ANNE E. DeCHANT/Every Little Everything Greatest Hits v. 1: DeChant makes a good case for all that touchy feely girl power kind of themes like speaking your truth and being in integrity. By not being something she's not, her folk flavored material resonates throughout the folk/roots community and any place she calls home. A leading light in Cleveland, she decamped for Nashville and really began hitting it out of the park just as she was about to give up. This collection, complete with remasters of older tracks, is the proof it's a good thing she didn't give up. With a mass sensibility that never crosses over in to jive. This is a singer/songwriter that's really got it going on with flying colors.
ADAM HURT/Back to the Earth: Unless you're a real banjo geek, it might not mean anything to you that Hurt is a smoking gourd banjo player with drop thumb technique. What will hit you is how sinister sounding the opening track is. The whole album isn't that way, but all of it is amazing with not much more than solo spotlight turns or minimal coloration. Anyone looking for some real music/real playing with a down home flavor that'll really take them away, this is the new ground zero. Hot stuff.
BEAUWATER/Who Works for Who?: This award winning blues/rock power trio from Canada ignites things with a crack and shows how to boogie the night away from there. No nonsense (and none needed), they show up to play and do so with the knobs turned up to 11. A stunning of the musical world as it existed before you could buy beats on line and weave them into a hit record.
GRIFFITH HILTZ TRIO/Arcade: These high profile Canadian jazz cats respond to the pandemic by recording remotely but doing it with a sense of humor and buoyancy giving into the nerd fantasies they shared as kids and writing a soundtrack for the movie of it that was never made. With loads of whimsy and electronics nudging their acoustic sounds over to the side as often as possible, this is great party music for the party you've had to hold off on. Snappy and sizzling, it looks like they can thrive in any environment. Tasty.
JESSE RYAN/Bridges: A Trinidadian born sax man that's been winning acclaim and awards in Canada brings the Afro Cuban hot cool to the frozen north and shows them how to light a fire. Not held in thrall by the daddio tradition, he's more after hours party with a dose of caliente. A real driving cat, this is a powerful debut that shows bright horizons ahead. Well done.
NIMMONS TRIBUTE/Vol 1To the Nth: If this set seems like a throw back to art of the arranger records, it might be because the 96 year old Phil Nimmons IS Canadian jazz---and he threw over being a doctor to do it. Led by Phil's grandson on piano, the young cat whose music has been in space does grandpa and the grandma who taught him piano, proud. Just such a smooth, stylish and tasty record, pour some XO cognac and enjoy. This is such well done, killer stuff.
J. HOLIDAY/Baecation: This modern silky soul vet might have been hearing Al Green and Barry White subconsciously before he was born but he ain't making your grand parent's panty droppers. Proving that times may change but the under pinnings to it all don't, this is how silky soul/R&B works these days and Holiday knows how to work it as well.
(X Ray 2103)
MARTY ELKINS-MIKE RICHMOND/Tis Autumn: Up for come cabaret without the tortured artist effect? The vocalist and the stand up bass player team up for a delightfully unstated set that has them traversing the classic songbook but giving it a different flavor than recent vintage divas mining it bring to the table. With decades of impeccable chops in both of their old kit bags, this is one of those dates that could have been recorded in their sleep but was done when they were wide awake. Solid.
CATHY GRIER + the Troublemakers/I'm All Burn: A guitar slinging white girl with the blues that doesn't aspire to be Koko, Janis or Bonnie moved to the Midwest and found her footing reading the liner notes on Delmark releases to know who to hangout with. A real after hours sounding set that never has a watered down moment, at the end of the day this set proves it's all about the chops. Well done.
(CG Music Works 2020)
JIUJITSU: Did I hear anyone mention Scientology? Nick Cage as a martial arts warrior that has to save the earth from a regular raid of space invaders? Away with you, Thetons! Certainly a kung fu movie for the video game second generation, if all the sideshows currently running haven't killed your appreciation for dada and absurdity, you'll make it through this pic in tact with a feeling of satisfaction and time well spent.
GODFATHER CODA-The Death of Michael Corleone: Why reboot when you can rejigger? I wasn't one of those people that hated ‘Godfather 3'. I just didn't think it was worth waiting 16 years for. And the opera sequence went on too long. And
George Hamilton as consigliore? Was that supposed to be a statement on how times have changed? Since you probably haven't watched ‘3' in 30 years, you'd really have to A/B the original and this version to spot the differences but, revisionist history aside, the narrative has been ironed out to be less confusing, the beginning and ending are changed and a few minutes of extraneous detail have been chopped. I still don't hate it and now I'm going to lobby even harder for the new Paramount to release the Complete Godfather Saga with all three movies edited together in sequence so it can reclaim it's place in the natural universe next to "Sopranos" in the modern mind as some of the greatest cinema ever. Since I don't think we're ever going to get a pic with the adventures of Vincent Mancini Corleone, step right up and get some closure.
Volume 45/Number 35
December 5, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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