MAURICE TANI/This Is It: A west coast gem that needs more national recognition, this Californian Americana pioneer writes about what he knows and he don't really know about the country even if his writing has a country flavor. With an authenticity often lacking in a lot of Americana as played by cats that know about as much about tractors as they do other things they don't know about, this Americana path blazed by this singer/songwriter is just amazing---and it should have been so obvious. Folkie fans will be knocked back on their heels as was the live audience at this show--and they'll be sure to spread the word. Killer stuff.
(Little Village 1026)
PETER BEETS/Our Love is Here to Stay: Beets tackles an interesting thesis here: If Gershwin's music is still with us that shows how timeless it is. How to you re-imagine it? He doesn't pander to millenials with a pomo treatment as he leads his jazz piano trio into the breach with kind of a classic saloon set in which the piano man lets the music meander as the mood sees fit. That particular level of invention is just enough to keep the music's heart beating---and swinging! A tasty set that offers just the right amount of subversion and respect to make this a classic. Well done throughout.
(Magic Ball Jazz 74609)
PAUL NEDZELA/Introducing: An indie label has only so much time and money to work with these days and that's probably how Posi-Tone let this Wynton Marsalis praised sax man get away. Trying to cover a lot of ground on his debut looking forward and backward at the same time, this pure bred daddio knows how to keep things swinging. With enough special sauce in his blowing that you can already hear a distinct signature, you know the future is bright for this cat. A really tasty, first call work out throughout.
(Outside In 1915)
JON GORDON/Answer: When the majors still had jazz departments, this would have been a no brainer. As it is, crowd funding for this set is a good idea in this day and age as it means there's no out of touch doofus standing there giving Gordon notes. All he had to do was show up at Van Gelder's with a crew that was here to play, soak up a little history and get down to rolling tape and not wasting an inch. Killer jazzbo sax work by a cat that has learned his lessons and still doesn't consider school out, real jazzbos have a real session here that just needs some slinky waitresses wandering about to really complete the vibe. Killer stuff.
AKIKO HAMILTON DECHTER/Equal Time: In which we find a little Japanese gal proves she can stand tall with hard core jazzbos and all that matters is that she brings that B3 grease letting everything else take care of itself. A new organ trio that's worked together in the past in various formats, their mutual respect and love for the groove brings this together and makes it work. With an out of the box freshness, you know they are playing for the fun and love of it---and it's infectious. A great set to get your groove on to, this is the land where swing is the thing. Hot stuff.
BLOOD MOON HOWLERS/Mad Man's Ruse: Psych blues rockers that recall a lot of 60s vibes for kids whose idea of pre-history is the 80s. Of course, with everyone saying the 60s was the era when music was really music---who knows how the zeitgeist will treat this. They know the moves and any steam punk that wants to grab a train to the past will hitch one here---to the land where metaphors are madly mixed. Your ticket to escape from shoe gaze.
MARK CLINE BATES/King of the Crows: Don Dixon set out to find out what would happen if he produced a non-urban/non-hillbilly, rural Americana cat that cold be a back woods Leonard Cohen. With words and thoughts that could make you swallow razor blades with your Oxy, Bates is that one of a kind singer/songwriter than knows how to make you think even when you don't want to. Audio cinema verite at the top of the form all the way.
ROYAL HOUNDS/Low Class Songs for High Class People: Roots rockers that know just how badly Americana needs a nod, a wink and a smirk, they rev it up, this time out adding a Brazilian guitarist that understands the genre better than most homegrown pickers, and serve their send up in fine fashion. A real party platter that careens madly (the roots version of swing?) and is loaded with zip. A gasser for sure, this is purely the sound of fun done right (in a space where there are no rules).
SAVOY BROWN/City Night: The main attraction on the band's 40th album is that Kim Simmonds is still swinging that ax like Paul Bunyan. There's words, there's other players on board, but that ax is swinging and stinging. A blues rocking shredarooney that should probably be endorsing glucosamine for Vitamin World, Simmonds and crew turn it up to 11 and let the fur fly harder and farther than geezers probably should/could. Right down the middle for the true believers.
WORLD PEACE/various: When it seems like everyone everywhere has their finger on the button, this is a really timely collection. Covering classic civil rights tunes, Marley themes and more. telling people it's time to step back and remember what our real leaders had in mind once upon a time, you just don't write this set off as a bunch of hippies singing "Kumbya". Will people listen? One can only hope. It's certainly programmed to get your attention and get the message across. Listen up.
MIKE JACOBY/Long Beach Calling: A vet roots rocker that has a mixmaster mind along with a sense of humor, this is a cat that can chart his own course whether in homage to Clash or tackling the would be straight humor side of Al Yankovic, he's that one of a kind artist that masters the offbeat making it seem normal. A must treat for that after hours spots that exists between your headphones, listen to it in your head so no one will know what your smiling about. Well done.
Volume 43/Number 226
June 4, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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