GO ANALOG/Moonlight Gram: With Sublime's producer at the wheel, this bunch of 90s indie rockers gets back together after not even talking to each other for a while and brings a nu nostalgia to the fore proving once and for all that each generation has it's own 60s. The memories are right here, ripe for the picking, even if they are new ones.
JEFF ELLWOOD/Sounds Around the House: A SoCal sax cat known as an MVP in smart jazz circles finally stepped up as a leader at the urging of a dying friend. Gathering some first call cats to jam along, this improviser grabs the reins for a free wheeling set of after hours vibes that are right on the money. A real jazzbo treat, it's easy going with bite and the combo of vibes play off each other righteously. Hot stuff.
TERMINAL STATION/Brotherhood: For anyone that's wanted to like jam bands but finds them too indulgent in the long haul, this bunch hit's the roots rock nail right on the head. Tight while stretching out and loaded with more influences than you can pick out in a the first few listens, they get the party started in fine form and forget to finish it. A crew with great simpatico, this'll go a long way to kicking out your jams. Well done.
(Hard Rain 2020)
SCOTT LEE/Through the Mangrove Tunnels: Did crime jazz really get it's start in the Florida swamps? The ominous piano work here makes you think that's where the inspiration for the genre came from. Posited somewhere in that place where instrumental music provides a shield for jazz and classical, pop music heads won't get it but it has a dexterity that makes it fall well short of egghead stuff. Great stuff for when you've got a taste for something deep that won't leave you cold.
MARTIN LANG/Bad Man: If you think Chess' sound was timeless and not something that could be fashion and get dated, oh, have we got something for you here. A singing harp ace that's been a Chicago mainstay for 30 years kicks it out with high octane on his long over due solo debut. With Billy Flynn lurking in the background like Maceo did for JB, this is more like what Butterfield was hearing at Teresa's after hours than what Chess was releasing for daytime radio stations. A momentous trip back to the day that's not a reissue, this is pure blues gold. Get on it.
(Random Chance 47)
DAVID FRIESEN/Testimony: Like a European jazzbo that just burnishes deeper with age, Friesen tucks 50 years of bass acery under his belt and heads off to Ukraine to visit his ancestor's stomping ground. Of course, along the way, he hooks up with some Ukraine musos and delivers the kind of state of the art performance that defies almost everything. A highly creative instrumental work, he takes it to places heretofore unexpected and delivers a tour de force that could only come from a deeply personal space loaded with deeply personal feelings. A rare masterwork.
JIHEE HEO/Are You Ready?: Moving the art of the piano trio forward, Heo has a great touch and feel for the keys and knows just how to put it all together in a non stop show of effervescence that never loses it's fizz. Mixing looks forward with looks over her shoulder, this restlessly creative spirit isn't happy unless he's really opening your ears and she hits that nail on the head.
ALIT AR INTET/The End: It's almost like this bunch has mixmastered all the malcontent sounds of the last 50 years together and taken it to places Jim Morrison might not have envisioned when he was taking it to the end. Sounding sort of like hippies in a Goth opium den, maybe it's just best to take this as the acid trip it was probably meant to be. This is the juxtaposition of craziness in the hands of true pros.
(Rare Noise 123)
SCHWAIM-HENRIKSEN/Neuzeit: Referring to contemporary times as opposed to the beginning of western civilization, this duo with a heavy reliance on electronics takes a cinematic approach to the tenor of the times never holding to one thing for too long, like Cohen predicted that things are going to slide in all directions. Sort of like new age with a sinister edge, well, I guess that does sum up the times were living in. New times indeed.
(Rare Noise 125)
BUDDY GAMES: A breezy low comedy about a group of friends that had a falling out but have regrouped for a competition where they can fuck each other over for a pot of money. Beer, babes, brawls and a happy ending with a running time of just over 90 minutes, all that's missing is Will Farrell tossing in one of his star turns from 20 years ago. Yuk it up, bros.
Volume 45/Number 14
November 14, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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