SVETLANA/Night at the Movies: Yep, thoughts become things. We thought rock ‘n' roll and blue jeans brought down Russia but apparently it was movies and movie music. That's what motivated this Russian lass to leave the austerity behind and come across the pond to be successful enough in business to chase her real dreams. Capturing the attention of Guy Eckstine, Matt Pierson and other jazzbos of note, she rolls out a jazzy take on movie music culled from the last 100 years, making it all her own all the way through. If you dig movie music or cabaret feeling jazz on tunes you know and love, this is the place for a great listening experience. Well done.
YELLOW HOUSE ORCHESTRA/Pop: Kind of like a modern Tower of Power, this genre splicing crew soaks up the sounds of the streets in a rocking Latin jazz amalgam that just plain rollicks along serving up all the genre touchstones you expect and more. Party music for party people that want to party, this is how you get modern good times rolling.
OSCAR HERNANDEZ/Love the Moment: The Latin jazz hydra presents yet another side of his skills with a second outing that flies under this particular flag. A solid serving of smoking Latin jazz that positions itself in an up market vibe, this classy set is a delightful fast ball right down the middle. Professional and well played while leaving the emotion and passion in tact, there isn't a lick on this set of originals that you won't like. A well done ear opener.
KENYATTA BEASLEY SEPTET/Frank Foster Songbook: Since there seems to be no memory of anything anymore, unless you are a hard core Basie fan, the works here might not mean anything to you. The Basie staple was a mentor to Beasley and he leads his crew through a rousing live double disc that's a fine tribute to his fallen leader. If you're down a quart on your daily swing requirement, this hopping, bopping set will perk those reservoirs wide open. There's only 11 tracks across the two discs but the crew makes the most of all that room to stretch out and deliver. Wonderful stuff by pros you need to hear more of, this is real jazz for real jazzbos.
(Art vs. Transit)
ORAN ETKIN/Finding Friends Far From Home: Is this a kid's record or not. With a vibe that feels like "Peter and the Wolf", Etkin takes his clarinet around the world and narrates the stops and encounters they make. Quite a wild diversion that's as much radio program as it is a record, it's certainly cinematic in scope and entertaining throughout. This is most certainly a different tangent for the armchair traveler to successfully follow with a rising clarinet ace that won't leave them stranded leading the way. Fun stuff for kids of all ages.
SUMITRA/Bittersweet: Keeping her art chick cred in tact, this autobiographical journey through her life falls in the jazz/cabaret niche where personal stuff that floats to the fore is at the fore. A great scene setter for a moody cocktail hour.
NATIONAL WRECKJING CO.: Hard rockers keep it simple and direct for budding suburban teen aged minds that need to let loose with pent up raging hormones. Loaded with the profoundedness of the disenfranchised looking for voice, don't be surprised if this is tomorrow's nostalgia music for the victims of the gig economy.
UNCLE ROY & the Band from Another Planet/Save the Universe: Freak space rock for minds that want to explore the cosmos in the most skewed way. When guitar leads the way, you can't get too lost but this makes classic Hawkwind seem like standard top 40 fare.
UNCLE ROY'S SPACESHIP/How do we Get to Earth? Taking a cue from Zappa's Jazz from Hell, this guitar excursion through outer space and prog realms provides just a little less amphetamine buzz than "Metal Machine Music". Peaches en regalia ala mode anyone? A must for guitar freaks that like it loud and proud.
PETERSON KOHLER COLLECTIVE/Winter Colors: If the business of big business wasn't something that always gets in the way and grinds things down, this is probably what impressionistic, Windham Hill jazz would sound like today. Skillfully played by a bunch of cousins that used to do this all the time, it's deep yet easy going and always on the money and in the pocket. Much more than just pretty playing, this might well be the cure for what ails ya. Killer stuff.
MARKUS RUTZ/Blueprints Figure One Frameworks: A Chicago trumpet set from a hard blowing cat with an old soul that shows his appreciation for what has come before in the way of jazz and mentorship. He's a mainstream cat that knows how to bob and weave as well, chalk this up as a great listening set that elevates everything around it. An when he blows up a great run of notes...don't get me started. Well done.
BEN MARKLEY QUARTET/Slow Play: Written specifically for the cats surrounding him on this set, the result is one of those smoking mainstream sets you hear on late evening jazz shows that always amaze you in that the players forgot to put in clichés. Never taking the easy way out but never making it hard on the listener, this piano man and his pals are out to show you a regally good time. They succeed. It swings all the way. Killer stuff that blows hard but never blows, if ya know what I mean.
Volume 43/Number 327
September 13, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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