BRENT JENSEN/More Sounds of a Dry Martini: So it only took the sax man 20 years to do a follow up to his tribute to Paul Desmond. You want him to repeat himself too much or something? A delightfully classic after hours set of another heaping helping of Brubeck standards with the Desmond touch, this sitting down/thinking man's jazz outing hits all the right notes and then some. Because all the songs are familiar, it plays like comfort food from the right bistro. A swinging, tasty affair throughout.
GREG GERMANN/Tales of Time: Part of a nu generation of frenetic jazzbos that learned how to tone it down for TV and studio work but remember how to turn it back up when it's their clock they're free to warder off of. Wild stuff for those who don't take their jazz lying down.
CARLOS VEGA/Art of the Messenger: The Latin jazzbo makes a case for music being the international language by springing from his salsa roots into a tribute to Art Blakey and his hard bopping Jazz Messenger days. Showing his chops by doing a tribute through all original material, these messengers here are real crusaders that play the whole jazz and nothing but the jazz. Right on throughout, this set is a first class sizzler.
ALEX CONDE/Descarga for Bud: Bud Powell has been gone so long that any chop heavy piano man that wants to step up and refashion the Powell canon can do so without much discouragement. Putting some caliente into the basic riffs, if you weren't there the first time around, it's not only new to you but it's a real ear opener as well. Solid stuff throughout, this is creative work that isn't just done for the purpose of showing off. Hot.
ALI BELLO/Inheritance: A little Latin jazz violin anyone? Funny how the riffs here remind me of how it would sound if Jean Luc Ponty took a trip to South America in the mid 70s. This crew knows how to take you to the back alleys and side trips off the beaten path where you'll hear stuff that just isn't made for tourists to think is hot stuff. This one hits the target and is the real deal throughout. A sure showcase of how hard work and dedication pay off.
(Tiger Turn 2138) the
TIM HAGENS/NRD BIG BAND/A Conversation: Playing something new and different with a host of old pals, the trumpeter sounds like he's been scarfing up those old Kenton records where the old man put the young lions through some heavy duty art jazz moves. You can almost hear echoes of the Four Brothers. You want some first call, top shelf rousing art jazz? This is the place to find it. Well done.
KEITH BROWN TRIO/African Ripples: Brown reaches high and hard here by having Gil Scott Heron playing civil rights jazz in the seventh galaxy. You just can't put your finger on what's going on here and trying to pin it down will only kill the vibe. Packing a history of African life and culture into a hour is a mighty task Brown is up for pulling it together like a pastiche worthy of Duke's ride to Sugar Hill on the A train. There's a nu kind of soul music going on here in fine firm.
(Space Time 2150)
DARA TUCKER/Dreams of Waking: A solid jazz vocalist reaches back to the 60s and 70s for an album of protest music, but the tracks are pulled from unlikely sources and a lot of it isn't what you would think of as protest music-----but in these times we're living in... The groove is the thing and she's got plenty of command of it. Cyrus Chestnut keeps it too sprightly for you to need Western Union to send a message.
(Green Hill 6344)
L'ABIME: Modern Quebec jazzbos that have come together from the remains of several well lauded crews focus on jazz inspired by classical music moving them somewhere between cocktail hour and the recital hall. Arty stuff that should be welcomed by those with an egghead bent, this is a dose of serious music for serious listeners.
MIGUEL DE ARMAS QUARTET/Continuous: If a Cuban moves to Canada, you can safely assume he's thinking outside the box. A piano man that's conquered with world with his eclectic, party jazz, de Armas continues the quest here with a smoking, dazzling set that could inspire Sergio Mendes to blow some of the dust off himself and get into a cutting contest. High octane stuff that makes it clear there's a party going on!
(Three Pines 3-02)
Volume 45/Number 187
May 6, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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