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SOUNDS OF A&R/Questions Left Unanswered: Life partners that have an award winning mix of soul and jazz with a late 60s throwback that works well come in with their third set that shows just how deep the simpatico is growing---and how fast. Big, yet sounding club sized, their wide ranging tastes and interests fearlessly take you exactly where they want to go. Solid stuff that's got this special kind of retro vibe that winds up right in the moment.
(Soaring )

SYLWESTER OSTROWSKI/Jammin' With KC: Can a Polish sax man round up the gang, head to Kansas City and soak up enough local stuff to properly celebrate Charlie Parker's centennial? Looks like the answer is yes. With some funk and groove in the grooves, this forward looking look back makes the music alive and in the moment giving modern ears something to look backward to. A tasty romp by some pros out to do good and do right, it's a smoking reminder how not to forget where you've been.

GENERATIONS QUARTET/Invitation: When you've got a been there/done that cat like Dave Lineman at the wheel, rounding up some pals to kick it out on some stuff that Miles and Coltrane have left their mark on, it's best if you sit down and shut up---but do it with your ears open. With three generations making up this crew based on multi layered relationships in jazz, it might not sink in right away what a special date you are hearing here. Oh yeah, then they tie it all together with a live jam right from their main stomping ground. Hot stuff throughout.

8 BIT BIG BAND/Backwards Compatible: What would Duke and Louie say? Here we have a 70 piece big band with some smoking soloists giving it their all on another round of video game themes with a heavy accent on "Super Mario" stuff. Either you're a heavy gamer and think these grown up takes on your stuff is cool or you've never heard this stuff in the first place and are glad to hear a modern big band play so inspired. It's a win-win all around. Let's see if Maria Schneider or Carla Bley take note.
(Teamchuck 1)

LEON LEE DORSEY/Thank You Mr. Mabern: In which we are reminded that the basics are the basics for a reason. It's just a bass led trio kicking it out around the trademark piano signatures of Harold Mabern on one of his last dates with Mike Clark hitting the skins in the background. A solid soul/jazz blues date where everyone is cooking and shining the glow of a legend. Hot stuff to remind you how and why you became a fan in the first place.
(Jazz Avenue 1)

SANTI DEBRIANO/Flash of the Spirit: A budding ethno musicologist reads a book about the effect of African culture on the Americas and inspires his pals to get funky while keep a jazz groove running at full speed. Those of us that just want to groove never pondered these deep thoughts but if sets like this are the result, we're glad it motivates others to action. Sitting down jazz that's sure to have you flying out of your seat, these cats are really on to something good. Hot stuff.
(Truth Revolution 54)

ROSEANNA VITRO/Listen Here: If you think that young looking visage of Rosey on the cover is her giving into Zoom pressures, rest assured she'd rather rest on her chops than contrived looks. That pic is because this is a 38 year old reissue of her early piano/vocal dates where she was surrounded by a crew of jazzbos fit for a major label release, not an essentially indie release. High octane and high powered, Vitro doesn't have to worry about competing with her younger self when reminders and mementos like this are still hanging around. Talk about your auspicious beginnings...!
(Skyline 2001)

MIKE SCOTT/Collecting Things: A jazzbo with a classical background, this acoustic guitarist has the right everything with the skills to make a solo set that's totally engaging on it's own. As a member of the LA Jazz Collective, he has a contact list of hitters he can and does call upon to add some coloration to the proceedings. Snazzy stuff that's sure to take you places you've only heard in dreams, add this to your short list of killer guitarists working a the top of their game. Well done.

14 JAZZ ORCHESTRA/Cartoon Bebop: A little misleading, especially in light of MeTv's "Bugs Bunny" push, this jazz orchestra is loaded with the kind of killer players you wish you could call off your contact list and have play at your bar mitzvah. Inspired by cartoons, and borrowing passages from them, this is ‘serious' jazz that comes as it's own party on a platter complete with killer playing by killer cats that don't even need one take to get it right. This set raises the bar for commercial jazz that retains it's soul throughout.

HAL GALPER QUINTET/Live at Berlin Philharmonic 1977: One of the great you wish you were there moments is finally getting it's long over due release, this live date finds Galper fresh off the road from three years with Cannonball Adderley now fronting a band with the Brecker Brothers blowing away. With echoes of Miles in the air, along with a finger pounding that could only have led to early arthritis, this is a killer reminder why the late 70s was a golden and classic period for music no matter what corporate sludge the industry was jamming down our throats. Totally killer stuff that makes the ultimate argument for why the suits should just let the cats play!
(Origin 82810)

Volume 45/Number 69
January 8, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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