MASTELOTTOS/Too Much Happiness-A Romantic's Guide to King Crimson: Being forced off the road by you know what, to keep themselves from killing each other, the long standing Crimson drummer and his wife turned up the romantic edge on tunes they know by heart. Really, if you aren't a Crimson fan already, you wouldn't know where this career spanning reconstruction came from, probably thinking it was something new age related from the girl friend music rack. They call it the pinkest Crimson album yet and we are not inclined to argue.
(7D Media 2111)
IRA B. LISS BIG BAND JAZZ MACHINE/Mazel Tov Kocktail!: What started out as a way to have a high school music teacher give his charges a way to hone chops and blow off steam has become a SoCal institution now celebrating it's 40th year of madly swinging. Polished professional jazz now presented by grown ups and ringers, Liss has retreated to being the eminence griese above and behind it all and he deserves to come from and center for a deep waist bow. Killer stuff.
JANIS MANN & KENNY WERNER/Dreams of Flying: Although a solid jazzbo on his own, Werner is no stranger to backing up deep cabaret vocalists and doing it right. He calls in some first call pals to round things out in a subtle and easy way giving his newest pairing with Mann all the right moves in all the right places. With a mostly modern easy listening set card filling the grooves, this set proves that style is back in style.
CLIFTON ANDERSON/Been Down This Road Before: With the record biz supposed to be awash in streaming income and private equity paying loads for rights, you mean to tell me they couldn't have set a few bucks aside to keep this set from being an indie record that will have to work to find it's audience. With all the chops and talent on board? This should have been a rage against the machine record but instead it makes it's statement through killer playing and sharp tunes loaded with good vibes. A tasty jazzbo outing that---aw, hell, the machine would have killed it anyway. Jazzbos unite and rise up, but in celebration, not in anger. Well done.
AUDREY FOXX/Stone Cold Woman: Somebody call Dick Schory, the return of Tantrum might be brewing. A white girl with the blues that exists somewhere between the nexus of blues and rock but not quite in either camp, it's powered by that slinky, sexy vibe nu women have been glomming onto. With some certified soul chops lurking in the mix, Foxx is on to something here.
BENOIT DELBECQ/Weight of Light: The vet French piano improv man comes back with his first solo set in a decade doing something personal, examining his PhD brother's thesis about the mass of light. If you taste rests somewhere between Fred Hersch and early ECM, there's a spot for you here in the front row. A solid bet for people that like their creativity coming from that pure place deep within.
FRANCO AMBROSETTI BAND/Lost Within You: The Swiss trumpet ace rounds up the old band (Scoey, Rosnes, Caine, Colley and DeJohnette!) for another go---this time keeping things in the ballad mode and making you think Miles is hiding out here somewhere. A solidly tasty grown up jazz album that's intimate and made for intimacy, it's a true one of a kind set. Well done.
SKYLAR ROGERS/Firebreather: If this was 50 years ago and the inappropriate was still appropriate, Rogers would have been one of those sexy brown sugars enlisted to back up the Stones. Growing up on the mean streets of Chicago with a different bunch of Stones on the streets, she knows how to deliver one hard attack of blues/rock/soul and I'm not all that sure she's breaking a sweat in the process. A great soul singer no matter which way you look at it.
PROFESSOR LOUIE & THE CROWMATIX/Music from Hurley Mountain-Legacy of a Historic Americana Town: A few years ago, the roots mavens in the Crowmatix took a time away from the blues and preserving the legacy of The Band to dig into the history and pay tribute to the musical legacy of their own backyard. A top flight documentary makers was taken with the tunes and the vibe that was imbedded in the area from overthrowing the King to Woodstock Get out the camera, fire up the tunes and the result is this guided tour to an area that even made it into the soundtrack of "The Civil War" due to progressive water management. It tastes good, it's good for you and it insures this little, influential corner of Americana isn't swept away.
BREACH: John McClain jumps into the fifth element where he runs smack dab into Species/Alien/It and has to save what's left of the world as it drifts in space having made a hasty exit to escape an unnamed plague. Baldy Bruce might have to do commercials for Die Hard batteries these days, but he knows how to protect the Willis action franchise and successfully comes for one more visit without wearing out his welcome. Pass the popcorn and enjoy.
Volume 45/Number 77
January 16, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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