TONY DAVIS/Golden Year: The sizzling debut of a Wes inspired guitarist swings and smokes on it's merry way out of the gate. A kid with chops that arrive well honed, he acquits himself as a leader by rounding up some old pals that are playing as hard as he is and making this a great jazzbo treat. Put this in the ranks of auspicious debuts and let the good vibes roll.
PURDIE FABIAN OSWANSKI/Move On: A driving bass player composing for an organ trio with Pretty Purdie bringing up the rear? Sign me up. It might be a trio of old school funk but it's timeless so nothing mattes abut time other than the time signatures. As smoking as three badasses can be, this rollicking set is so adept at sending up smoke signals that cancel culture will probably think there's some hijinx going on here related to Native Americans. Blistering hot stuff.
DAVE BRYANT/Night Visitors: When has a piano player ever given you the feeling you're listening to Pete Christlieb? This album opens with a vibe right-out Christlieb's Warne Marsh session. And leading his trio of hitters, it just goes from there. With Ornette Coleman and comics in common, this trio has been at it for years in one way or another and it all comes home to roost here in a session that certainly qualifies as classic. A piano trio with no boundaries, this is one fine summitch of a set that hits all the right notes and never lets you down. Killer!
AZAT BAYAZITOV/Doors Are Open: A Russian sax man playing like a native New Yorker in his adopted home of New York, he was honing the chops in high profile spots at home before packing his kit bag and showing he had what it takes to make it in ground zero. A swinging bopper and more, this cat plays hard hitting melodies without the skronk but not sanding down the edges too smoothly. A great set for when some daddio jazz is the order of the day.
(Rainy Days 8)
RYAN COHAN/Originations: A multi culti set of a different stripe wherein Cohan examines his Arab/Jewish roots after landing in Jordan and feeling right at home. Art jazz made possible by a tobacco grant (which killed our use of a joke about this being a smoking set because it's sitting down jazz), this finds it's heart and soul in the jazzbo cultural explorations of the 50s leading you down the twisted alleys of the souks wondering if you'll get lost or find unexpected treasures. Not complicated listening but something you'll want to give your full attention to, this armchair traveler deluxe will take you places you've only heard in dreams. This cat is your personal tour guide.
NOA LEVY-SHIMPEI OGAWA/You, Me & Cole: A pair of restless multi culti types find their feet in San Francisco at the same time and create this set that was custom made for quarantined times. A voice/bass duet on the best of Cole Porter, Levy's slurry, insouciant vocals and Ogawa's subtle colorations work quite well together. What should have been a recital kind of record has too much bite in the bytes and would make it as a cabaret type date but there's no tortured artist effect. A natch for the Porter fancier, this is a charming off beat set that works well throughout.
CD WOODBURY/World's Gone Crazy: A bunch of white boys from Seattle prove over and over again they have what it takes to cut it in Memphis and step up to deliver all the blues rocking goods you could want. Adept at putting basic blues in the foreground, they know how to turn it up and turn it loose in a party platter for frat boys of all ages. Badass and fun at the same time, this is just what people who live for Saturday night need.
ROLIE POLIE GUACAMOLE/Avocado: When did Steve Albini become associated with kiddie rock? Why didn't I get the memo? Kiddie rock superstars turn it up here on a set just right for kids of all ages that'll either open the young ‘uns ears to what's in the world around them or take the oldsters back to the days of annoying the batter in the sandlot and enjoying pizza and ice cream afterwards. A solid work from a crew that found their groove but knows how to keep it from being a rut, couldn't you just use some pure enjoyment like this right about now? Well done.
RICHARD SHULMAN/Life Seasons: One of the fun things I've amassed over the years is a Xeroxed rejection letter from Windham Hill for a record it took them 18 months to turn down. Of course, in that time I placed the record elsewhere and it went up and down the charts after a lengthy stay of same. Tastemakers my ass. This record by piano master Shulman would have been right at home on the Hill in 1995, right before it all blew away like dandelion spores. It wouldn't have even stepped on Jim Brickman's toes giving them a formidable enough front line to keep the label from imploding to the point of BMG sending out cd-r's of records never to be released. Of course, this record didn't exist 25 years ago. Regardless, Shulman still holds on to his spot as one of the top indie jazz oriented piano men out there with a lovely set that's just right for just about any non-angry mood (and could probably turn a few around). Proof you can do great stuff outside the system, this is just another killer date from Shulman in which he shows how to do it right. (And he even has several pictures of trees on the cover).
RAICES JAZZ ORCHESTRA: The debut from an experienced crew of hitters that fuse their skills and interests into a smoking old school Latin jazz big band that plays in an in the moment, timeless fashion. Providing heat for the feet to even the clumsiest gringo, this set is on the money throughout and hits it out of the park. Smokinjgly well done.
Volume 44/Number 242
June 27, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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