CATHLENE PINEDA/Rainbow Baby: Conceived by the jazzbo pianist as an impressionistic view of young motherhood, with all it's loves and losses, it comes across to those of us not mothers as a nice change up on art chick instrumental music that goes right to the heart of the matter without preciousness. Nearly classical in scope,, it's loaded with flourishes that let you know she's a jazzbo all the way. You can also feel that she's been at one with the piano since she was three. Her first two albums were winners so there's no three is the charm going on here, it's a continuation of her growth and depth as a real artist. Well done.
TEGHAN DEVON/Little Lion: An audio catharsis about a girl losing her 13 year old dog who was more to her than just a dog. There's a load of little girl lost vibe to it but it never goes mush mouth on you keeping the emotions real and true. Like opening a vein and letting you in, you feel like you lost this dog too, empathizing with her all the way through.
ROCCO ZIFARELLI/Music Unites: Some people really do live the life of itinerant artists. A sidekick of Ennio Morricone, a former member of Defunkt and on and on, this jazz rock guitarist took 20 years to make this set with a guest list that could choke a horse, and he did it all in the service of blowing your mind. A mixmaster, genre buster of a set, the chops are flying everywhere, but none of them are wasted or overdone. Just sit back like the guy in those old Maxell ads and let this blow you away. You have no choice. Hot stuff.
HIFILO/Speak Your Mind: Recorded on a laptop while on tour, this cat has crafted something that seems like it's for malcontents at first. Then it veers into fashion show music. Then it goes somewhere else entirely. A wild ride throughout, this might have been the future oontz oontz music was once looking for but couldn't find.. Floating somewhere in the next dimension of jazz meeting classical, this futuristic sound really enchants and dazzles. Crazy stuff that won't let you pin it down.
KARI VAN DER KLOOT/Architects: Jazz existing somewhere between jazz and folk, this songwriting vocalist likes to find the out of the ordinary in her work. Close to being an art experience, she's got chops to spare and thinks boring you might be one of the worst crimes there is. Left leaning but not too far to the left, she knows her stuff and knows how to put it across.
(Outside In/Next Level 2018)
SHIRLEY KING/Blues for a King: BB's daughter could be her own Time-Life commercial: if you were to put together a guest list like this it would cost you thousands of dollars!. Playing with the intimacy of the Chicago clubs she started out in, she even raises the dead as Junior Wells even shows up. The apple didn't fall far from the tree, and with her start in the church, this is all water drawn from the true well. Traditional sounds that sound just right no matter what kind of songs she tackles. Check it out.
(Cleopatra Blues 1768)
L. SHANKAR/Chepleeri Dream: The people that have peopled Shankar's rolodex over the last 40 years are the kind of people you'd blow the grossest roadie, no matter what your sex, just to get back stage access to. And he delivers a new generation of top shelfers here as well. The violinist everyone wants to rub elbows with, he lets his progressive side show here and it shows well. With not a cliché in the bunch, this jazzbo delivers a prog rockers wet dream. Killer stuff that goes the distance.
AVELET ROSE GOTTLIEB & ERIK LAWRENCE/I Carry Your Heart: This two cd tribute to Arnie Lawrence by his son and others is a killer look into one of those heaviest cats you probably never heard of. A jazzbo that either played with everyone or educated them in two impressive educational stints passed those genes to his son who carries the torch admirably. With one foot each in the worlds of jazz, education, healing and mysticism, the music here reflects a life well lived as it's made by a crew of players whose lives he touched. A session to be savored as much as listened to, it's a sterling listen to music behind the music that opens the eyes as well as ears.
(Ride Symbol 23)
KIRK NUROCK/Remembering True Friends-Still At Sea: A two cd reissue of some old sessions originally released on Koch by an inventive pianist showing different sides. First up, a progressive trio with Bobby Previte and Harvie S, second up, a solo set where he commands the spotlight in fine form. An adventurous player that doesn't make it hard to follow and keep up, this is wonderfully mature and deep listening by a voice who has timelessness as his stock in trade. Solid stuff for jazz and instrumental music fans to discover or rediscover.
(Ride Symbol 24)
NUROCK: In which we find the new label building a sense of community and family as this reissue represents 45 years of friendship between the piano man in his first record here, the label pres, and the original producer, an august cat that touched them both. Sticking with his interpretations of tent poles mostly here, Nurock's youthful vigor has him tossing off so many influences, it almost seems like he can't keep up with himself and he's never doing it to show off. A fine look back at an auspicious beginning.
(Ride Symbol 29)
MIKE RICHMOND TRIO/Bill's Hit Tunes: A bass ace pays tribute to Bill Evans' compositions and is quite comfortable doing it because Evans never had a shortage of killer bass players. Never lapsing into gift shop territory and never stooping to manqueing around, Richmond has the right people on board with him to make this work throughout as a fine stand alone piece that doesn't need propping up to give it legs. And his take on "Waltz for Debby" speaks it's own mind perfectly. Right in the pocket throughout.
(Ride Symbol 27)
Volume 44/Number 214
May 30, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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