BEN DAVIS JR/Suthernahia: A hard charging roots rocker with accent on the rock, Davis shows his sure fire pen on a dandy original set that fires up the blood taking looks as various topics that affect the contemporary psyche. Solid modern songwriting that stays on point throughout, here's a smoking slice of life live from the heartland to you.
MARK WINKLER/I'm With You: I was once hired to speak with Bobby Troup about unleashing some of his trunk songs for a project. I called his house. A woman answered, pleasantries were exchanged. After she put down the phone to get Troup, it hit me---Jesus Christ I was just talking to Julie London. Winkler's take on Troup songs is just as cool as that exchange. Knowing exactly how to approach these songs with just the right amount of implicit cool without ever wavering into hipster territory, Winkler comes across as Troup's song's best friend. A completely exquisite release that drips cool from all sides, fool your friends and tell them this is a lost Bethlehem session. Classic stuff given a classic treatment.
(Café Pacific 4075)
GORDON GRDINA QUARTET/Cooper's Park: Malcontent jazz that veers wildly but never becomes dissonant, Grdina continues to take improv and exploration into new territories that at once sound like Bernstein outtakes from "West Side Story" and lounge music from Mars. Avant garde for the practical minded that want to enjoy and not just show they know something you don't know, this is a swell party for eggheads that all are invited to.
PAUL COMBS/Unknown Dameron: One of the jazz greats that rubbed elbows with other jazz greats, Dameron is given a deeper look see by Dameron scholar Combs, a cat that can play as well as he researches. Showing the visionary side of Dameron by giving air to unheard works the better part of a century old, this is one of those smoking missing link dates for any fan of early Miles that wants to know and hear more. A tasty work that works throughout.
NICK GRONDIN GROUP/View of Earth: A genre splicer of a date that's based in but not strictly jazz, Grondin and crew ride the lightening with an impressionistic date that accents and colors freely as the cosmos get an easy exploration. Auteurishly cinematic in scope, this modern date may have it's roots in the seventh galaxy but it's ears are cocked toward the future.
(Everybody Wins 1)
DANIELA SOLEDADE/Moment of You: Not one of those kids you have to kick out of the house to eventually get them to sink or swim on their own, Soledade is a scion of Brazilian jazz royalty and is an apple that left home but didn't fall far from the tree. Not retro, not modern but firmly in the Brazilian jazz/bossa nova/samba classic pocket---all that's missing here is Stan Getz. You can't call yourself a fan of Brazilian music and not lose your mind over this set---it's that good.
(Blue Line 120)
PEPPER/Local Motion: Irie's come a long way since Marley's time but the spirit lives on. Modern skanking sounds that lope along nicely as this set paces itself to a #1 spot on the reggae charts, every genre is entitled to appeal to it's nu fans with nu sounds--and this crew has their finger on the pulse. Tasty stuff that opens the ears to new possibilities, perhaps there are still a few new things under the sun---even if the sun doesn't change. Well done.
PAUL SILBERGLEIT/January: A Wisconsin jazz guitar mainstay, he leads his quartet here through a program that might as well be out of the classic Wes sound. It's so in the pocket, you could pass it off as a great unreleased Wes session if you want to screw with your friends. Showing there's still plenty of life to be explored in classic sounds and styles, this is a real dream date for any right minded jazzbo. Well done.
ALBERTO PIBIRI & the Al Peppers/Nacho Blues: Herb Alpert was one of those groovy 60s things that fell out of favor as the Beatles era was ending and proto jam bands were boogieing across the land. That end of cool never happened for Pibiri as he freely admits to being influenced by Alpert and keeps things as groovy as they would have been if Alpert never discovered Peter Frampton. Whether covering "Godfather" or Alpert or anything in between, Pibiri keeps it groovy and today's world could use more of that. Killer stuff.
PAUL ZAUNER'S BLUE BRASS/Roots n' Wings: Deep jazzbo stuff going on here as one of the forerunners of loft jazz and a Euro correspondent reunite for some work that picks up where they left off in the late 80s. Has 30 years passed? Doesn't sound like it. Still free wheelers with a progressive edge, this duo (Zauner and David Murray) and their pals take it back to where it all began and they do it in fine fashion. This is hip stuff that goes well beyond daddio.
Volume 43/Number 282
July 30, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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