HOUSTON PERSON/I'm Just a Lucky So and So: In which we find the grand old master doing it once again. A swinging blues session with a great bunch in tow, these oldies are given unflinching doses of special sauce and made new and right in the pocket throughout. As tasty as it gets, Person isn't getting older, he's getting better---if you can imagine that! A real nutty thing about these tracks is you can hear where the applause would go if this was a live recording. Killer stuff.
BILL O'CONNELL/Wind Off the Hudson: Afro Cuban in his heart, New York in his head, O'Connell rounds up a killer crew to realize his Afro Cuban visions as well as follow along in his tricky, piano footsteps that really keep things lively. Spirited from end to end, this set is sure to get your pulse racing as it provides heat to the feet in grand style. A solid program of piano jazz in high style, he really couldn't have met Mongo 50 years ago already, could he? Solid work.
EXTENDED/Harbinger: In which we find the answer to the question of whether a Nawlins piano trio can show New York angularity without dipping into second line territory. Looks like the answer is yes. Without going all loft on us, this trio has great simpatico that keeps them on point instead of wandering off but they retain their sense of freedom as well. Finding a sweet spot and zeroing in on it as a crew, this bunch opens the ears nicely to new possibilities and delivers on their promises. You don't even have to be too adventurous to dig it completely.
COREY CHRISTIANSEN/La Proxima: Leaving behind the west that has inspired him on past releases, Christiansen digs into his Afro Cuban inspirations for a painting from a different palette. Not a traditional Afro Cuban outing, but for a cat that spends a bunch of the year in Indiana, we'll grant him his askance and enjoy the ride as well. A fun guitar jazz tour de force that takes you on a great ride.
SHAWN PURCELL/Symmetricity: For a cat that played for the Air Force band for 15 years, this jazzbo guitarist has certainly emerged as a cat that's not afraid to color outside the lines in his quest for the eternal groove. A high octane kind of player that has hand picked a crew that is in the right church and the right pew, this is a solid dose of classic New York jazz where anything can happen and usually does. A wonderful wild ride.
YVETTE NORWOOD-TIGER/Love Is: The voice of jazz in south Florida is a fearless thrush that can look backward and forward at the same time. Not having a complex about using the basics as building blocks, she tackles classics and oldies with loads of aplomb as well as special sauce making this a real delight for classic jazz vocal fans that want to hear it when it sounds imbued. Well done.
MAD LOVE/Ish: A modern thrush that brings hippie edges to her jazzy trio sings up a storm on originals that sound right, not contrived. With an adult vibe ruining throughout it, there's still room for things that are new and different to take root and grow. Tight but light, this trio really knows how to deliver for disenfranchised adult ears.
ROBBEN FORD & BILL EVANS/Sun Room: So, here you get two cats that have played everything with everyone over the last 40 years finishing off a tour of Japan with some energy to burn. They round up a rhythm section that has played everything with everyone over that last so many years and a busman's holiday leaves the station. With jazz, soul and funk flying in high gear to please themselves rather than a promoter or an audience, as their own audience they know what their audience really wants. Nothing at all like the ego fest, chopathon dates of the 70s, this bunch let's the chops fly and it's all in service of the music and your ears making this one of the most killer, off the clock dates ever. If this doesn't charge you up, get your ears cleaned out.
VANEESE THOMAS/Down Yonder: The youngest of Rufus Thomas' kids shows the blood line is still running strong on this set of southern deep soul that sails way past the blues and into the unknown. Even if dipping in New York waters, she basically keeps all the action here down home and uses her passion to set all her helpers free to deliver in top shelf style. The only possible problem you could have with this set is that the soul on display is too gritty for you to handle because she doesn't hold back. If you understand the genre, this is impossible to resist.
PROFESSOR LOUIE & the Crowmatix/Miles of Blues: Veterans of decades of rock wars and owners of some of your fave riffs of all time, this bunch took up the cause of white boys (and a girl) with the blues a while back and have since gone on to redefine the genre and make it their own in a no fat, cliché free way. Playing with love for love, this bunch have now become the gold standard for white boys with the blues with this set. So on the money throughout, you just won't believe it.
Volume 43/Number 289
August 6, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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