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09/25/20





SONNY GREEN/Found! One Soul Singer: A spry 80 year old making his first album, this cat has labored in the background for a slew of years for a bunch of top liners but only has a few singles to show for it up to now. With a bunch of white boys with the blues bringing up the rear, even contributing some new, contemporary numbers to the mix, Green kicks it out in fine style. Deep soul and blues shouting rule his roost. With everyone having the burners firing on high, this is a classic, old school rouser by a cat that knows the ropes. Hot stuff.
(Little Village 1037)

RINA: Looks like a slight passing of the torch here as Makoto Ozone produces a new jazz piano whiz in an impressive debut. With a light and sprightly touch, Rina's program of originals with her hand picked trio are just a joy to play repeatedly. A deft player that isn't afraid to attack when needed, Rina takes the torch from Bill Evans as well. A real hot new find that has it all on the ball.
(Yamaha 10089)

SENSATIONAL COUNTRY BLUES WONDERS!/World Will Break Your Heart: Right away, give this cat a gold star for a great title. Next up, give him points for being an authentic shit kicker from the plains of New Jersey. You won't mistake him for a Yankee carpetbagger by any means, this delightfully authentic modern traditional country set is played without irony and works so well throughout, it should rise to the top of anyplace insurgent country is played. Killer stuff that's a gasser throughout.

BENJAMIN KOPPEL/Ultimate Soul & Jazz Review: One way for a sax player to get recognized outside Denmark is to come over here and record a twofer with Scott Colley, Randy Brecker and Bernard Purdie. Throw in some timely covers by Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding as well as a nice song mix where everyone gets a chance to stretch out and you get a jazzbo delight. A tonic for thirsty ears still believing real music with real playing is out there, this cat holds his own delivering sax without gratuitous skronk. Solid playing by a wealth of solid players make this a must to turn to when it's time to turn off Zoom for the day. Well done.
(Cowbell Unit 4959)

BENJAMIN KOPPEL/
Art of the Quartet: Sax man Koppel serves us a dish of a different flavor when rubbing elbows with improv greats Kenny Werner, Scott Colley and Jack DeJohnette on a twofer that's powered by jazzbo telepathy keeping it free and open while never rolling off the rails. The intersections between this grouping of players runs long and deep which let the whole thing be both mellow and ferment over time in a fine fashion. Music for your head by cats that know how to play and play with it.
(Cowbell Unit 4958)

PRETTY THINGS/Bare as Bone Bright as Blood: The lifers continue to rock even as one of their own has fallen due to time. Turning it down a notch, they go back to their roots as proto roots rockers covering a load of trad and classic stuff as well as taking it into today. More easy going than you might expect, it comes across as a great back porch record with some unexpected bite lurking in the bytes. A solid bet for those looking for something out of the ordinary from someone they know.
(Madffish 1134)

GAZPACHO/Fireworker: For those that want to get spooky and other worldly while going well beyond shoe gaze, this bunch brings the atmosphere and gets atmospheric in an other world kind of way. A statement kind of set that's ripe for the plucking by anti pop kids, it's the stuff to salve savaged souls.
(Kscope 664)

MARK VICKNESS/Interconnected: The ace guitarist adds some world coloration making the kind of set Windham Hill was doing such a fine job with before their corporate implosion. Played without the restraint or mannerisms WH kind of stamped on those releases, Vickness knows how to follow his own muse to fine places delivering a solid set with expert help to realize his vision. This is high quality instrumental music that sure to win favor with genre fans. Well done.

LIVESAYS/Rhythm of Love and Dysfunction: Note perfect bar room rockers know how to toss out non traditional hooks that cling like burrs pushing the songs along in true grabber fashion. Rock vets that are more concerned with making the right moves than showing off for the sake of showing off, these Florida rockers are here for the good times.

EDWARD SIMON/25 Years: Turning 50 and looking back at the last 25 years, the Bay area piano man has played with some of the best and pushed Latin jazz into the future and new realms along the way. A twofer culled from the 13 albums he's recorded over the years, his skills to pay the bills are evident in that none of these sounds dated. Often recording for labels without much presence here, his name might not be new but a lot of this material might be first impression hearing. A veritable history of modern jazz on his own, this set is one of those mighty ear openers that's hard to put away. Check it out.
(Ridgeway 16)

Volume 44/Number 333
September 25, 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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