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JERRY GRANELLI TRIO/Plays Vince Guaraldi & Mose Allison: A drum led piano trio turns in a date that you wouldn't expect from the hell raising label this is on, and it's a combo of piano men tributes that you wouldn't expect to be mashed up. Then you get it, Granelli played with both the piano legends having been with Allison for 40 years and having been with Guaraldi through the "Peanuts" specials. Played beautifully in an elegant but non-egghead manner, this is solid ear opening walk down a memory lane that you didn't have to be at the back of the riser forever to understand. Fun stuff that gives it all anew airing, it's art that swings. Well done.
(Rare Noise 120)

SONAR/Tranceportation V. 2: The David Torn led crew takes their axes and loops and turns in the kind of set you might expect if Manny Eicher's kids go into the family business. Kind of like jazz from the future, it's angular and trippy and anything but a fast ball right down the middle even if it is something waiting to be hit out of certain parks. If you remember a time when everyone thought the progressive sounds emanating from ECM were flaky...

GRAVEL & GRACE/Bringing the Blues: A pair of white kids with the blues amp up for some rollicking modern bleus and R&B delivering the goods with soul and crunch. The distaff fronter is a growler and howler from jump and her band mates know well how to power this rocket ship. Solid party music for the frat boy in everyone no matter their age. Well done.

SATIN COWBOY & THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS/Amigos: If Devo is your uncle, can you make highly credible back porch/Americana and have a high powered day job as a commercial music producer being pretty much the Americana equivalent Jim Brickman? Well, Silas Hite makes it look easy. A sweet Americana set wannabes should be required to use as a text book on how to get from there to here, anyone with a folkie flavored sweet tooth will get such a kick from this set they won't be able not to turn others on to it. Hot stuff throughout.

G.F. PATRICK/One Town Over: The debut of a roots rocker with a great knack for storytelling from the heartland that tells the tales without bombast but with a lot of heart. Almost like a voice in the wilderness offering a beacon, Patrick must have been honing his chops for some time to arrive this fully formed. Smart throughout.
(Need to Know)

SARA SERPA/Recognition: A part of a multi media work that really is the soundtrack for a silent movie, the sometimes wordless vocalist gathers a crew that knows where she's going and serves up a strangely enticing minimalist program whose pic touches on much deeper subjects than you might expect from a record so heavily loaded toward the art chick side of the ledger. No strangers to the improv world, the gang here raises each other's game in that sphere giving Sunday afternoon types a rare, expected treat.

KARUNA TRIO/Imaginary Archipelago: The three improv hitters band together again for a sonic travelogue that takes you off to deepest, darkest someplace and let's your mind freely ramble throughout it. Almost easy to mistake for those nature records from the 90s, this set is music not sounds, and it takes you off the beaten track in delightful fashion.
(Meta 24)

ALEXA TARANTINO/Clarity: The latest in the label's run of saxy ladies that have risen through it's ranks, Tarantino is at home as a bandleader that can shape shift from daddio to the cosmos with very little in between. Playing to please herself, she shows her instincts on right on the money throughout. Enjoy the trip.
(Posi-Tone 8211)

SHARON ISBIN/Strings for Peace: In what is probably her most indie record ever, La Isbin strays about as far a field form the world of classical guitar as you can imagine with this set of specially composed ragas from an immanent raga family. With a light enough touch to make this not feel like a tour through an opium den, it's a first class trip to the mysterious east where you just don't know what's beyond the next turn but you can't stop pushing forward. Out of the ordinary but totally hot throughout.
(Zoho 202004)

SHARON ISBIN/Affinity: Isbin might be the pre-eminent classical guitarist trodding the boards today, but she shows just how much she has in common with rock stars by presenting a program of specially commissioned, debut works and doing with the ease of Petula Clark calling up Tony Hatch and saying "whatcha got for me?". Right up there with the classics of the genre, give it a little time and it will be acknowledged as one of the classics of the genre. Great, killer playing throughout.
(Zoho 202005)

Volume 44/Number 206
May 22, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record

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