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10/16/20




BILLY J/Rise Above: Insidiously, white boys with the blues have been bringing blue collar blues rock to Florida for a while and J is just the latest incarnation to hit the boards. Sparing no expense to fill out his sound with known quantities in the jam band world, white boys in the south have a new generation to ring the cause celebre bell for them. Right in the pocket to be a Macon legacy band/sound, he might have come down from Philly originally but he's acclimated whole hog.

KRONOS QUARTET & AL PARI QUARTET/World Dialogue: Taking another step away from being an upstart label growing it's own talent, the label dishes up a new one from Kronos Quartet in which they jam out on a work that grew out of a magazine article featuring this works composer, Stephan Thelen. Known for making the most out of commissioned works, modern classical fans will dig latest iteration of the band doing their thing to the latest in minimalist work and long time label collectors will wonder what's going on. Nu doors open for all as adventurous ears will be well sated.
(Rare Noise 124)

RICK FINES/Solar Powered Too: The Canadian roots vet makes a pandemic record, recorded with solar power in his backyard, and doesn't give into to the temptation to make a mush mouth folkie record when he can use the solitude to make a record for the ages. Using his seasoning to make a record that interests him and keep pushing his sound and attitude forward, this set isn't just another one in a series, it's a statement that stands proudly in it's own. A folkie with a vision to go with his career, with just a little coloration here and there, it's just him and his ax and they know how to resonate. Killer stuff throughout.

LAST YEAR'S MAN/Brave the Storm: He might be a folkie but that's his only sop to Leonard Cohen here. Classic coffeehouse folk in the best way, this deceptive studio rat vet knows how to make all the right moves at all the right times to craft a delightfully compelling set that is a must for low key, lo fi times when the world's noise just gets to be too much. Well done.

JD3 & THE JONDO TRIO/Something Good: A kid that got his start by listening to records at the wrong speed found a way to turn it into a life long obsession with being a first class white boy with the blues. Fist pumping bar room rock the workingman can relate to, it's straight up, straight ahead stuff that Friday nights were made for.

RODNEY RICE/Same Shirt, Different Day: Rice might be down in Austin but he shares the same coal mining roots as John Prine and there must have been something in the coal dust that makes him seem like the next link in the chain instead of a manqué. A folkie that likes to rock it up with a rough hewn edge to his voice and some off kilter cynicism in his pen, Rice is a nu bet for all who miss the master and thought his shoes could never be filled. We've come a long way since everyone was looking for the new Dylan.
(Moody Spring)

NEW FACES/New Sounds: The first release of New Faces was such a solid way of showing the label's bench strength and serve as a launching pad for a bunch of careers that it makes going back to the well for more not seem like going back to the well for more. A new half dozen rising stars band together here like a band and serve the daddio hard and hot. More real jazz for real ears, this label has it's finger on the pulse of tomorrow and isn't shy about sharing. Solid throughout.
(Posi-Tone 8214)

ALAN BROADBENT TRIO/Trio in Motion: These three pros boil it down to this. They sound like a trio playing in a hotel lobby that catches your attention so you decide to have a drink and listen. Three sets later, you get up the nerve to get up and ask them what they are doing here. They smirk and scuff their shoes. Recorded in Broadbent's apartment, this is the kind of stuff that made fans of a certain age become fans in the first place. A piano trio that simply sets the gold standard, this is the sound of what it's all about. Killer stuff throughout.
(Savant 2188)

DEAN TSUR/Moments of Inspiration: Sax man Tsur shows off his old soul here not by looking back over the last seven years, not by picking a set card of chestnuts but by playing with the kind of lush grandeur you'd expect from an old Henry Mancini album or one of those ".... Plays for You" atmospheric albums where they tried to take a junkie jazz man and clean him up for after hours suburban rec room consumption. I'm not sure if today's listener has the chops to listen and appreciate this, but they ought to raise their game to get a load of what they've been missing out on over the years. This cat is a real gun slinger.
(Outside In 2038)

GAY MARSHALL/Back on Boogie Street-Songs of Leonard Cohen: Can a Cleveland kid that found love in Paris, as well as inhabiting Grisabella, Morales and Edith Piaf, turn her chops righteously on Cohen? Come on. Not being a Cohen fan from jump, her selections and interpretations avoid all the clichés and she applies her award winning chops in fine form--as well as avoiding doing "Hallelujah". With a lightness you don't think of in the same breath of thinking of Cohen, this change up works well throughout.

Volume 44/Number 353
October 16, 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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