DAVID LARSEN/Mulligan Chronicles: Here's an interesting concept for you. A jazzbo with well groomed chops of his own is working on his Ph.D. in Mulligan and put together a set where he works on the master's classics with late period members of Mulligan's bands and projects. The sax man keeps his hands on the wheel and leads like a champ making this more than a tribute/homage set. Almost like a modern trip down memory lane, this is a fine way to keep the sound alive and well. Hot stuff.
JACK BRANDFIELD/I'll Never Be the Same: Although still in his 20s, this jazzbo sax man has got John Pizzarelli in tow to let you know that just because he records oldies doesn't mean he's doing it just for the exercise. One of those cats with one ear on the past and one ear on the future, he handles the oldies like an old soul but you know he's planning on blowing his way into the future as well. A tasty and auspicious debut.
(Gut String 52)
VINNIE RICCITELLI OCTET/For the Record: Perhaps one of the greatest off the clock records of all time, the 96 year old sax man gathers up as bunch of pals to kick it out on a set that mixes tunes from several of the eras he's lived through to make his second record in over 60 years. Always a working muso the whole time, records just seemed like a diversion so he was never all that interested in tipping his toe. And here's a taste of what the world's been missing. A veritable old people's home of great players playing with no dust on them, nothing here sounds old. Utterly smoking mainstream jazz/instrumental music that sets the standard and raises the bar. Of course, recorded in one day---old school style.
KENNEY POLSON/Colors of Brazil: Long a fan of all things Brazil, going so far as to live there for five years, Polson hies his sax down south with Don Mizell lurking the background, and gives a load of Brazil classics new flavor. Firmly stamped with his own imprimatur, Polson tickles your Brazil sweet tooth with something new and hot but assuredly Brazilian. Tasty throughout.
KANE MATHIS/Germinus: It used to be fun to needle John Bilizikijan about playing a bazooki to get him to blow his top and tell you it was an oud. Ok, backstage joke. No joke---Mathis is the finest oud player we've heard since Bilizikijan. And Mathis also has chops on Kora as well. Leading a trio through an ethnic program that's not really ethnic, he veers away from belly dance and opium den music taking this out of our ordinary instrument to a land where chops reign. Must listening for when you're ready to meet him half way for something new and different handled by a real pro.
LYLE WORKMAN/Uncommon Measures: A cat that's easily earned the title a muso's muso, if any of us had a third of the high spots he's hit over the years, we'd have called it a day and hung up our spurs. An absolute protean player, he faces off against a 63 piece orchestra here with a set that could be classified as prog, orchestral, instrumental, modern classical, and on and on and on. Just plain killer stuff I'd rather sit back and enjoy than talk about. And you should too. Easily a one of a kind outing.
(Blue Canoe 1458)
D.I./Greatest Hits A to Z: A fatly tracked set of Orange Country punk nostalgia in which the old songs are recorded with a new line up. Sounding older and more suburban, this is still the sound of being plenty pissed off in the land of sunshine and plenty. Tell me kids today won't relate, I dare you.
DOWN BY LAW/Lonely Town: Can you still be angry, young men when you've been at it for well over 30 years? Well, pissed off is pissed off and these cats are certainly still pissed off. With a lot more buzz saw that you would expect geezers pump out, this is DIY punk through and through---right from the true vine.
TOMMY BOLIN/Shake the Devil-The Lost Sessions: Dead at 25 and a dead legend for almost twice as long, the out takes from "Private Eyes" are finally seeing light of day in an estate sanctioned edition. Obviously a valentine for the uber fan, the stuff is rough as he was recording ideas to two track back then, but boy howdy!, that guitar is alive. Some rocks just can't be stopped.
REZA KHAN/Imaginary Road: A smooth jazz guitarist naming his album after Will Ackerman's later in life record label? Are we looking for a hidden message? Right in the pocket of those highly enjoyable, west coast non-new age instrumental albums by guitarists and their A list pals. Whatever the mood or whatever the mode, Khan is another one of those ax men that's a real delight and gives you your moneys worth because you can replay this often. Well done.
REBECCA DUMAINE & the Dave Miller Trio/Someday, Someday: Hanging out with her pop again, one of the hippest lawyers we know of, Dumaine serves up some of the tastiest cocktail jazz once again. With a nicely varied set card that doesn't stick to just one era, she covers the bases well while hitting it out of the park consistently. This is a well needed dose of class that comes in handy right about now. Well done.
Volume 45/Number 104
February 12, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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