GRETJE ANGELL/In Any Key: A third generation legacy from Akron, the jazz vocalist can sing as well as swing as she also works out with Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera Company. Choosing to keep a samba vibe in the air, this swaying easy set hits all the right notes setting things on fire with it's low key fire. Tasty stuff that's easy as a Sunday morning.
BLIND LEMION JAZZ/After Hours: This sounds like a late night saloon where Sinatra isn't monopolizing the bar tender. Nicely swinging, this set of originals that sound familiar enough to make you think you've heard them before comes to you from San Francisco, a town where late night jazz has long had a home. Solid work throughout that leaves a great taste in it's wake.
RICHIE BEIRACH-GREGOR HUEBNER DUO/Crossing Borders Beirach has done so many intimate recordings of late that you almost forget what he can do with a bunch like WDR Big Band behind him. Flexing his classical roots as well as his jazz roots, everyone gather for a sassy, big band date that uplifts as well as educates as it works it's magic. Coming together in a great, big whole, as it should be, it's nice to have something that makes you think and feel without hitting you over the head about it. Hot stuff.
MICHAEL O'NEILL QUINTET/Pacific Standard Time: The sax man/arranger ropes in his pal Tony Lindsay, fresh from a 20 year run as Santana's lead vocalist, to bring some rocking R&B chops to this dandy jazz proceeding. Solidly played by a bunch of pros that know each other well, the fresh moves they bring to the classic tunes make it all something new and smoking. A real jazz vocal date that lets the artistry shine.
MAGGIE HERRON/Renditions: Culling this set of tunes from the giant song bag she displays nightly from her Hawaiian perch, the jazz vocalist keeps it really real here giving you a live in the studio experience that must be what it feels like to be sitting around her piano on a carefree night. Not restricting herself to one era, the mix flows nicely and the music is loaded with the kind of polish that let's you know you're in good hands. Well done.
JOHN LIBERATORE /Line Drawings: A contemporary classical set that mixes the better moments of ambient explorations by rockers looking for some new moves with what simply sounds like the sounds of tomorrow. Could be just me but tomorrow sounds like traveling through The Twilight Zone via a hall of mirrors. Powered by smart chops that'll give the uninitiated a sure footed feeling just from the sound and vibe of it, you can use this to help you discern what nu music is the good stuff. Quite the engaging set of sessions.
JACK SPANN/Propaganda Man: What luck. You kick around New York clawing your way up the ladder only to hook up with Bowie just as he's dropping dead. So, it's off to Milwaukee to record a left of center set that sounds more like classic Zappa than it does later day Bowie. A sure bet for lefties, this is an extravaganza for malcontents of all ages.
GENA BRITT/Chronicles: A right in the pocket, traditional bluegrass date, you either take this route or the new grass route if you want to hit it out of the park. The banjoist from Sister Sadie steps out with a load of pals and good songs for a smoking picking and grinning set that shows why accolades follow her where ever she goes. Solid stuff sure to bring new ears into the tent.
JEFF DALE & THE South Woodlawners/Blues Power: This white boy with the blues sets the record straight here. He didn't earn his blues in the cotton fields, he earned them on Chicago's southeast side among the steel mills and all their toxic waste that was a way of life back in his day. Once again leading a bunch of cats that are serious about loving their work, this hard charging set is sure to bring millenials to the blues even if the leader of the movement has a load of grey hanging off his chin. Hard stuff delivered with a blast that could only have come from the steel mills.
(Pro Sho Bidness 4716)
CHUCK HAWTHORNE/Fire Out of Stone: He looks like Don Williams but he makes me feel like when I first heard Chuck Pyle. Real songs and songwriting that goes beyond easy labels like folk, country, etc, this is the real deal for people that want to hear well thought out stories delivered in just the right form. The kind of record you'll be getting your money's worth out of for a long time to come, this is the Texas troubadour tradition taken to the next time frame. Hot stuff.
Volume 43/Number 243
June 21, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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