BRIDGET KELLY BAND/Dark Spaces: With their scintillating mix of hot vocals and award winning hot guitar licks, this crew is back again in fine form, yet again. Widening the scope of the songs, they still provide one of the best parties on a platter around but they also take you to places beyond the normal margins this time out. An exemplary case of white kids with the blues, this is a great modern take on a classic form. Well done.
(Alpha Sun 2020)
BETH DUNCAN/I'm All Yours: The swinging thrush expands her creative partnership with writer Martine Tabilio this time out by doing a whole program of the writer's works and doing them justice throughout. With a cooking band right in step with her, this is a classic jazz vocal fan's special treat. A dandy original work, this is a mighty ear opener to new vistas well worth exploring by a rising star.
DAN WILLIS & VELVET GENTLEMEN/Monk Project: When a white boy can play Monk with all the squiggles in tact, it's always impressive. This sax man thought he could to this as a sax solo date until he realized he needed a band behind him to let him really explore the squiggles and play with the fullness that Monk was able to pull off alone at the piano. The repertoire here is as a classic as a Beethoven line up so there's no surprises there, the surprises are in the playing, at once in line and explosive. A fine find for anyone that's ever dug that fat fingered playing of Monk and all the creativity spawned there from.
NICK STORRING/My Magic Dreams: Well established on the egghead side, this sound sheet specialist took his sweet time to bring this work from conception to reality and you can relate to it even if you are into hoi polloi eggheads like Eno. Ambient with something extra, this music crosses the line into being the kind of art you can hang on the wall---and admire. Certainly out of the ordinary but a trip taken in sure hands.
JORDAN NOBLES/Chiaroscuro: Ambient space music along the lines of what Tomita used to do but this is done with real instruments. Sounding very much like a soundtrack that would be home at a planetarium exhibit, this somehow harkens back to the golden age of head music. All you have to do is provide your own headphones and blunt. Deceptively minimalist, this is way more way out than you might think at first blush.
(Red Shift 477)
ROB CLUTTON TRIO/Counsel of Primaries: There's just something about the playing of long time hell raisers that makes it clear they aren't just a bunch of malcontents hanging out in the church basement. This bunch of long time award winners and trend setters flow along the Dave Liebman school of hell raising, playing ‘jazz' their way. Eggheads and open minds are sure to revel in the boundary breaking that goes on here in almost every bar.
(Snail Bong Bong)
SEE THROUGH 4/False Ghosts, Minor Fears: An outlier jazz piano quartet led by a bass player, they have a great respect for the Monk vibe as they go along their original routes. A solid dose of non linear music for certainly non linear times, there is a symmetry here that seems to make it all make sense. Dust off your JCOA inspired ears and get into the ‘groove'.
(All Set! Editions)
GREGG MARTINEZ/Macdaddy Mojeaux: A long time soul man that defines the swamp pop branch of Americana, this is a classic, showroom sounding set that delivers a subtle gumbo of sounds but has it all come out soul. With enough flying time under his belt to know how to mix smart covers with smart moves, this guy starts out with Ray Charles, ends with Randy Newman and makes it all his own. Solid stuff throughout.
(Nola Blue 11)
JON STRAHL BAND/Heartache & Toil: A white boy steeped in the blues grew up to rock them out with a load of heartland style. A modern bar band rocker, this is the kind of cat that gets fists pumping, beer spilling and good times rolling with his big sound that doesn't quit. Party time!
TED RUSSELL KAMP/Down in the Den: The protean, modern country bassist rolls up recent experiences on his latest spotlight turn and serves up eclecticism that surprised even him. Taking the limiters off Americana, Kamp lets his river flow where it will in a compelling, forward thinking set that shows him as one that will not be held back by time or tide. A smashing set that opens the ears in fine style, here's to getting a second wind for the marathon.
CORY SMYTHE/Accelerate Every Voice: Call it egghead deluxe and move along. An improviser that takes it over the top does his thing here with the limiters totally off.
SOUTH PARK Complete Twenty Third Season: Creators Parker and Stone could have easily ridden their vehicle into the 23rd season with the ease of the creators of "Simpsons" and "Family Guy" but they instead chose to become middle aged crazies and take it to the limit. Basically burning the whole thing down, they've made the douchy kids douchier, the unhinged adults unhingdier and read some Von Clausewitz to take the military directive of ‘adapt, improvise, overcome' literally by grabbing every idiotic thing prior to the attack of covid19 (this season ended before the virus swept in) and using it----to clobber it over it's own head. Literally, it's like a whole new show. And as always, it's an appendix burster of a side splitter. This is how humor reigns, especially in overly politically correct times.
Volume 44/Number 237
June 22, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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