratitude-Stage Door Live @ the Z: The sax man is kicking it with Tim Ray's trio once again, this time doing live from the floor and really showing everyone how pros get it done. Bristling with energy no matter which gear he shifts into, this is real jazz on tap for anyone who remembers how it was or wants to find out what it's all about. A killer set throughout, the you are there feeling of the recording makes you want to get out more---particularly if this is what you can find once you do get out. A winner throughout that just needs a late summer sunset and a trendy drink to really be complete.
(Whaling City Sound 114)
ELLYNNE REY/Birdsong Project: An art chick that loves jazz singing and photographing birds heads downtown to sing about birds with tunes old and new with some of the local luminaries with national reputations. Classic thrush fans with a mild cutting edge taste will know what they are in for here.
REBECCA DUMAINE and the Dave Miller Combo/Chez Nous: The father/daughter team that knows how to swing the oldies is at it again with another set that finds the vocalist making her daddy proud swinging through a set list that loves this kind of rejuvenation. With everyone cooking on all eight, this classic thrush date is right in the pocket throughout as it goes on it's merry way with the kind of oomph that it takes to please both moldy figs and newbies. Well done.
OUT TO DINNER/Different Flavors: The fourth installment in the label's run of blowing date/jam sessions that enlist label stalwarts and their associates is a tribute of sorts to the sophisticated swing of Blue Note. Keeping it right in the spirit without crafting a mannered homage, this is full blooded, contemporary jazz that learned it's p's and q's in the right places and shows how it adds to the original lessons. Keeping the label's standards front and center, this just hits it out of the park, especially for the traditional jazzbo.
(Posi Tone 8200)
SAM DILLON/Force Field: An MVP sax man that's played everything with everyone everywhere steps up to the mic with an angular, hard hitting set that gives no quarter and expects none in return. Serving it hot and leaving the skronk at home for another time, this is the kind of stuff you can count on to angry up your blood and clear those blocked arteries. A monumental blower, he knows where he's going and it doesn't pay for you to argue. Hot stuff.
(Posi Tone 8196)
Volume 43/Number 194
May 3, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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