PNEUMA/Who Has Seen the Wind?: An art chick vocalist rounds up three of her fave clarinet players to all join forces in a set that finds her setting poetry to music and creating a futuristic cabaret sound and style that are all uniquely her own and can easily make eggheads feel cool. Left leaning and mildly avant garde, this creative set is wild and wooly throughout but polished enough to never feel like an ego trip that got out of control. Not exactly jazz as you know it but certainly a tricky meeting of 1950s with 2050s.
RAY OBIEDO/Carousel: Long before you first heard him on Windham Hill, gleefully not really fitting the format, Obiedo already had miles with Herbie Hancock under his belt and was fully immersed into all the sounds his Bay area home base had to offer. Now he might be a senior statesman, but there's no dust on him as he capably shows on this bouncy set of smooth jazz originals that can be filed under ‘feel good'. He's not here to bludgeon, he's here to entice and this easy swinger does the job in fine form. A winner.
NICOLAS BEARDE/I Remember You: With Bearde on vocals and Josh Nelson on piano, they form the basis of this tribute to Nat Cole's centennial always leaving their own mark while not letting the apple fall far from the tree. Staying true to the source without being a manquéy tribute, Nat is surely smiling on this endeavor while Freddie is probably pretty satisfied with the love his brother is getting here. With a solid song stack powering the proceedings, this is a can't miss outing for jazz vocal fans.
(Right Groove 3666)
SHANE ALEXANDER/Life Like Ours: Folk/rock-alt.country hits new heights as this well traveled cat is fed up with angry times and provides an alternative that touchy-feely stuff couldn't touch. You know something special is going on here right from the start as there's a vibe that feels new and different based in something just beyond your ken. A worthy effort.
NOCTURNAL BLONDE/Still Gushing: An album about opioid addiction that has some Athens, GA fairy dust sprinkled throughout it and feels like it was informed by Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball". Pillbilly hit's the folk rock mainstream in a strange but true way.
TUCKER BROTHERS/Two Parts: The young ‘uns are already such a part of the Indian-noplace jazz scene that they were part of a recent Wes tribute with cats that have a lot of age and time in on them, holding their own. Getting into left leaning creativity and improv on this outing, they egghead it up a bit for a smarty pants after hours outing. Atmospheric stuff for when you want to turn down the noize but don't want to go ambient.
DAVE MILLER TRIO/Just Imagine: A dead, solid perfect jazz piano man from NoCal tickles the ivories just in time for George Shearing's centennial. An early influence for Miller, he enlists two other cats that make all the joyful noise your ears can handle in one sitting. Capturing the flashpoint that brought bebop to the nascent suburbs, Miller loves his work and we love him for it. Killer stuff on Shearing classics.
PJ PERRY/This Quiet Room: A sax/piano duo of two grand old men of jazz kicking it out on tunes as old as they are, this is just plain one of those cool records whose chops are so under played there's nothing here to intimidate and everything to draw you in. A set they could have made in their sleep and phoned it in, they do nothing of the sort and entertain you in top shelf style throughout. This is simply how a good time sounds. Well done.
ERIK APPLEGATE/Woodstock!: A chronotransductionary tribute to the Woodstock that actually happened, the jazzbo bassman rounds up some similarly well chopped jazzbos for a set that mixes originals with re-imagined covers of tracks that made the original the grand daddy of them all what am. Walking a lot of fine lines to avoid clichés and make the end result a sum total of Wow!, the mellow is kept in tact and the grooves are endless. Killer stuff throughout.
Volume 43/Number 292
August 9, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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