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MIGUEL ZENON/Sonero: Before I even hear the first byte, I admire Zenon for taking his genius grant dough and putting his money where his mouth is. Another in a series of his heritage records that doesn't disappoint, Zenon goes back to the 50s for a new look at a cat that helped define the Afro Rican sound---and he does it in his usual complete and delightful way. Tipping his cap to one of his childhood musical heroes, you can tell he's digging down deep to make sure this is done right. Going well beyond it's world jazz roots, this set is all encompassing and the kind of set that could stand as a career maker in a career full of career makers. Hot stuff.

MIKE PACHELLI/High Standards: The stalwart jazz guitarist rounds up hell raisers Tony Levin and Danny Gottlieb to lead them through a jazz guitar trio set of standards that sounds like it could easily have been a Bucky Pizzarelli (minus one string) set on Arbors. One of those sweet, easy dates whose deceptive simplicity locks you into it's groove in no time, this date is a great reminder that fun is fun and always welcome. Well done.
(Fullblast 2219)

ANNIKA CHAMBERS/Kiss My Sass: Exactly the kind of smoking set you want to release when just fresh off winning BMA's soul/blues woman of the year award, this Texas take on southern deep soul rocks the rafters with sizzle that's all steak and no smoke. A bold and brassy antidote to mushmouthism, this reminder that Texas is a whole ‘nother country is going to make you take another look at what's going on down there. Killer stuff throughout.
(Vizz Tone AC01)

JOSH LOVELACE/Growing Up: A heartland rocker with a side career in kid/family music shows his family side here on a set that rocks nicely in such a way that kids and adults both can listen happily. Letting his family side show proudly, you almost wouldn't know that he's a seasoned rocker that knows how to kick it out that way as well. Well done.
(Stonycroft 5907)

NEW YORK VOICES/Reminiscing in Tempo: Originally college pals that have now been making a living at this for 30 years with mostly the same line up in tact for much of that time, these tracks show they have much more going for them than longevity. Jazz vocal and vocalese performed in fine form throughout, they may have few competitors for what they do these days but they are setting the gold standard for jazz vocal nonetheless. Wonderfully timeless, they proudly stand here as a high class, class act that are masters of their art. Killer stuff.
(Origin 82784)

RONNIE EARL & the Broadcasters/Beyond the Blue Door: The master blues guitarist brings out the best in the Broadcasters and various guests making a sizzling set that used to come along with blasé regularity but is now a treat to behold. With a lot of genre busting elements that make this much more than a white boy with the blues acting out, Earl really drills down here to make this a first class ass kicker. Varying the set card for maximum impact rather than maximum publishing royalties, this is an undisputable tour de force. Top shelf all the way.
(Stony Plain 1407)

TENNESSEE REDEMPTION: Roots rockers using the B2B/gig economy business model where you can tell they cut this without someone giving them notes. Using their Beale St. seasoning to take this right to the end user and connect with fans one by one, there's no affectation in their genre splicing as they go where the music takes them. A wonderful underground set that's sure to bubble up to the top.
(Endless Blues)

Volume 43/Number 290
August 7, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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