FLORIANO INACIO JR/Novas Raizes: Here's a piano man to look out for. Inacio has a love for Brazilian music, jazz and the interconnectedness of everything which finds him sambaing across the Sahara in the course of this buoyant, upbeat set. Leading an ensemble like a pro, everyone is giving their all to make this a party. With the music itself being very personable, it's almost impossible not to like this no matter what your taste is. Solid throughout.
ANETTE VON EICHEL/Inner Tide: She can come across like an art chick, but one inspired by Rickie Lee Jones. An alum of the Next Generation series more than a few years back, Von Eichel really makes a statement here as this is the first set where she's the hand on the composing wheel throughout. Veering between beatnik and hipster, she's totally a safe haven for you if you haven't put away your black clothes and clove ciggies just yet. Real gone, daddio.
(Double Moon 71375)
LEX JASPER TRIO & Strings/Lexposure: When high tech meet high chops, sparks fly--when it's a set like this. The Dutch band leader takes his trio through a set of originals that sound so familiar you think this is a classic jazz piano trio date from the vaults---but it's magically here and now. Utterly tasty playing that just can't be beat, this set is so good it almost hurts. Top shelf throughout.
SONUS UMBRA/Sky Full of Ghosts: Very accomplished prog from Chicago that sounds like it could have been something EG or Charisma might have been nurturing to have in the wings in case Crimson flopped or flew too high. The second part of a journey through time and space where everything you know is wrong or gone---loaded with classic prog moves. The sound, however, is what it's all about and this sound and fury are on the money throughout. Stuff like this is why the prog underground is alive and well.
SONUS UMBRA/Beyond the Panopticon: The debut set that kicked it off for this crew, both in terms of recording and for this two part exploration. This set finds them in more of a kick out the jams mode where they are pushing the boundaries as they find their way and crystallize their sound. They learned their lessons well and showed that they were well on their way. Impressive and thoroughly prog.
DAMON FOWLER/Alafia Moon: Forget this white boy with the blues slings a mean slide, he plays with Dickey Betts and covers Guy Clark. He seems like the kind of cat that might talk music with you after a show if you can prove you know what you are talking about. A totally bad ass set for the hard core that know bad ass when they hear it. Hot stuff.
JAZZ WORMS/Squirmin': Reuniting for their second album after 30 years, this crew of Denver jazzbos went on in the mean time to be some of the most influential cats the modern scene has produced there. Still sounding young, spry and enthusiastic, this bunch is a gasser. Always swinging, and not always in ways you might expect or anticipate, this crew is the wildest and should get back together more often than once every 30 years. A complete gasser.
DAN BLAKE/Da Fe: A musical activist that walks it like he talks it, this sax set is an outgrowth of his growth and quest for better for all. A solid set of thinking man's jazz, you can sit down and almost treat this like a classical set. Proof that there are still people who care about what goes on around us.
KOLOTOV MOCKTAILS/Ivy Hall: An eclectic bunch of jazzbos that can make jazz sound like classic Allman Brothers. Adept at taking you places you don't expect, this crew delivers the fun and the chops. Confirmed genre benders, they are really a hot new and nu voice on the horizon that has to be paid attention to. Solid stuff.
CAROLINE DAHL/Boogie Woogie State of Mind: The grande dame of boogie piano, Dahl is no one trick pony as she proves once again that she has the eclectic knowledge and chops to vary it up and keep you on board digging the proceedings rather than pretending to enjoy the proceedings. A top flight/top shelf player that knows how to get the party started, she hits it out of the park again. And boogie "Moscow Nights", that's a new one on me. Well done.
Volume 45/Number 105
February 13, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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