MARCIO RESENDE/Elegant Fish: A well taught Brazilian sax man takes it upon himself to reinvent bossa nova. Taking a load of familiar tunes and chestnuts as his base, with a few worthy originals mixed n as well Resende and his crew bring a new sway to the sounds of swaying. Sure to be favored by world/jazz tastes, this is a tasty voyage that knows where it's going and how to get you there.
DESERT HOLLOW/Thirsty: Modern indie folkies blaze a nu trail without ignoring what's come before. Working right out of the box with a simple banjo riff and an innocent, plaintiff vocal, these young ‘un have the feel and the knack for hitting it out of the park in the first trip to the plate. Solid stuff that grabs on and doesn't let go.
ANGELA'S RING/soundtrack: A cast album of a jazz opera about the European debt crisis? Cribbing from Beethoven right from the opening notes, you have to scratch your head about whether this is a tour de force for eggheads, a commentary for CNN junkies or what? What hath "Hamilton" wrought? Once you get going with it, the script is pretty funny and sassy---you don't even have to be a news head to smirk your way through it. And the jazzbos on board provide good company. We aren't exactly sure how to approach this as it defies loads of expectations. Don't be afraid to approach it if you want something new that really colors outside the lines.
PHILIPPE LEMM TRIO/First Steps: The drummer that used to be a dancer leads his piano trio through a muscular and angular romp where unfortunately the piano man passed last fall. Modern and accessible, this isn't even a trip to the outer edges. Nu jazz done right, this won't be showing up in most cocktail lounges---and that's their loss. Well done.
(Outside In 2101)
ZIXIANG WANG/First Piano sonatas: Proving there's still plenty of new repertoire in classical to excavate, Wang focuses on rarely heard sonatas by Scriabin and Rachmaninoff. Played in a skilled, professional way but leaving plenty of room for passion and romance. You can almost hear this as the soundtrack for one of those movies like they don't make anymore. This cat's recording career is off to a glorious start.
(Blue Griffin 579)
SARAH JERROM/Dream Logic: Pomo, modern jazz inspired by David Lynch, Jerrom and her pals are charting new courses for adventurous ears that like being not too sure what just hit them. This is the place to dip your toe in the next stream.
(Three Pines 2)
BETH JEAN/Let's Put On A Show: A different kind of kiddie album in that it's inspired by the artist's love of Broadway and it's bottomed by a heavy duty DIY ethic that matches the sentiments behind it. An award winning TV performer, Jean keeps it ground level so that any kids more inspired by "Little Rascals" than "American Idol" have a template to work from until they can graduate to Judy and Mickey musicals. Gleefully genre bending at every turn, I'm not exactly sure if this is for kids or adults.
MATT PANAYIDES/Field Theory: A post bop guitar man skilled in the ways of Wes and deeply steeped in jazz in general serves up a hot, hopping and bopping set that doesn't know how not to swing. Solid stuff throughout, this is really music to get your motor running. Well done.
(Pacific Coast Jazz 93445)
CHARLIE TREAT/Comet: He might have started out as a folkie and now claims to be Americana but there's no mistaking that he's finding his voice and métier in the roots of the rockabilly rebels that knew how to tear it up. With a slide long glance to Elvis, the festivities take this New England lad through a tour of the south with points in Nashville, Memphis and Jackson before really hitting the backroads. Certainly not a recidivist, this works because it comes from the heart.
CYGNUS ENSEMBLE/Entertwined: A progressive modernist that's won everything out there except a MacArthur, Robert Pollock experiments with sound and when he plays the piano---he really plays the piano. Actually, to the left of being Sunday afternoon wine and cheese music, there's no pots and pans and what there might be lacking in linearity, there's plenty of passion to make up for it. A contemporary classical set that you can approach without fear or apprehension.
(Furious Artisans 6827)
Volume 45/Number 128
March 8, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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