ROBERT SILLA & Maniatico Ensemble/Brunetti Complete Oboe Sextets: You don't have to be a classical geek to dive right in here. Brunetti was an 18th Century Spanish composer that even the locals say was underappreciated. Silla is like a new incarnation of Nigel Kennedy with another instrument but possessing the same mix of puckishness and chops. This two disc set gives us all of Brunetti's oboe works, often seemingly infused with a Mozart like innocence. Elegantly presented and cleanly recorded, this tour de force comes across as a pure extravaganza festival of oboe. Since Brunetti basically brings no baggage to the proceeding, you can dive right in without fearing repercussions from the classical police looking down their pince nez at your taste. This'll put you on equal footing with the snobs while you just sit back and enjoy it.
INAKI ALBERDI/Amicitia: Remember the Downbeat Blind Fold tests? Can you play this without looking a the label and guess which follower in the wake of Piazzolla this is? No you can't because the composer behind it is Spaniard Luis De Pablo and he's doing nothing for tango or bandelon here. De Pablo's field of play is accordion and he writes up a storm for his pal Alberdi that returns the favor by playing up a storm. There's no Lawrence Welk stuff here. Dramatic, passionate and cinematic, this is an intriguing listening date that satisfies throughout. It's sure to take you places you never expected---just be sure to make all the stops along the way.
SILVIA MARQUEZ/Harpsichord Concertos: A classic Sunday afternoon recital record, this is a look at a few modern 20th Century composers doing their thing for harpsichord with augmentation by soloists and orchestra. A real throwback to when classical concerts were presented at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon to get you in the right mood to start the week without being rushed and full of rejuvenated spirit. Solid pros all the way down to wearing their masks in the liner photos, sets like this are a throwback but a joy as well.
CITY OF TOMORROW/Wind: The crew behind this might be a bunch of experimenters and envelop pushers but they aren't doing this look-no-hands style. A polished set of players, they know how far they can take things and toe their own line in a way that works without the wheels rolling off. It might be avant garde modern classical but if you've got a taste for out sound, you're already half way to getting what's going on here.
(New Focus 294)
LUKE LeBLANC/Only Human; LeBlanc's easy going ‘hey buddy' vibe might doom him to being a working muso on that long road but it should keep him working for a long time. Nice country/folk-rock hallmarked by smart writing, this set is laid back even when it driving and charging giving summer music a dandy, different flavor.
ANGELA WRIGLEY TRIO/You Don't Know What Love Is: The newest throaty sounding singing pianist from Canada takes a little pomo action here in the mix of classics and originals sneaking in some genre blending as well. A tasty trio date that never strays far from jazz even if it used a bunch of hyphenated elements along the way. Clearly played for the sheer fun of playing.
HORIZONS QUARTET: A young sax man wants to start a band but wants some of his jazz heroes to be in on it. No problem for this lad. With half his crew being born well into the earlier part of the last century, there's no arthritis on board as these cats tear it up with something of a 60s vibe that might be a little more living room than loft but delivers the chops well done just the same. A little left leaning but a real tour de force.
RALPH PETERSON/Raise Up Off Me: Both angry and spiritual right up to the end, this last set by Peterson encapsulates the spirit of the times that makes you wonder if the last 50 years really happened or were they just lip service hiding what was underneath. Showing of side of 60s/70s jazz that kept playing where ever it could when Beatles washed over everything else, the passion is ever present. Certainly, sitting down/thinking man's jazz, (unfortunately) the expressions are timeless and well presented.
BRUCE HARRIS/Soundview: Paying tribute to his neighborhood growing up with production by Jeremy Pelt and encouragement from Wynton Marsalis, this trumpet man and his crew keep it moving straight ahead with steam engine ferocity. Solid work from a solid young cat, this is a platter of blowing just the way you like it. Well done.
CHARNETT MOFFETT/New Love: He might be a bass ace but he's playing here like he's John McLaughlin playing hard enough to get out of his own way. Not sticking to one genre any longer than he has to, this spirited ear opener has so much going on you need to take your time to take it all in. A wonderfully wild and wooly date that just can't help but make you smile.
Volume 45/Number 209
May 28, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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