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SANDY McKNIGHT w/Fernando Perdomo/San Fernando Blitz: This is an interesting change up for Perdomo, he's hanging with a power popper as opposed to chasing his usual prog muses. The cat certainly adds a degree of chops to this duo set that might not have been quite as lively without him. An interesting little sampler from an interesting new duo.

MARKUS REUTER/A Prayer for Our Times (In the Name of;): A spooky record with a spooky concept in the first place, this set was recorded over three years but it seems totally timely upon it's release. Taking ambient, prog, noize and anything else found laying around in left field, it's a sonic reflection of the miasma surrounding us at every turn these days. A set that's just waiting for anyone that is ready for madness that reflects the times madness.
(Unquiet 1)

GERALD GRADWOHL GROUP/Episode 6: Hard rockers that traverse some prog and jazz at the same time but never fail on delivering the noize. Kicking it into gear early and often, this is the power bunch that delivers in time on time.
(Gtone 211)

JOE MACRE/Bullet Train: Straight up Jersey hard rockers that rock the joint. No frills, just guitar slinging among pals that have smelled their share of stale beer and ciggy smoke.

JOE LOVANO Trio Tapestry/Garden of Expression: You'll notice in the back liner photo the sax man and his trio are playing socially distanced and with masks where mouths aren't needed. Lovano set out to make a spiritual recording but instead it seems like him and Eicher has decided to explore the night as this is the saxiest, after hours set to come along in quite a while. Moody and textured, if you've been spending a little too much time alone these days, this is a great recording to have by your side. Killer stuff.
(ECM 2685)

SHAI MAESTRO/Human: A left leaning piano quartet that shows Eicher hasn't lost his touch for finding piano men with vision and the proper chops to execute something new and different. A solid work that never takes the easy way out, this is pure art in a pure state and always tasty.
(ECM 2688)

JANE MONHEIT/Come What May: Monheit's been a fixture for so long that it's hard to remember that her career didn't really kick in until after this century did. With phrasing and taste that haven't lost a step, this set of chestnuts has just the right everything going for it, even when this set should be at it's torchiest and somber. Everyone is swinging and the date is a real treat and another win.
(Club 44 4109)

NICOLAS KING/Act One: Celebrating his first 25 years of recording with this veritable best of set, he's Liza's godson so you have to realize the show biz schmaltz aspects of his career come naturally. Because he comes at it sincerely, he doesn't come off as some Vegas lounge coked out Sammy Joey buffoon and at worst, the most head strong hipster can enjoy this as a guilty pleasure. Anyone else can enjoy the show. What you have here is a wonderful trip back in time to when show biz lawyers and accountants knew their place.
(Club 44 )

GREGG KARUKAS/Serenata: The chop laden jazzbo to the stars goes back to the 90s when he was touring with the crème of Brazilin music for his first solo piano set and his first set in quite some time. Who wouldn't want to know what would happen if Jim Brickman took his romantic piano to Brazil and offered up some smart studies of Nascimento and Caymmi as well as a few of his own? Those probable answers are lurking here. Brazil from a different angle, this is a tasty set no matter how you look at it.
(Night Owl 4450)

STEVE GADD BAND/at Blue Note Tokyo: In the 70s, Gadd was the session drummer on every rock record you bought. 50 years later, he's still bringing the funk, blues and more soul than a white boy should have. Such a good time keeper that he was probably really born in Switzerland and not Rochester, this is that most right on kind of after hours jazz that keeps you coming back for more. Killer stuff.

Volume 45/Number 118
February 26, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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