ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM & LA LUCHA/New Holiday Classics: So the label that started out as a refuge for a country club band is now fielding a certified jazz A team that has the chops to pull together and make a new Christmas album of specially composed music that's supposed to make us feel good against the pandemic. Ain't this just a text book on how to hit it out of the park?!? With Cunningham ably standing in for Mel Torme, Dick Hyman contributing some arranging, La Lucha showing they can step up with any kind of groove and a few guest stars further burnishing their reputations, this set really lives up to it's title. Things have certainly changed and this set helps navigate the new normal. Hot stuff.
KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND/Straight to You Live: This cd-dvd package crackles so hard right from the start that there's no mistaking this white boy with the blues is a guitar slinger of the highest order that brings it every time out. A long over due live set that shows just how far he's come since being a startling tyro, this is a searing document that shows how it's done while making it look way too easy. Killer stuff.
JUNIOR WELLS/Blues Brothers: A posthumous package that finds Mr. Blakemore paired with a bunch of blues cats that have come along since he died last century. You get a new version of "It's a Man Down There" which makes up for the lack of "Up in Heah" and a slew of seamlessly recorded performances that finds the old tapes buffed up in fine style with the new cats playing like they mean it. The mash up is a nu way to present Chicago post war urban blues in a mighty fine light for oldsters and newbies to fully enjoy together. Go Junior!
(Cleopatra Blues 1946)
VIBRATORS with Chris Spedding/Mars Casino: Do you remember when punk rock was actually a new dance music? Can you imagine punks and a dinosaur rocker getting together and turning things on it's head? Spedding and the Vibrators reunite 43 years later for stuff that builds on their original Beeb recordings that should help original punkers get their 2,000 steps a day in. With both parties juicing each other up, don't put too much pressure on your hips and let the pogo bounce the night away once again.
DURAN DURAN/Dreaming of Your Cars 1979 Demos Pt. 2: Before pretty boy LeBon and coke whore art work anointed the band MTV ready, they were working the new wave tip in basement studios and here's another round of demos from the primal days. Certainly not with the studio polish that was to come, hard core fans can take it all the way back to jump once again with this new ep release.
MICHAEL SCHATTE/Conundrum: You can't judge this book by his cover. He looks like someone that would dispense sea chanteys but he comes right out of the box with eclectic roots rock loaded with the kind of punk rock energy you haven't heard since the early Pogues were bidding you to mahone. With the kind of color outside the lines freedom that appears to be accorded to a Canadian cat slinging an electric guitar, it bristles with the kind of creativity that would never be found hanging around with a sippy cup. Delightfully out of the ordinary on all counts, this cat is a solid badass and so is his disc.
OBERON ROSE/Holographic Blues: Fun mash up trio with an affinity for 60s pop with all the edges it could have picked up between here and there. You'll never fit these square pegs easily into round holes and your time and effort is better spent just digging the ample groove that just pulls you in. Well done.
(Thou Art 302)
DIEGO RIVERA/Indigenous: The opening riffs of this sax man's latest sounds like it might be statement jazz with an agenda---then it blows wide open into some pure daddio as it uses that platform to celebrate the music of all the people we are. You can't go wrong with some smoking daddio blowing no matter what you want to say. A celebratory sound permeates with the way we really should feel about each other. That makes this solid sounds to set the agenda. Well done.
MARCUS KLOSSEK ECLECTIC TRIO/Time Was Now: A smart and dexterous guitar trio that hits you with the panache and style of early Wes or Benson, this bunch leaves it all on the tape which says everything they need to say to really be heard. A fine set that asks nothing of you than to push play, jazz guitar fans has a serious high water mark to check out here. Killer stuff.
(Double Moon 71380)
AXEL SCHLOSSER QUARTET/To Satch and Duke: A former tyro that used bjo as his finishing school, the trumpeter always admired the Nawlins greats but he used them as an inspiration rather than a template. That leads us here, to this mature record he's made at only 44 that shows him as a real student of the masters whose now here to present his master's thesis. A killer set on undisputed classics, this is for the real jazzbo that wants to hear great stuff in it's purest state. Killer stuff throughout.
(Double Moon 71382)
Volume 45/Number 20
November 20, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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