LIGHTS OUT/All That Matters: Left leaning modern vocal group with an impressive range of back stage help comes in with a timely set that belies their bread and butter as a Four Seasons tribute group. With timely messages that cut through the dross and a progressive rock edge, there's no dust on this hard working bunch that seems not to take no for an answer. A nice ear opener for vocal fans.
MARIUS HOLTH/Wild Poem: So we've got art rock with a prog rock edge by a cat that used to sing in a Queen tribute band, all done from Norway. Well, the Euro sensibility explains a lot but this is a straight bet for old time Kraut rock fans that wonder where all the sounds went. You know who you are if this is your flavor of the month.
(Wings of Silver)
ELENA MOON PARK/Unhurried Journey: An inviting family world album that hit's the right notes for kids of all ages. Basically put together from her travels over the last 8 years, the folkie energy at the core is the glue that keeps it all together no matter where her thirsty boots led her. Back porch and organic, it's a nice side trip to a place out of the ordinary.
ALISTER SPENCE/Whirlpool: A double dose of solo ‘jazz' piano, his first in 30 years, Spence takes you to a place well to the left of Keith Jarrett in his quest to use every part of the piano but the oink (we're not kidding). Certainly Sunday afternoon listening for the arts crowd, you have to be ready to sit in rapt attention to fully appreciate this improv outing.
(Alister Spence 9)
TOO SLIM & THE TAILDRAGGERS/The Remedy: Time for some fearless shredderoony as the blues rocking white boys turn it up to 11 once again and power their originals with the kind of juice that keeps bringing them top shelf recognition. All you have to do is put this on your player and the party begins. Hot.
(Vizz Tone/Underworld UW02)
JEFF REED/Look for the Light: The bassman makes his debut as a leader in fine company with inspiration drawn from the birth of his son. Probably why there's an off beat daddio vibe to it. Solidly played by all hands on deck, this is a winning jazzbo set that doesn't know how to slow down and wouldn't if it could. Well done.
(Sticker Street 1003)
DONNA SINGER/Set Your Heart Free: Hard working jazz vocalist creates a program about transitions here with the songs by a team that kept their hand on the wheel throughout. With a load of her own transitions stashed in her own old kit bag, she knowingly gives these songs a lived in feel that gives the whole thing an organic feel rather than that of a show. Fine stuff.
(Emerald Baby 9898)
SAMOA WILSON with the Jim Kweskin Band/I Just Want to Be Horizontal: It took awhile to find a thrush that could handle the old timey stuff as well as Maria Muldaur but Kweskin finally put the jug down and focused on the music pulling the strings in all the right directions. An enjoyable nostalgia set because it doesn't feel like it's being nostalgic or ironic, this is a just a bunch of skilled off the clock cats playing music they love and doing it right. Fun stuff throughout from an old master and worthy new charge.
SWINGADELIC/Bluesville: Not doing a single composer set this time out, the big apple's premiere swing orchestra pulls out al the stops as they tackle a whole genre whether you know the old school songs or not. A first class swinger, this sounds right in the pocket on the natch. A first class party on a platter for when you've outgrown your frat boy rave ups, this sophisticated sass is just what the doctor ordered. Killer stuff.
JULIO BOTTI/Pure Tango: Reinvigorating tango by bringing sax to the fore, whether speeding it up or slowing it down, this award winner isn't satisfied with the recognition already up on is shelf---that for sure. It's own flavor of Latin jazz, this is a solid set that just won't lead you astray. Well done.
Volume 44/Number 227
June 12, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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