SONGS OF TALES/Life is a Gong Show: Can you be award winners in the mainstream and still be underground sensations? Gordon Grdina and this edition of his pals seem to prove it so. A worldly jazz outing (as opposed to strictly world), this bunch takes you on excursions that contradict it's smart ass title as the depth and focus are mind blowingly progressive. Unique in the most right on kind of way, this is must listening for the adventurous and those who want to be. Solid work where creativity abounds and the wheels never fall off.
MARIE KRUTTLI TRIO/The Kind of Happy One: An art chick at her crossroads, this piano gal is exploring inner space while making an outwardly reaching trio date that takes in elements of the 60s but is firmly in the now. With one ear on the real world and one ear on the other world, she leads her crew through a solid set of energetic, sitting down jazz sure to fill in any gaps in the conversation if you unwisely choose to use this as background music. For the open eared who like to have music they can bite into, she's as much classic Carla Bley as she is Bley's theoretical great grand children.
DAVE GLASSER/Hypocrisy Democracy: A daddio recidivist that comes by his commie hippie credentials quite organically, this long time jazzbo rounds up some progressive minded pals that are up for his challenges. Making his statement about these times with his sax, this is the sound of whitey turned loose in the civil rights era church basement and not making a fool of himself. The clarion call is civil rights are for everyone and that's no co-option. Great stuff to get your groove on to.
MARIEA ANTOINETTE/All My Strings: The wheels of progress move along as we find Dorothy Ashby meeting Bond on this forward thinking harp date that takes the instrument out of afternoon tea rooms forever more. A skilled string wizard, Ms. A isn't afraid to schlep her ax into uncharted territories and use all the tricks in her bag to prove there's no dust on her ax. Heady stuff that takes instrumental music into new realms.
PERIPHERAL VISION/Irrational Revelation and Mutual Humiliation: Thinking man's jazz you don't have to be an egghead to enjoy, it's often high minded without being pedant or hard to enjoy. This quartet that's no stranger to grabbing attention for their work takes the luxury of a double album to roll out their ambitious ideas and hear all of them succeed. A real tour de force of a set, it's a treat for this time of social distancing when you need a break from wanting to kill your kids. With retroactive abortion still being a crime in most jurisdictions, this plus headphones and some flavored coffee will take you and your mind to places it needs to go. This is the sound of pros that enjoy their work.
KATHLEN GRACE & LARRY GOLDINGS/Tie Me to You: Grace has made her bones before with us but here she takes a radical left turn into art chick territory and proves that not all art chicks are created equally. Recorded and conceived at a time when her adult life was falling apart, this is a raw nerve performance that resonates harder and more vibrantly than the book all traumatized, middle age divorcees think they have in them that everyone wants to read. An illuminated road map to the soul, Grace exposes much more vulnerability than she realizes by committing this to bytes and letting us in. With an equal footing for Goldings flavorings, this is a classic in the making.
2002/Celtic Fairy Dreams: Still like Loreena McKennitt but have gotten tired of her making pretty albums that just lay there? The Copus family feels your pain and has crafted the McKennitt album McKennitt should be making. And they're doing it from Texas no less. While the Goth/Celt touches are still in effect,in the main, this isn't music for the dark night of the soul as it tends to have brighter edges. The vet family band knows the territory well enough to keep pushing forward without repeating themselves and show they have the skills to pay the bills for a long time to come. New age is alive and well with this as the proof.
(Real Music 10020)
Volume 44/Number 170
April 18, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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