DAVID CLAYTON THOMAS/Say Somethin': Bet you never thought you'd hear from this hall of famer again. A full 50 years after making his bones, he's back with a bluesy, political album---and he's not even party to the mess going on stateside these days. Bet you didn't know there was more to him than "Spinning Wheel" as well. You want some wild, personal singer/songwriter stuff that'll open your ears? This is the stuff.
DICK LEANDRE MASAOKA/Solar Wind: Three improvisers with real chops get together to push their axes to the limit of exploring sound and turning it into music. Not a load of arts council blather but not casual listening for beats fans either, this is art that doesn't need to start with a capital A to get it's point across. Solid stuff for art fans that want to be taken away as well as shook up somewhere between here and there.
(Not Two 986)
MASAOKA PERKINS MELFORD/MZM: Three improvisers that even have work with Yoko Ono on their resumes show that if the audience isn't woke, it can take 6 years for your record to come out. One of the most non linear recordings you'll hear where you don't feel like hitting the eject button after a few minutes, if this feels familiar to you it's because they are exploring the sound of chaos and your relate. They keep coming back to crime jazz riffs and you have to wonder if that was planned as a motif to show how easily things can fly sideways.
(Infrequent Seams 1015)
FOLSOM PROJECT/Wolf & the Skull: Nothing to do with prison, just the name of the street where this came together. A cinematic prog release in which you are supposed to fall into the dark mind movies that unspool here. A nice soundtrack for younger tastes to fire one up to and indulge in dark side fantasies, the sound of the suburbs has vectored once again.
BROOKS WILLIAMS/Work My Claim: A dyed in the wool folkie that's been indie even when the record biz was healthy, we find him celebrating 30 years of hitting the road 200 nights a year by picking out fave songs from the last 30 years newly played with his fave comrades. Always a top shelf folkie, Williams just has it in his blood and has enough left over to give us a welcome transfusion every year. Consistent at all levels of the game, this stroll through his back pages is a great trip down memory lane for fans old and new. Well done.
(Red Guitar Blue Music 2020)
GREG SCHATZ/Amoebotics: It's one of those Hollywood Babylon things you might not have heard about. There was the time jazzbo MF and mirth maker LW (initials used since everyone is so crazy on the net in these days of cancel culture) got together to go to Dennis Hopper's house and indiscriminately swallow things from unlabeled pill vials just to see what would happen. After coming down from visions of being married to Michelle Phillips, they turned on the tape recorder and started playing. Because of contractual commitments, they created the character of Greg Schatz and began shopping what you can hear here. Deliciously off the wall, this is the great palette cleanser that's always welcome.
(Hot Spazz 5)
UNDER THE LAKE/Your Horizon Too: A smooth jazz reunion prompted by the band's original leader doing a radio interview and an original band member calling into say hey, they might not have played together in quite some time but the original telepathy kicked in once the record light went on and the groove and vibe picked up like it never left off. Purveyors of the sound before consultants killed it, this is no nostalgia trip, these cats just have the right touch. Solid stuff for smooth jazz fans that miss how good it was before it got yukky.
(Mind in Overdrive)
SASS JORDAN/Rebel Moon Blues: This vet belter is no mere Janis manqué, she played Janis in "Love, Janis". These chops and moves are for real. Making a one for me record, Jordan digs into the Chicago crates for some real deals with a band that supports her vision. This white gal with the blues has done some real commercial things to keep the lights on but when you start peeling the onion, she's the real deal and hits it out of the park here. Hot stuff with all the chestnuts freshly roasted with new seasoning.
(Stony Plain 1410)
CARL SAUNDERS/Jazz Trumpet: A Kenton alum that settled in Vegas for 20 years giving him the chance to play with everyone before pulling up stakes to hit the road again and continue to play with everyone, if you don't know his name or sound, it's time you get hip to this pro. With the contemporary history of jazz at his finger tips and some of the best educations money can't buy, this is a jazzbo that deserves a load of love and celebration for playing that's still hip and sharp. Killer stuff.
Volume 44/Number 130
March 9, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record