YELENA ECKEMOFF/Nocturnal Animals: Nobody can ever accuse Eckemoff of not being ambitious. She has taken us a lot of different places over the course of her career so far and this time she takes us impressionistically into the world of nocturnal animals spreading the work over two discs. Surrounding herself with some first call jazzbos and venturing into having verse accompany her playing, this is quite the head spinning package. She doesn't have to try hard to take her piano to new places but she certainly extends her reach here. A well done trip into the wilderness that probably exists right in your own backyard.
GORDON LIGHTFOOT/Did She Mention My Name-Back Here on Earth: 2 50 year old slices of Lightfoot on one disc where the worst you can say about the songs is that some of them are dated, even if the sentiment is in tact today. Pure prime stuff that wrapped up his studio sessions for UA, there's one each here produced by John Simon and Elliot Mazur, both of which were in the middle of their prime years as well. The kind of stuff that legends are forged from, this is a magnum opus of his early years and hits the target consistently and has basically aged like fine wine. Killer stuff you don't have to strictly be a folkie to love.
(Bear Family 15699)
KAILEY NICOLE: Still barely old enough to vote and legally drink, this tyro is so many light years ahead of many of her contemporaries that you just have to scratch you head and wonder. A through country gal that knows how to rock, teen queens and self styled bitches better get out of the way of this bat out (not really) hell. It's only a matter of time for her.
KONSTANTIN KOLMEL TRIO/Hybrid: One of those drummer that knows how to give everyone some and lead form the back of the riser make this member of Germany's jazz juniors program that much more impressive. He's in touch with modern jazz and looking beyond. With some extra guests popping in and out, this new face of fusion looks like he isn't really shaving yet but he knows how to get the job done. A real treat for jaded ears, this is some sonic proof that age is just a number.
HUGO READ/Of Pain & Glory: The restlessly creative sax man pushes solid listening music to new heights as he experiments with sounds and textures in a way that belies his 65 years. Going as far as he can without turning his sounds into skronk, Read apparently enjoys being a conductor on a ride only he can lead---and he does it up right. A lovely set that manages to be progressive and mainstream at the same time, this is real music for real jazzbos.
(Double Moon 71369)
STRIGALEV-KLEIN-BELARDI-HERR/Tele-Port: Just like age ain't nothing but a number, it seems like geography ain't nothing but an illusion (any more). These white boys from Luxembourg sound like they've been to the church basement on the outskirts of Harlem (Haarlem?) a time or two learning their lessons in civil rights jazz. They might not be mistaken for AEC, but they do a fine job or making angular, muscular progressive jazz that refuses to be held back. A nice throwback to pre-fusion Miles, this bunch is a mighty fine wild bunch. Well done.
(Double Moon 71356)
BYWATER CALL: A dandy throwback to those San Francisco hippie bands that were encyclopedias of bay area grease and southern soul, this bunch from Toronto probably couldn't tell you anything about Sweetwater even if it meant winning on Jeopardy. And it's just as well since that let's them approach the territory without any preconceived notions or expectations. Actually sounding fresh throughout, this bunch seems more in tune with setting the world on fire rather than their synapses. Good for them. Choogle on, young badasses!
(Gypsy Soul 12)
FUEL JUNKIE/All Out: A full on four on the floor crew that amps it up in fine style and will never be mistaken for a frat party crew, even if they make sounds for frat boys of all ages, this bunch of blues rockers never picked cotton in their native Montreal and are wildly post James Montgomery---forget about Butterfield. There's not enough grease to make you think they know what chitlins are but it seems likely their older brothers were playing Wayne Cochran night and day around their houses. Tell all other white boys with the blues to take note.
Volume 44/Number 29
November 29, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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