TOMAS JANZON/130th & Lenox: The Swedish guitarist continues to show why he's such an amazing player as he's equally at home with interpreting jazz hell raisers as he is with soundtrack aces of the past. Then he puts the cherry on top with some nifty originals. Blazing his own trail without having to show how much he can sound like Wes, this original voice finds wonderful music in nooks and crannies where you wouldn't think it exists anymore and plays it to the fullest. A winner throughout.
(Changes Music 114)
BIG DAVE McLEAN/Pocket Full of Nothin': Add some Steve Dawson to a cat's mix that's been mixing it up for 50 years and you have an old dog showing that he's willing to learn some new tricks. Dawson doesn't add enough special sauce to take McLean far from his comfort zone, just enough to keep him relevant for another 50 years of seeing where amped up west side blues can go. Fun stuff from an old guy that wants to stay young, but in a dignified, age appropriate way.
(Black Hen 91)
MATT PATERSHUK/If Wishes Were Horses: I was just bitching the labels would rather reissue stuff that didn't sell in the first place than do some artist development. Leave it to those plucky indies to lead the way. Steve Dawson takes this rootsy cat from the sticks into the studio for the fourth time and digs deeper to find stuff they both dig. Canadian Americana on a par with early stuff by The Band, this organic singer/songwriter lopes along with a deceptive mightiness, delivering his message in fine form. First class sipping music throughout.
(Black Hen 90)
KATERINA BROWN/Mirror: This delightful Russian immigrant's delightful debut finds her adapting to the Bay area jazz scene with no noticeable speed bumps for discerning ears to detect. With a load of stylistic mash ups that probably reflect the energy of her wandering feet, you keep expecting her to fall into a Marlene Dietrich cabaret presentation but her voice never drops that low--even if her attitude makes you think she can. As the world gets smaller, at least we get to enjoy thrushes that can fly higher.
KARL SCHWONIK/Reinventions: When hell raisers get together for their irregular stands and decide to look back over their oeuvre, this is kind of what you get when they go for a reinvented greatest hits set to keep the past in focus for the future. Not quite admitting that life got in the way enough to make them put away the things they loved in their youth, the way out and the mainstream have gotten closer together with the passage of time and what you get here is the sound of several cats that enjoy what they do. Fun, non-standard jazz/instrumental music that was meant for overcast days you aren't giving in to. Well done.
NEW COPASETICS/Twang-Ucopia (Balanced Diet): Roots rockabilly from a wily crew with a load of credits that still want to play like a bunch of suburban white boys with the blues. Luckily, it sounds like they never met a good time they didn't like as they let those good times roll. Whether kicking it out on originals or covers, they understand the genre and the groove and deliver accordingly and appropriately. A rollicking fun time that should be a staple at better parties everywhere.
CHRIS BAD NEWS BARNES/Live: Some blues acts are best experienced on a blues cruise where all the cats they might not be able to round up at once in real life are all held captive and probably needing to kick it out. That's the scenario as relative blues newcomer shows how he got to be a top liner so soon after making the jump from a lifetime in comedy. The mojo is working and the gas is cooking on high as a boat load of blues superstars are here on board do their thing. As live as a little silver disc can be, this is party that doesn't stop once the boat docks. Full sail high times deluxe.
(Vizz Tone CB18)
TREVOR GIANCOLA/Sonnet 18: In which we find the nu next generation flexing their muscles and showing why they are on top lists focusing on who we can appreciate next. An educator that knows how to leave the classroom at the end of the day, this jazz guitarist is certainly the plucky sort that let's the strings know whose boss in a firm, positive way. Solid modern jazz that on the money throughout, jazz guitar fans will recognize this as the real deal.
TYRANTS IN THERAPY/Spoken Weird: So, the dark side of beatnik Tom Waits moves forward into the hip hop future and manages to show that current mores have no bearing on anything really. Although "F*ck This Face" wasn't everything I wanted it to be, this comedy and music album is a wild ride for those who still have their senses of humor in tact and don't want to live a candy ass life every minute of the day. There's still some of us out there, right? Check it out.
(Emotional Coathanger 6303)
LIBBY KOCH/Redemption 10-Live at Blue Rock: As a young attorney working for a law factory, Koch recorded her first album as a lark. It turned into a career. Now, 10 years later, she revisits that debut album , but this time with a band and a live audience in a setting that sounds like Gruene Hall light years ago. An organic kind of gal that's probably a lot happier with the way life has worked out with that the lark flying high, back porch music fans can cheer here for the road that almost wasn't taken.
Volume 43/Number 338
October 4, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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