MARY FLOWER/Livin' With the Blues Again: Don't know if we've been on the wrong mailing lists but I think this is the first we've heard from Flower since she was on Flying Fish. Always accessible but way too back porch for the hoi polloi, this finger picking guitar ace hasn't lost a lick as she celebrates 50 years of professional music making. Graceful and charming in a way that anyone who's ever spent time in a campus coffeehouse will embrace, even in it's most proto feminist moments, Flower brings everyone into the tent. With some pals that know how to pick dropping by to add their tasty licks, this is a crème puff of a folkie set that all folkie fans will be glad to hear as it strikes the right chords throughout.
(Little Village 1028)
SKIP THE NEEDLE/We Ain't Never Going Back: I think the biggest bag breaker on this set is Irene Young not taking pictures of trees for the cover. Other than that, we have some sisters doing it for themselves showing age ain't nothing but a number, i.e. Vicki Randle still rocking out after a two decade stint on the Tonight Show that ended almost a decade ago. A bunch of Bay area pros that are all rocking leaders in their own rights, the aggregation here shows how to be a real rocker without any adjective proceeding same. Hot and hard anthems that don't quit, it sounds like ageism is the ism that is defeated the hardest here.
(Little Village 1027)
BETTY REID SOSKIN/A Lifetime of Being Betty: Well, whitey, if you don't understand the black card and the black tax, this 97 year old storyteller has familial connections back to slavery and has lived long enough to see everything as well as rub shoulders a few years ago with Barack Obama. Still working and still alert as anything, this living history is a mind blower for anyone with intellectual curiosity and an attention span long enough to let them stay on board. The kind of document that non-profit labels were really created for, put this on the shelf next to your John Neihardt recordings, but try not to leave it there. Out of the ordinary for sure and well worth your time.
(Little Village 1031)
ANAI ADINA/Esperame en el Cielo: If you're an ethnic music fan, this is the kind of set that just makes you throw up your hands in amazement. Making this record of traditional Mexican love songs before traipsing off to Harvard to study pre-med, she surrounds herself with a youth orchestra in which all have played Carnegie Hall and delivers a performance that'll easily wow her classmates (and more). Keeping it real throughout, this sounds like some lost session from back in the day performed by someone that knew these songs their whole life with the life being longer than Adina's currently is. A real ear opener that'll grab your attention.
(Little Village 1030)
SAIDA DAHIR/Walking Stereotype: With the bass player from "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" on board here, is that the reason why this 18 year old Somalian refugee taking angry poetry back to the church basement and addressing contemporary concerns sounds so authentic and heart felt? Wise beyond her years, this is a must for those of you who get depressed Last Poets are old men.
(Little Village 1029)
CHARNETT MOFFETT/Bright New Day Energized by doing some solo bass tours of Europe, the undisputed bass ace widens his lens for an uplifting set that is a little old school listening jazz, a little chamber jazz, some world jazz and lots of jazz from all quadrants. With a distinct 70s vibe running through it, this comforting set serves it's purpose and takes jazz to some new places along the way. An accomplished set from an accomplished cat, this is high water mark listening music throughout.
JACO/You Know: A rocking drummer that calls himself Jaco? What will the world think of next? A modern cat that's put in his 10,000 hours, he has a lot to say to the young and they are sure to take the time to embrace and rock out with him.
(Cornelius Chapel 34)
LASERS LASERS BIRMINGHAM/Warning: Suppose Bakersfield was farther from LA and those cats out there really did what they wanted when they hit the studio. Kind of what happens when you get a cat that listens to Waylon and Pink Floyd and kicks it out in his persona which frees him to do about anything. A new chapter in alt.country filling the space where Townes Van /Zandt really could have run wild (if he had the energy), this is a tonic for country fans that like it left field stopping just short of classic Kinky. Well done throughout.
RED KITE: From the land of death metal, we get a jazz rock power quartet that gleefully genre splices just about anything they want into the mix, from heavy to wispy, and serve it up righteously for contemporary ears that are no strangers to heavy, baby. The kind of set that never lets you pin it down, start with ‘Jazz from Hell' and let your ears take it all in from there.
(Rare Noise 105)
JAMIE SAFT QUARTET/Hidden Corners: Saft pulls together a crew of left leaning hell raisers and somehow tames the beast into a set where they play together as a long time ensemble with a simpatico you don't always hear in improv music. Dave Liebman leads the way just as much as Saft and this comes together as a trail blazing release that even people who prefer pretty music will sit up and take notice as it really opens the ears to new possibilities only hinted at in the stuff from decades back that informed and influenced this set. A winner throughout.
(Rare Noise 109)
Volume 43/Number 220
May 29, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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