ALTERED FIVE BLUES BAND/Holler If You Hear Me: A roof raising stomper, this bunch of blues award nominees rope in Tom Hambridge to ride over the proceedings and keep the heat on high. An old fashioned post war stomper, it's fun stuff for cats like it real and cut from the true vine.
(Blind Pig 5173)
BAMBU ENSEMBLE STRING OCTET/Enescu Shostakovich Campos: These fresh faced youngsters have the distinction of being the only string octet in Spanish classical music today and they bring it on repertoire written over the last 150 years--from classic to contemporary--and they do it with rock and roll energy. Certainly not a crew that cares about playing your father's recitals, this high octane bunch can re-roast a chestnut faster than you can think about doing. Hot stuff with the ability to make the past relevant rather than just on display.
BONET-GOMEZ MORAN/New Paths: A French horn/piano duo that specializes in music of the 21st Century, they are on the avant garde side of contemporary classical with a nod toward finding a way to stash some angular crime jazz into the mix. A natch for the Sunday afternoon wine and cheese recital set, it's a deep in left field kind of outing.
ELECTRIC SIX/Streets of Gold: Underground Michigan cover band celebrates 20 years of merry making by covering a wildly mixed bag of rock tunes, including their own. If you don't know them, they are serious rockers with a sense of humor but not Al Yankovic kind of humor. More like a frat band gone totally nuts. It works. Sometimes classic rock needs a little air let out of it's tires and these are just the cats to do it.
TANTRIC/Sum of All Things: Heartland hard rockers are back in the studio after 20 years picking up where they left off in the post grunge era. Arena rockers in search of an arena, this is the sound of the suburbs that might have gone into remission but never really went away. Raging hormones gotta rage.
LILLIAS WHITE/Get Yourself Some Happy: Don't make the same mistake I did. When I was first pitched this album I thought it was the old PBS yoga teacher re-inventing herself. Wrongo! It's a deeply talented vocalist reinventing chestnuts that are almost fodder for a kiddie album parents can stand. But this is for the grown ups. Bringing her theatrical chops proudly in through the front door, she finds the soul in a bunch of tunes from another era that had as much soul as a marshmallow. Tasty throughout.
(Old Mill Road)
ZACC HARRIS GROUP/Small Wonders: One of the guitarists that really light up the Minnesota nights, he steps out boldly here, leading a bunch of his equally bold pals and makes some solid contemporary jazz that isn't easy listening but doesn't make you work too hard either. Letting their chops lead the way, this is what you need for after the kids have been put to bed and grown ups want some meaty jazz to tear into. Hot stuff that totally cooks.
(Shifting Paradigm 162)
DAVID FULMER/Sky's Acetylene: Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for their 175th anniversary, are we to believe that classical music is now putting out eps? An experimental work you could almost say finds it's roots in the outer edges of Bernstein in his "West Side Story" period, if nothing else, this set is a master class in how to write music for arts council grants. Experimental yes, but the wheels never fall off.
(New Focus 306)
FYUTCH/Family Tree: This record is a mind blower for many reasons. As any hard core racist will tell you proudly, black people know how to have kids. On the other hand, kiddie music is pretty honkified and could use a touch of woking up. Fyutch breaks that line and with an ‘ethnic' set that really can be enjoyed by all, he tramples that line as well. Packing in more black history than all the college classes I had to sit through, he serves it up sounding like Kool & the Gang. He wanted to make an album his entire family could be proud and you have to admire how admirably he's succeeded here. There hasn't been anything like this since Pete Seeger first made kiddie records. Be sure to check it out.
KRISTEN MATHER DE ANDRADE/Clarao: A clarinet playing member of the
West Point Army band so taken with all things Brazilian she married a Brazilian. Then she went on to make this indigenous sounding record that fee s like it doesn't even know what a tourist is or which is the way to Ipanima. Very much full of sounds you'd hear wandering off the beaten path, it's a lovely album of local jazz and instrumental music that enchants throughout.
Volume 45/Number 266
July 24, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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