DON DOKKEN/Solitary: Hell, even hard rockers get old and have to lay back---that's why they sing songs from "Titanic" 20 years later. Certainly a different kind of set from the cat, he's a crooner now knowing his old fans have gotten older too. His pen is still in the pocket and some old fellow travelers show up to show that chops are forever.
JOHN SNEIDER/The Scrapper: It might be the trumpeters first record in 20 years but the personnel is the same as it was on his first record, and there's no dust on anyone. A hip player that's opted for the studio tan over the years shows that he's one of the few that doesn't need the feedback of a live audience to keep his chops sharp. A tasty mainstream date with an edge. Playing with a sure hand and a talented lips, if you haven't met the Scrapper yet, it's time to get hip to what all the hipper New Yorkers already know---he's got it on the ball and hits it out of the park. Well done.
(Cellar Music 72619)
WIN PONGSAKORN/Yes, It Is! Introducing: An exciting date in which we find a passel of young lions prowling along the veranda led by a young man with a horn that blows like it's second nature. Bopping and swinging along in easy grace, this is simply the kind of date you want playing when you are in the jazzbo mood after a long day. Heavy on originals, they are all compelling enough that it doesn't matter you never heard them before. An auspicious debut that's well done throughout.
(Cellar Music 72919)
ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF NEW MUSIC (APNM)/Volume One Chamber Music/Volume Two Computer + Electronic Music: Strap yourself in for this two volume set that highlights works of the association 40 year history as they take you to the edges and fringes of sound that may be way out or simply ear opening. It's an omnibus of the best of their best and you don't have to be an egghead to take it seriously. Maybe it's world music, maybe it's other world music, the harvest is there for you to dig into and decide. In true omnibus fashion, there's a little something for everyone but it's so well programmed, it has the cohesion of a You Tube play list you may have mixed yourself. Check it out if you like that something outside the ordinary.
(New Focus 248)
DEEP ENERGY ORCHESTRA/The Return: A futurist take on Dante's 7th Circle as filtered through a progressive/world orchestra playing material that took 30 years to write. A spiritual work not at all bound by the past, you get Freddy Haque, Crimson associates and more musos that you can shake a stick at taking you on the journey of the testing of the soul. Sometimes, it does sound like hell. Like the world is a wild place these days. Prepare yourself for some heavy duty channeling as this takes you on the composer's journey into the unknown and back.
(7D Media 2011)
BE BOP DELUXE/Modern Music: Another journey through the past with Bill Nelson's smoking guitar as the progressive label he was on tried to make him more AOR friendly as the decade and the format progressed. This deluxe reissue gives you the original album as well as new mixes and bonus tracks making this album a full on experience. Nelson knew what the was doing just fine on his own but you have to give the prog subsidiary props for trying to bring the mountain to Mohammed. Essential period rock that has stood up well.
ANTHONY PHILLIPS/Strings of Light: For the true malcontent that thinks Genesis sucked after Phillips left the fold, here's a double album (plus surround sound mix disc) of just him and various guitars. It's Kottke quality playing, not a bunch of flailing as we all know that solo guitar albums look easy but frequently sound rough. Recently recorded, the dexterity is still there and the gateway to the fantasy world still swings wide open. A wonderful audio getaway to another realm that seems so easy to access. Tasty throughout.
(Esoteric Antenna 31076)
MACEO PARKER/School's In: The return of a 2005 session that finds Parker and Candy Dulfer together again and blowing up a mighty groove. Another in a series of Parker's post James Brown sessions where the only message was to get the party started, keep it going and find the center of the groove. A true master blaster, these grooves are timeless and ageless and have all the rocket fuel you need to keep it hot all night long.
EMMYLOU HARRIS & LINDA RONSTADT/Girls Night Out: They never were able to get the schedules to line up to get Dolly Parton back in line for another Trio date so they set off as a duo for the Tucson Sessions. This two hour live concert to promote the album is a real dream for fans of these two first class songbirds. With top shelf songs from the various Trio/Duo albums, solo tracks and McGarrigle cuts, the harmonies from this date are the stuff dreams are made of. One of those moments in time that won't come again, this set captures the magic that could only come from the sparks these two light. Killer stuff.
(Left Field Media 622)
CLIFFORD JORDAN/Complete Album Collection 1957-1962: Almost an enigma of a sax cat, it seems like he was on a lot of Blue Note dates and flamed out in the early 60s. This collection is less than half Blue Note and he kept going into the 90s before being felled by lung cancer. A bad ass blower as these eight albums attest, he was always the second cat into an august line up in these days and it seems the mighty blower never got his full due. Playing with loads of the hippest, hottest cats of the time, these sides are more than a fine legacy----they cook and stand up today just as well as they did then. Another fine example of when music was music and pure presentation was all you needed.
QUINCY JONES/Classic Albums 1956-1963: These 8 albums stem from a time when Jones was such an insiders' secret weapon that it took the hipster in Andy Williams fighting to get out to bring Jones to the masses. With an encyclopedic knowledge of music that would obviously serve him well as his career progressed already leaping fully formed, he could take you around the world and deep into worlds without missing a beat. Add to that the killer personal on all these albums and you have a recipe for greatness then and now. Utterly cool stuff that would seem it was recorded now if it had some new overdubbing and hi res remixing, he always was the baddest of the bad. A total killer collection.
Volume 44/Number 100
February 8, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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