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10/02/20



MANTECA/Twelfth of Never: You've got to love these vet crews that can keep it together over 40 years and still play like there's no dust on them. A world wise world jazz date that can't be pinned down even for a second, this mostly original date shows they just don't have time to slow down, even if it's just to catch up with themselves. Smart and smooth, this is actually some pretty nifty leading edge jazz that fools you into thinking otherwise. Well done.
(MM 201612)

CASEY JAMES/If You Don't Know By Now: James wisely uses his "American Idol cv as a stepping stone rather than a conclusion and get Tom Hambridge and his crew to hop about leaving a hard rocking lightly blues tinged date in hits wake. Showing the skills to pay the bill, James takes being a white boy with the blues some place else never forgetting to put rocking out at the fore and the core.

JOHN BLUM-JACKSON KRALL/Duplexity: Take two underground bad boys that have been playing together in various forms for over 30 years, have them show up with their piano and drums for their first duo recording, shut the door and let the sparks fly. A wild and wooly trip through the underground, downtown scene, these jazzbos throw everything from snippets of crime jazz to snippets of Mussorgsky against the wall and try to make it all stick. It's daddio on acid all the way.
(Relative Pitch 100)

JUSTIN HOWL/Wanderlust: I'm sure we can all relate to tossing off the chase of a PhD to assume the chase of those hell hounds you can put on your tail. A certified white boy with the blues that sounds like he really cut his teeth on old "Midnight Special" broadcasts, he's got he spirit on the south side of Chicago but his soul is infected with north Mississippi vibes all the way. Grandpa might think he saw this cat in the campus coffeehouse 50 years ago but he's kicking it out in the here and now in fine style. He's right in line with all those old black guys whose first name was Mississippi.

ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM & LA LUCHA/New Holiday Classics: Anyone that's been along for the ride this far with Professor Cunningham probably knew all along that when he finally added a holiday record to his resume, it wouldn't have any Mel Torme on it. Adding Latin jazz and soul R&B vocals to this set of all original compositions, it feels like he beat Mark Winkler to the punch. Easy going stuff that was made for enjoying at a water front bar, who knew sunshine was the missing ingredient for the perfect holiday? Right in the pocket while being something different, it works well throughout.
(Arbors 19480)

JEREMIAH JOHNSON/Unemployed Highly Annoyed: Pissed off that Covid kicked the momentum from his #1 album right in the balls, Johnson strips his serious white boy with the blues sound down to a trio of like minded pros that are here to kick out the jams and hopefully kick Covid back in the balls to return the favor. No mush mouthed stuff here, this warrior is fighting back and there's enough power dripping off the edges here to inspire those giving into mush mouthism. Hot stuff that knows it's stuff.
(Ruf 1285)

JACK deKEYZER/Tribute: Canada's standard bearer for award wining, guitar slinging white boys with the blues, deKeyzer, like a lion in winter, warns off all the cubs coming around that think they can take a piece of him. High octane stuff that shows a wide variety of blues and soul sources, this is a smoking world tour of the inside of his head. If you really want to party hearty, stick with old age and treachery to get the job done. Hot.
(Blue Star 2512)

KIRK FLETCHER/My Blues Pathway: When white boys with the blues need some first class chicken picking to bring the sound home, Fletcher is their go to guy. With a sound that pure Chess meets Stax, this guitarist shines on his own here in a mostly original program that shows solid, post war blues is alive and well and really doesn't need any updating or refurbishing. Smoking and zesty, all this needs is some bbq to complete the whole thing. Hot.
(Cleopatra Blues 1900)

JOSIE FALBO/You Must Believe in Spring: This one is from the heart, not for the gift shop. Chicago's former vocal tyro steps up to the mic for a set of classic vocals on classic tunes that would have been perfectly at home in the golden age of the thrush. If this came out 60 years ago, she would have eaten Keely Smith's post Prima lunch. With a big band playing like they just left a Nelson Riddle session behind her, give this a play and it'll free up a lot of space on your cd shelf as you'll be hauling the stuff that doesn't measure up to the used store. Simply killer stuff.
(Southport 150)

TOM MASON/Under a Mistletoe Sky: A cat that's into sea shanties and picked up a taste for acting can be counted on to be a touch off kilter. He certainly exposes that here on his third rocking Americana Christmas album, something that seems to happen along once a decade or so. While Festivus might not be for the rest of us, this Christmas set that gleefully goes it's own way is a must for the mainstreamer that likes to step outside the lines every so often. It's played straight and for real but it's got a wily mind of it's own.
(Gas Station Music)

Volume 44/Number 340
October 2, 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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