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10/10/20




SEAN HARRISON/Halfway from Nashville: Harrison started out from a literary background and went down the same rabbit holes many others of his generation did. Now back on his own two feet, his country/folk songs don't fit the mold to rocket to the top of the charts but they have that Loudon Wainwright/Todd Snider kind of vibe that'll keep him working and you entertained. He knows his stuff and has a pleasing presentation all of which make this record the kind that becomes an old friend quickly. Solid stuff.
(Cosmic Cowboy)

MARY HALVORSON'S CODE GIRL/Artlessly Falling: Art chick lovers hail this jazz improviser to the roof tops. Certainly skilled while being an acquired taste, this time around she's flexing her songwriter muscles giving this set a whole different caste than what's come before. Speaking of casts, the crew on board here is all star and from all quadrants giving it all the kind of feel that makes it a logical successor to EOTH (non-hipsters can figure that out for themselves).
(Firehouse 1234)

ADA BIRD WOLFE-JAMIESON TROTTER/He & Me: A piano/vocal date by two top LA hitters who serve up a set that will deceive you into thinking it's cabaret jazz but it's actually something a whole lot deeper. Way more than art for art's sake, this recital is a real tour de force where the two talents give each other room to really shine and bring it all home in a velvet jewel box. Top shelf.

FRED HERSCH/Songs From Home: What better way for a pre-eminent jazz pianist to celebrate his 65th birthday in these morass times than to make a solo set at home of tunes he digs. An outgrowth of his Facebook daily broadcasts at the start of the pandemic, you can easily put this up there with classics by Evans et al and fully enjoy the break from the craziness. A masterful job from the master.
(Palmetto 2197)

SOUTH FOR WINTER/Luxumbra: Nashville/LA rising folkies that made this record on the strength of crowd funding, this is a fine chance to find out what the hard core already know. A trio that plays like a full band, they have drive and style that shows why they've been clicking their way out of the underground with such speed and alacrity. A very tasty debut that goes the distance.

McKEE BROTHERS/Time Like This: When you look at who and what is going on here you have to wonder how all these people even know each other let alone come together so spectacularly. With everyone on board having an impressive resume, the chops fly in a killer mélange of sound that takes all the soulful, funky blues you can handle, diverts it from the show room to the real room and just plain proceeds to blow you away. Killer stuff for listeners that want real music that'll really move them.

D.L. MARBLE/One Line at a Time: I couldn't put my finger on what I was hearing until I read the back liner and saw that Roscoe produced it. Left of center roots/Americana that's the kind of cosmic American music Gram Parsons should have thought about making instead of the serious stuff he chased. The kind of stuff you can really wrap your ears around and often wonder if you heard what you think you just heard, Marble is our kind of cat. There's a lot of heart with no pretense and he's got the kind of eye on life more writers should have. Killer stuff.
(Casa)

WHAT HAPPENS IN A YEAR/Ceremonie-Musique: A set of inverse sound scapes by an art jazz inverse power trio. Investigating white space as must as the notes, they know how to whip up an egghead delight that might just be the sound of white church basements when the suburban avant garde get together to kick out their jams. You've really got to be down with improv to enter.
(FIP 1)

YELLOWJACKETS/Jackets XL: This is only the crew's 25th album? Really? Around since 1981 and doing a great job of not repeating themselves, they face off here against WDR Big Band and everyone comes out a winner. Keeping fusion fresher than the produce at a lot of markets lately, there's no time for any bacteria to take root here. Moving forward smartly as opposed to at all costs, this bunch brings the fun and the party never ends. Solid stuff.
(Mack Avenue 1175)

DOXAS BROTHERS/The Circle: Tight, angular jazz by a pair of brothers that have rubbed elbows with the top progressive voices in jazz since they set the world on fire as teens 25 years ago and show no sign of letting up. Certainly not jazz for a Sunday afternoon, this is what you want as the night wears on and you aren't wearing out. Loaded with an after hours vibe where the joint keeps jumping, this is on the money throughout.
(Justin Time)

Volume 44/Number 348
October 10, 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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