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CASS CLAYTON BAND/Play Nice: With a voice loaded with smoky soulfulness, it's easy to see why Clayton gets pegged as a blues singer, but she really an all around singer. With smarts to spare and a vibe that'll make sure she's welcome everywhere, she's a smart writer as well that knows her heart and mind and isn't afraid to share her journey with the listener. Low key but with the gas turned up high, this is a nu vocalist that has all the goods in tow.

DIVA JAZZ ORCHESTRA/Diva + the Boys: Is it because she's a drummer and because so much talent passes through her organization that we're starting to think of Sherrie Maricle as a modern Art Blakey? This new set that has some boys playing along with them upholds the nu big band standards they've set and is a swinging gasser to boot. With loads of good vibes in the air, a good time is had by all no matter what they are playing here from what era. Solid pros, they are a big reason big band stays alive and well. Killer stuff for swinging jazzbos that love a good time.
(MCG 1047)

ROZINA PATKAI/Taladim: A Hungarian that's got such a passion for Brazilian music, you can't help but think this is some kind of off beat bossa project. Here, she really upends things as she sets classic poems to music and makes it all Brazilian via someplace else. Certainly not a set for eggheads, left leaners on the prowl for something new and different without being precious have some gold to mine here. A solid set of four on the floor creativity that works throughout.
(Tom-Tom 34)

BILL MAYS & FRIENDS/Mays Plays Mays: Not that long ago, if you put out your own records it was often a sign that something was lacking---now it's a point of independence well played in the right hands. Here we have the vet piano man going off the clock to kick it out on his own label, his own way, with some long time pals that aren't about to let him down. A delightfully classic, old school jazz piano date so loaded with heart and soul that you could eat it with a spoon. Hardly a lion in winter set, this is an old pro playing just as sprightly as you could want. Swingingly killer stuff sure to rouse jazzbo ears.
(No Blooze 4)

LINDA McRAE/Going to the Well: An utterly back porch, mostly solo acoustic set that finds the creative wheel here roping in things from such various quadrants it's a cinch that the folkies this should appeal to probably have no idea what some of the covers here are. Pulled together in two days with the kind of pluckiness that warms the Canadian nights from whence this comes, McRae is a classic folkie in the most best sense of the word that'll do anything but bore you. Certainly not folk music scare stuff here, this has got to be a classic audio hang out. Hot stuff.
(42 RPM 4202)

KATHLEEN HEALY/Embracing the Journey: An engaging folkie that sounds like she's writing from the perspective of an escapee from a culture where wife beating is encouraged. Folk music for nu times, the basics are all there but the lyrics seem like they are inspired by a space beyond Peggy Seeger. Healy might not want to be an engineer but she's looking for a way out to a better place. A solid set of acoustic music with an ear bent toward liberation.

SKIP & DAN WILKINS QUARTET/Someday: Out there in Delaware Water Gap country, there exists jazz that doesn't recognize clocks or other boundaries that inhibit the vibe and flow. This delightfully old school set full of old school tunes was recorded by cats that live in the hotel attached to venue, the oldest continuously running jazz venue in the country. While it's delightfully old school, there's no dust on it as these four pals show just how adept they are at hitting all the right notes at all the right times. One of the tastiest workouts you are going to find, you don't even have to be sipping something to enjoy it to the max.
(Deer Head 10)

SANTIAGO BOSCH/Galactic Warrior: You don't give an album a title like this unless you are prepared to serve up some real fusion and that's exactly what Bosch does. A former tyro keyboard player that has got the miles under his belt to play what ever he wants with real authenticity, this is a must for anyone looking to fill that fusion sweet tooth with something new. And just to be clear, this is fusion, not fuzak. Well done.

DARREN BARRETT/Mr. Steiner: Although the compositions are all his own, Barrett pays tribute to the cat that created the EVI and proceeds to take it places Mike Brecker would have if he could have. With a big crew on board to help make this a sizable jazz statement, this is a dazzler of modern work that is purely powered by rocket fuel and loaded with fun twists and turns. The adventurous know what they have on their hands here and are sure to enjoy it appropriately. Well done.
(db Studios)

GEORGE DUCAS/Yellow Rose Motel: With a legacy behind him on Capitol that is far from chopped liver, Ducas proceeds to head out and do it his own way on his own clock with results the major shouldn't have let get away. Genre splicing a ton of great country modes and moods from the past into a seamless attack toward the future, this is where organic country is headed with the spirit of Bakersfield, Austin and more powering it. Modern country that just keeps hitting it out of the park with each track.
(Loud Ranch)

Volume 44/Number 13
November 13, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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