YOUNG MISTER/Sudden Swoon: After a turn in the bigs, this folk flavored North Carolina lad returns to his roots shaking off the Hollywood shuffle and releases an album for the new paradigm. Easy going, deep looks at life are what this set is all about. Peppered with the kind of professionalism you could absorb by osmosis via access, this polished/unpolished little gem has everything it takes to be a solid little grabber. The meaty kind of date lot of people want that just doesn't seem to get made often these days.
JOHN YAO'S TRICERATOPS/How We Do: With a taste of what you'd expect from a trombonist that's friends with the Hot Cup crew, improv and hell raising by some skilled young lions fill the bill here. A wonderful racket that neither requires a space craft or a trip to the church basement to enjoy, envelopes are pushed nicely here and a good time is on tap for all jazz progressives.
(See Tao 3)
CHIEMI NAKAI/Ascendant: After playing Latin jazz in her native Japan, Nakai decamped for New York and maneuvered her way around the keyboard to refashion herself as a smoking jazz piano combo leader. With this set of mostly originals under her belt, Nakai impresses as an all around pro that knows how to deliver in top shelf form. A fine, sure bet for piano fans, this date is right in the pocket throughout.
MICHAEL ALLEN HARRISON/Heavy Mellow: Masquerading almost as a new age album, the former piano prodigy takes a boat load of classic rock tunes and rearranges them for solo piano in a way that you almost won't recognize them at all. Ah, the importance of special sauce---this sounds nothing like the gift shop record you might expect from the write up so far. Wildly original and different, this is the record boomers would have wanted to play for their parents when all the ‘rents had to say about then modern rock was that it all sucked. Better late than never. This is a real treat for the classic rocker.
SOUL HARMONY-R&B is Born/original cast recording: So how is it there were all these Jewish people with Chess in their names that were around at the beginning of R&B and rock? With the democratization of show cast album projects finally here making it possible to make a great show cast album without being Goddard Lieberson, the production team of Harrison and Berg give forth a double discer that showcases how a Jewish songwriter and her mother got behind one of the early and great R&B groups that set that standard for what was to come. On a par with something like Audra McDonald's turn as Lady Day, this look at what was and how it came to be is an enjoyable look back at simpler times when passion was in the air. A killer time for anyone interested in the real roots of rock.
Volume 43/Number 302
August 19, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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