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DAN LOOMIS/Job's trials: Whew! One of the ultimate ‘why me' stories gets turned into a jazz song cycle that has a heavy duty egghead bent to it's presentation but in the end, comes across as a theatrical presentation. A parable for these times? Could easily be. The cat behind it is a jazzbo that fearlessly goes his own way and could easily lose his way as an art head---but he doesn't. A perfect set to sit down and listen to when you want to clear the decks, everything about it is well played and written and will never leave you in the dust no matter how much independence it shows. Loomis finds that delightful sweet spot where art and commerce can merge seamlessly.

CHRIS TRINIDAD/Chant Triptych II: I could have missed something in the translation but this set says it's a remaining of Gregorian chants as world jazz. I hear the world jazz loud and clear but I'm missing the source. Trinidad is a bass player but this sounds like world jazz for people that want to like John McLaughlin's excursions but find them to dense and over powering. An easy rolling trip for the armchair traveler that wants a trip through a world where all is well, this delightful and sprightly set charms with ease. Tasty stuff that can easily become a genre fave.
(Iridium 2018)

CHRIS TRINIDAD/Y Con Todo: This is what happens when nothing goes to waste. Take some tunes written a few decades ago while working on Caribbean cruise ships, let them simmer and get flavored by a member of Pacific Mambo Orchestra, add some runaway Santana cats and let the borders fall. Primo caliente Latin jazz where everything is percolating with the gas on high and the vibes flowing freely. A first class party on a platter, even gringos can get moving to this and not look to silly doing the white guy dance. Well done.
(Iridium 2019)

PEPPINO D'AGOSTINO/Connexion: Those in the know got their first taste of D'Agostino in the 90s when major labels were letting flamenco guitarists hang around, even if only throughout distribution deals. A true artist first, he's only gotten better in all that time. His first album in 6 years, he shows that he doesn't have to work and play well with others and his solo guitar work says all it's needs to say on it's own. A wondrous tour de force, stuff like this might have become ultimate insider work as things contract, but it's a great case for being an insider. Killer stuff that never let's you down from a guitar man that raises the bar.

IDLE HANDS/Solid Moments: Those classic Prestige jam sessions where the label rounded up a bunch of their hitters might be a thing of the past but here's a continuing case for new classics being minted as we speak. The latest in the label's series of artist round ups, there's nothing here that would lead you to think that this is anything other than a forgotten Prestige or Blue Note date where the label gang hung out together and let the good vibes fly. With a classic sound and feel, often on a bunch of new tunes, this bunch delivers a solid listening date with everyone showing up to play. Real jazz for real ears, this is what they are talking about when they talk about the real thing. Hot stuff.
(Posi-Tone 8205)

JUDSON GREEN/Discover: The former president of the happiest place on earth turns his retirement attention to making smoking smooth jazz just made for summer evening good times. Easy rolling stuff that shows him to be much more than a one trick pony, especially when he turns up the heat, this is a mighty enjoyable date that underscores how easy can be a wonderful thing. Well done.

BROTHERS-the Music of Gregg Hill: Jazz so close to Detroit but so far away in sound. Culled from two concerts by cats that have played together in various configurations, Hill left the Origin fold to take it back to Michigan and take it his own way. A solid ‘you are there' kind of set, it saves you the trouble of going out on a crummy night. It also saves you from scouring the Michigan country side to find these local cats that can hold their own with anyone. A real jazzbo treat where you can tell everyone is having a great time.
(Cold Plunge )

AL GOLD/Al Gold's Paradise: Roots music from Jersey is pretty much bar band music, but times changes. Gold is the prime mover of Jersey roots music and he's added some real hitters to his regular line up to get things really choogling. Can a typical bar hold this maybe not. It's up to you to blast it at home. Like Rufus meeting chitlin circuit music, this badass funky tour de force is a must for party people that want the jam to last all night long. Hot, heavy and loads of rollicking fun(k).
(Goldsongs 1001)

CALLE LOIZA JAZZ PROJECT/There Will Never Be another You: A Latin jazz as filtered through Puerto Rico, this set is a reunion of a 90s jazz crew that set the standard on the island. Playing a set of classics easy to call off, this bunch has no dust on them as they raise the temperature and make you sweat. Recalling come classic stuff by cats who learned their lessons well, this return to form makes you glad this is one of the few places where you can leave the country and don't need a passport to get there. Muy caliente!

KARNEY/Better: She looks like a folkie but covers Zep and writes music for video games. She's also pissed off. Is it because of the times or her day job teaching music to school kids? Rocking with a political edge for these times, the voiceless can certainly look to her for a voice.

Volume 44/Number 99
February 7, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record

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