JERSEY SWAMP CATS/Go Cat Go: So what's a bunch of cats from Jersey to do when they dig all kinds of jump blues from all quadrants but they are sitting out in Jersey? Mash it up into a sweet swinging set powered by a flock of originals that are true to the tradition no mater which one they are pointing to. Kicking it off with a little Louie Prima to set the scene, the party rolls on from there. Solid swinging for hep cats and their kitties that are just out looking for a good time and something to take them there.
LAWRENCE CLARK/Inner Visions: The young Jersey sax man lets it harken back to civil rights jazz days with a smoking and stellar crew enjoying the musical emancipation this set affords. Playing it right in the pocket from the old days, this is a fine example of free jazz that uses it's freedom wisely to make statements the listener will engage with. Top shelf throughout.
(Jazz Tribes 1906001)
JOE LOUIS WALKER/Viva Las Vegas Live: Despite having unassailable blues chops, for this live date in Vegas, this geezer shows he can rock with the best of them, even capping the date off with some Fleetwood Mac that's older than you. A cd-dvd twofer, you can rock out to the sound or the visuals and have a great time either way. Capturing all the gusto he brings to the riser, this smoking set raised the roof in fine form and keeps the party going well beyond it's 85 minutes. Hot stuff.
(Cleopatra Blues 1308)
MITCH RYDER/Detroit Breakout: Victory lap or not going gentle into that good night? A cat that made his mark on the AM band 50 years ago reassembles the old gang from the old neighborhood in a set that has a wild set list, careening from Pete Seeger to Jack Daniels, and adds a wild guest list to the mix of disparate characters that know a good time when they see one. For unreconstructed rockers that miss the 60s, this is how it really was before corporate rock steamrollered over everything harder than Beatles did. Check it out.
ELIZA NEALS/Sweet or Mean: An operatically trained vocalist realizes it's more fun to hang out on the wrong side of the tracks, teams up with Popa Chubby and let's the good times roll without looking back. Sadly it's only an ep because we want more of this rollicking roots rocking and we want it now. A real badass babe to the max, this gets the party started, now we want the rest of it. Hot stuff.
RICK SPARKS/Hushabye: An angelic sounding sleepy time set for kids of all ages, this easy going, gentle set of instrumentals will probably do you more good at bed time than Zzzzzquil---and we mean that in a good way. Pleasant stuff to drift away to, it's almost like this is a companion piece to Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the Day' with more pleasant moves throughout. Well done.
CHRISTOPH BERGHORN/Let Go: The German heir apparent to Bert Kaempfert steps out on his own to showcase his arranging for himself on this set of new age/pop that almost has you taking a walk in the forest or picking up a weirdo, some guy with a beardo. Easy gong instrumentals with a bright edge that keeps it lively and bright, this generously tracked set is a fine way to pass the afternoon when there's so much other stuff you'd rather not be doing. Totally charming and well worth your time.
SCOTTY DENNIS/Back to the Blues: Vet vocalist and long time Kansas City blues enthusiast revs it up for a workout of his own at long last under his own name. A modern cat that blues rocks it hard but never loses sight of keeping soul in the mix, this is that kind of primo after hours date you want to hear when you aren't in any hurry for the sun to come up. Hard hitting throughout, this is some seriously baaaad stuff.
LUCY YEGHIAZARYAN/Blue Heaven: In the jazz vocalist world, it's always a treat when you can find a new youngster that can sing the songbook with an old soul. There's nothing old about Yeshiazaryan, but she understands the lyrics and finds a way to keep them as modern as she is without losing the thread. A delightful swinger with a upper register voice, this is just one of those sets where all you have to do is strap yourself in and have a good time. Solid stuff right in the pocket throughout.
DAVE ROBBINS SEXTET/Joan of Art: A regional luminary in British Columbia, Robbins has kept this crew together for 20 years. They finally got their chance to swing on wax and they whack it out of the park. A mostly original set that finds the crew delivering hard, swing is alive and well in the Pacific Northwest. Just a dazzling date where everything works perfectly all the time, this is a valentine to jazzbos everywhere.
Volume 43/Number 250
June 28, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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