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TANIA GRUBBS QUINTET/Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar: Wow, our kind of swinging gal tears it up in tribute to a late friend that was a great friend of jazz. With a crew that knows how to move with her, this set that captures tunes from all quadrants only to make them all her own really hits it out of the park. A true jazz vocal delight, this is one of those sets that you just can't go wrong with. Hot.

TED MOORE TRIO/Natural Order of Things: Long time drummer serves up his debut trio recording rubbing elbows with friends old and new. A tasty, straight up set that takes listening jazz to new places, it's a fun, engaging and energetic set that anyone with a taste for an easy rolling time with some rough edges will enjoy. Expert playing and just the right vibe make it all a great time.
(Origin 82802)

ALAIN MALLET MUTT SLANG II/Wake of Sorrows Engulfed in Rage: The title and the cover art have you thinking this is probably some kind of edgy, malcontent stuff and nothing could be farther from the truth. A high octane jazzbo, Mallet mixmasters things in a way you don't expect but knows how to make the whole come out fully baked and ready to savor. Familiar and not so at the same time, his wide ranging range of pals deliver the goods under his watchful eye and a good time is had by all, including you. Deliciously creative throughout.
(Origin 82803)

SHELLY RUDOLPH/Way We Love: A soulful vocalist that prefers not to be contained, she gives you a taste of what Carole King would sound like if she could kick it out with some real soul---but she doesn't stop to limit herself there. A set that took it's sweet time to arrive, it's just right for that in between time when you have shrugged the day off but aren't quite ready for some after hours adventures yet. With all the pros on board playing like they aren't watching the clock, it's all got the right feel and flow to make itself easily at home on your system of choice. Solidly sweet.
(OA2 22181)

LINSEY ALEXANDER/Live at Rosa's: There more to being venerable than just being old and this cat whose pushing 80 doesn't play at all like it. Coming forth with the classic Chicago blues vibe he's been behind for 60 years, the set card has a generous helping of his originals mixed in with genre tent poles. With classic call and response tunes leading the way, he fills you with the spirit without taking you to church. Real blues for real fans, this is hot stuff like you don't find as often as you used to. Real deal all the way.
(Delmark 862)

JOHNNY BURGIN/No Border Blues Japan: Cherry picking his fave Japanese blues players from going over there for 20 years, Burgin says he's jamming but this must be jelly because jam just sits there---and this doesn't. Cross cultural fun, you probably wouldn't know that nobody here never endured the traditional, old school blues process the way they raise a joyful noise from start to finish. Yeah, this is music that makes you want to pass the jelly glass. Well done.
(Delmark 863)

BUZZ CASON & SONS/2020: It's nice to see a pop that brings his kids into the family business and to see that he isn't dragging them along because they are idiots that can't do anything on their own. With enough protean talent to spare, the Cason gang bands together and builds upon the southern rock dad first lit the fuse under. Times may change but basics don't and this stuff is bedrock no matter where you cut the cake. Real rock for real people, this is what keeps you young. Let them all rock!

LIZZY LONG/Dreaming Again: A bluegrass based fiddler that has played with legends and rubbed elbows with Rhonda Vincent on her way to being a young member of the hall of fame, Long makes Andy Webber and Queen sound down home as she works her magic. A wonderful down home/back porch record, this is the sound of sunset coming down on the prairie with no Walmart parking lots to ruin the view or the vibe. Just delightful.
(Vine 2001)

KENNY ‘BLUES BOSS' WAYNE/Go, Just Do It!: Bashing out the boogie woogie piano since before most of you were born, this hall of famer delivers a big, bold showroom blues rollicker. With a wide range of guests on board, it sounds like he wrote book on kicking out the jams and you just know he earned all the awards he's racked up over the years. Killer stuff from start to finish, this is a primer of how it's done.
(Stony Plain 1413)

LA LUCHA/Everybody Wants to Rule the World: A Latin jazz trio that sounds modern but like they hung out with Django doing some unlikely rock covers and hanging out with some killer mainstream jazzbos enjoying the chance to kick loose? Sounds like Arbors is proving there's no dust on them in case there are any doubters out there. An utterly delightful listening experience guaranteed to take you as far away from Covidtosis as gravity will allow. A real one of a kind set that'll blow your ears wide open.
(Arbors 19473)

STEPHANE SPIRA-GIOVANNI MIRABASSI/Improkofiev: Euro jazz tempered by a stay in Manhattan that doesn't feel like Euro jazz. How nice. Not confounded by that arty edge that often seems like it has something amiss, this has the sound and fury of 70s off the beaten track fusion that grabbed you harder than the mainstream stuff and kept you coming back. A sax/piano duo that knows how to make the most of things, this is full bodied music with a beginning, middle and end that gives you everything you need to have a great time. Always on point, this duo may not record often but they certainly know how to make the most of it when they do.
Well done.
(Jazzmax 404)

Volume 44/Number 213
May 29, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record

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