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09/19/20





COSMIC IBRATIONS/Pathways & Passages: So when was the last time you came across a world jazz improv crew where the lead instrument was kalimba? These cats take you right back to the 60s church basement where exploration was always given room to feel at home. With a soupcon of civil rights jazz and vibes thrown into the mix, it's a look back and timely all at once. One of those cool, almost underground set that open the mind as well as the ears.
(Spiritmuse 4)

3 MORE SOUNDS/Live at the Gardenia Club: Are you hip enough to know that this crew tips the cap to Gene Harris' old band. How about the timeliness of this coming out on the heels of the reissue program celebrating Black Jazz? Bet you're hip enough to enjoy the way these three jazzbos hit it and swing. The program is pop and jazz classics played in a piano trio format like you haven't experienced in years. In the pocket throughout, expect to get all the exercise you need just bouncing in your chair along to this. Well done.
(SP 1035)

JOACHIM MENCEL/Brooklyn Eye: A protean Polish piano cat realizes a long held dream of recording in America with some real jazz hitters. Giving it a solid go on a program of his own originals, the cats are solidly behind him as he leads the charge. High octane, modern stuff that just keeps coming, the chops bowl you over and leave you with nothing left to do but enjoy it while the record does all the work. A real treat.
(Origin 82806)

SCENES/Trapeze: With the original line up coming together for the first time in 20 years, they play together like they haven't missed a step. With most of the tunes by the MIA sax man who originally left for health reasons, everyone is right back in step. With a Seattle take on a New York feel for modern sax jazz, it's that hypnotic kind of set that breathes well in the background or foreground, powered by pros that know how to deliver.
(Origin 82807)

MARKUS RUTZ/Blueprints Figure Two New Design: A rising young Chicago trumpet man knows his notes. With a full crew in tow, he delivers a fine, well toned and intoned workout that shows him as a leader and a writer in fine form. Not afraid to really let the fur fly, this is one of those solid sets where a good time is had by all.
(OA2 22184)

FIONA BOYES/Blues in My Heart: How little we realized 20 years ago that when Boyes arrived fully formed as a white, finger picking gal with the blues that had to have some kind of lineage to Bonnie Raitt and Rory Block that she'd already been paying dues for 15 years in her native Oz. Guess we missed out on her Bonnie in Boston early moments. Catch this original glimmer of the award winning ways to come from this powerful debut dusted off and given a new sheen. Remastering the debut here, Boyes had it going on right out of the box no matter how primitive ad primal the recording. Still hot stuff.
(Reference 740)

SUSAN PEPPER/Prettiest Bird: It was so long ago that no one remembers that the original folk music scare sprang from Appalachian music. The music here is from now but it's also from deep in the holler as well. A pure back porch recording of organic picking and singing, this is real salt of the earth music that sounds like home to way too many more than will readily admit it. As fresh as the fresh air it brings and promotes.
(Ballad 103)

NATE WOOLEY/Seven Story Mountain VI: Egghead stuff all the way as this single track, 45 minute album explores sound and texture as a new medium sort of going beyond music. A high end horn player that has several agendas on his mind all flowing at once, around three minutes into it you start feeling like this could become a new battle hymn of the republic. Certainly something different.
(Pyroclastic 11)

DIANA GOLDEN/Tanbou Kache: This is why scribes should always use the cheat sheet that comes with the records. I was all prepared to launch into how this is a nice set of classical music comfort food nicely played when (wait for it) I see it's a cello/piano duo paying tribute to contemporary Haitian composers. Woulda blown that by a mile. Don't know anything about Haitian music except these two bring something special to it and make it more engaging than a Nonesuch Explorer set would have. A delightful recital that never plays with a good for you pretense, this is a fine gateway to expand your horizons to the south.
(New Focus 279)

WILL KIMBROUGH/Spring Break: The Americana vet's Covid inspired album gets extra points for the 50 year old artist reaching back 50 years to come up with "The Late Great John Prine Blues". A solo set that proves there's opportunity in chaos, it's nice to see he put his shared, common problem to good use. While this set is in the tradition of killer Vanguard and Folkways folk albums, it beats that feint praise into the ground by raising the bar. Organic stuff that's a whole lot more than fertilizer---this is a classic.
(Daphne)

Volume 44/Number 327
September 19, 2020
MIDWEST RECORD
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record


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