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LISA HILTON/Chalkboard Destiny: There seems to be a revival of the 50s jazz piano combo vibe in the air and if that's what Hilton is doing here, she's certainly picked fine company to do it with. Gathering some old souls that know the moves, this is a wonderfully wily date that's a digression from her recent works and a welcome way to break ‘new' ground. Challenging herself in high style, it's as if we're hearing a dandy reinvention right before our very ears. Solid throughout.
(Ruby Slippers 1024)

ZACK WALTHER BAND/Westerner: High octane roots music from the left leaning country rock side of things that squarely hits the modern mark. A genre splicer of a date that finds him moving from Texas music to taking the whole country and all it's facets in, this is how the young ‘uns will find their ways to the honky tonks to tear it up their way. Not for moldy figs but a sure thing for those ready to rock.

ANDREA PETRITY/What If I: You like bright, bouncy piano trio work that swings? Petrity and her jazzbo pals are right in that pocket. With high octane fuel powering the proceedings, this is the kind of piano trio date that doesn't come around often enough---full of originals that work and vibes that don't quit. A tasty set not to be missed.
(AP 2)

ZOSHA DiCASTRI/Tachitipo: DiCastri sends out art chick alert vibes right from the start on this set that's devoted to sound and texture more so than to mere music to make it's point. So arty it could give David Byrne lessons on how to make music via art school, this takes up where most left leaning eggheads leave off.
(New Focus 227)

DR. CHRISPY/VHS Remixed: The noted rocket scientist/music producer hits his back pages for another look at his VHS ambient etc recording, this time around putting it in the hands of various remixers. If you want to go to the outre side of outre, this is certainly your jumping off point. Not ambient stuff in the hippy dippy sense of the sound, this is an aggressive look through the lens of where he went when the original was being conceptualized. Space rockers, unite.
(Interplanetary 2)

REBEKAH MELDRUM: It's always a sense of wonder when these Judy Collins look-alikes open their mouths and really wail. Maybe being a preacher's daughter had something to do with it here. Kicking out some solid swamp blues like she's Marie Laveau incarnate, this white girl has more than the blues, she has hellhounds on her tail. All that and she's no Janis manqué. Wild stuff that hits hard and hot.
(Slippery Noodle Inn)

SHARON & BRAM & FRIENDS: Kiddie music superstars come back from hiatus with political protest music for kids? The times they are a-changing'. Still having their signature sound in tact after 40 years and becoming grand parents along the way, they are standing their ground to bring their vibe to a new generation--several generations down the line. A high water mark in kiddie music songs and production, this is a killer example of how some people have it and some people....
(Casablanca Kids)

RALPH PETERSON'S GEN-NEXT BIG BAND/Listen Up!: Talk about giving back, Peterson is in the pocket, in the tradition and in the mix to the max. Leading a bunch of students through a real jazz musical appreciation master class, these kids are a bunch of old souls that know what they want to do with their lives. Killer stuff that's as right on as big band gets. Smoking and swinging throughout.

RACHEL BARTON PINE/Dvorak Khachaturian Violin Concertos: Pine is one of those rare virtuosos that doesn't play the music---she is the music. Turning on a dime when a scheduled session fell apart, she pulled this program of chestnuts together so all the session planning and booking wouldn't go to waste. First encountering these works when she was 15, she's had plenty of time to re-roast these chestnuts, adding spices you would never think of to the mix and crafting a set that's as new as works hundreds of years old can be. Exquisite at every turn, this isn't music just played with feeling---it's played with passion, sensuality and verve. Just plain primo!
(Avie 2411)

Volume 44/Number 14
November 14, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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