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STEVE TINTWEISS & the Purple Why/Markstown: One thing is for sure about avant garde jazz, it exists in it's own time zone. The recordings here are the debut release of this crew that was kicking it in the late 60s, and this is the first release of that 60s material as well. A bunch of heavy duty improvisers that never met a boundary they ever felt they ha to observe, pots and pans music have made these hell raisers look relatively tame. Head back to the loft, break out the clove ciggys and enjoy the pleasures of deep left field.
(Inky Dot 3)

MADRE VACA/Elements: Impressionistic jazz by a four piece crew that takes on the elemental elements: fire, water, earth and wind. No soul and funk on board. Solid egghead listening by this angular crew that reaches hard and grabs the brass ring it's going for. They manage to take improv to some new places as well.
(Madre Vaca 10)

TIM MAYER/Keeper of the Flame: The first release as a leader by this cat in a decade finds him letting his sax blaze the way for this first call crew to romp through some hard charging, straight ahead jazz. Using a load of post bop and swing to drive his point home, this is a zesty, sizzling set that leaves you wanting more. Well done.
(D Clef 162)

DEE DANIELS/The Promise (deluxe edition): Spirituality found through a successful bout against cancer, this is a far cry from religion oriented stuff that hits you over the head, even when she's at her least subtle. A vocalist in touch with her voice and her own mind, she's here to let you know we aren't in this alone without resources. And she's a wonderful, soulful vocalist.

JALEN BAKER/This is Me, This is Us: The vibist makes a solid civil rights jazz statement at a time when it seems like all civil rights progress from past generations has been swept aside and forgotten. Not militant but certainly turbulent, this is a wake up call showing how you don't need words to send a message. A wonderful out of the ordinary excursion.
(Outside In 2123)

TOMOKO OMURA/Branches V. 2: Shifting gears from military cadences to playful sounds at the drop of a hat, this Downbeat up and comer on jazz violin knows how to command her ax to make it go to various places, sometimes all at once. It seems like she's doing art jazz but she really isn't, it's just a different kind of cross cultural fusion that's unlike much of the world jazz of the past. A solid statement showing that all of Asia doesn't have just one sound, the armchair traveler's ears will be piqued this time out especially if searching for something new. Check it out.
(Outside In 2116)

WINNIPEG JAZZ ORCHESTRA/Twisting Ways: Take a whole bunch of Juno award winners, toss them in a crucible and let them simmer. What do you get? Surprisingly, you get a bunch of art jazz that shows they can follow their own muses with nothing to prove. Certainly not something you'd expect going in, it probably won't be what you expect going out either. A lush setting for eggheads to drift into the music, this is expertly done for refined tastes.
(WJO 5)

SASKATCHEWAN ALL STAR BIG BAND/Saskatchewan Suite: With the musos being a bunch of players that were top hitters from Saskatchewan, a DVD was needed to preserve this commissioned work from all angles. How much have you thought about First Peoples in a Canadian province? Well, this well wrought jazzbo outing preserves 150 years of native cultures and clashes in a fine, regal style. And it was recorded at an Indian casino. With the load of pros doing pro things, this takes wing and soars mighty high in it's presentation.
(Chronograph 4)

MARTIAL SOLAL/Coming Yesterday: After 70 years of giving it a go, the French piano man hung it up after this date, preserving his last show for the ages. Taking a sprightly solo romp through a goodly share of the great American song book, and loading the deck with his improv flourishes, the lights went out and the ghost light went on. A fine and fitting coda to a life time of work.
(Challenge 73516)

SARAH VAUGHAN/Live at Berlin Philharmonie 1969: What is it about these old school singers being turned loose in Berlin? On the heels of a new edition of "Ella in Berlin" comes this twofer of Sassy tearing it up for two shows in Berlin. Loaded with vocal high wire acts, Sassy might be more than a few miles from Mr. Kelly's but you certainly don't hear any jet lag. A stellar trip down memory lane for the jazz vocal fan that wants a return to when it was on the natch. Hot stuff.
(Lost Recordings 2004037)

Volume 45/Number 174
April 23, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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