ZERO TIMES EVERYTHING/Sound of Music: Once you leave the mainstream, who's to bless and who's to blame can often become a matter of opinion. Is it pots and pans music? Art chick music? Contemporary classical for eggheads? There's so much manqueing around that it's hard to believe that when you hit the real deal you'll know it. This crew has done something somewhat amazing---they've found a mainstream for avant garde. Left of Blue Man Group and right of minimalists, this twofer is loaded with EDM for computer geeks with two left feet. Amazing in itself. "Metal Machine Music" goes top 40? And as bizarre as it gets, it never sounds like a trip through hell. Left fielders have got to give this a go.
POPPERMOST/Hits to Spare: The cover art is loaded with humor and it doesn't end there. If you remember how Rockpile looked at one point in the "Cruel to be Kind" vid when they were aping a Mersey beat move, it'll hit you that this one man band tribute to the era seems to jump off from that point. A one man band that's certainly not doing a slavish tribute to the Beatles but to their vibe (with pomo touches), this set certainly fills your need for groovy rocking. Kids can have fun pulling grandpa's chain making him figure out why he doesn't recognize these originals and convince him his Alzheimer's is kicking in. All that's missing here as a coupon to send in for a Polaroid Swinger.
GIANCARLO ERRA/Departure Tapes: 40 years later and what they are calling Steve Reich's stuff now is ‘no sound'. A multi disciplinary minimalist, Erra serves a cd-dvd package that takes you deep inside the inner resources his ambient mind where sounds build in a linear way. A modern dose of art rock that'll get you a date as easily as showing off your deep knowledge of "Star Trek", this is a soundtrack for when you really want the world to leave you alone.
TRIFECTA/Fragments: 3 for real progressive musos with real miles under their belts distill the history of progressive music mix mastering everything from McDonald & Giles to Zappa with stops at the seventh galaxy and topographic oceans to get some tarkus along the way. With no noodling or blather in evidence, this is going to remind you of the creative indie records major label refugees were making 20 odd years ago when the regulators were off. This is a delightful set of blows against the empire that ring true.
BERNARDO LANZETTI/Horizontal Rain: The 70s prog vibe is alive and well in Italy as this guitar driven set recorded over the last five years so ably shows. With the kind of sturm and drang as well as lyrics that reflect the energy of the time and it's tide, I'm not sure if this is a threw back or a look ahead for those that weren't there. In any case, it'll hit that sweet spot that lives in disaffected suburban youth that just can't deal with cardboard bologna.
JARED HALL/Seen on the Scene: Sometimes you just don't need anything more than a driving leader and a bunch of like minded jazzbos that brought their chops to make sure a good time is had by all. A real dynamo trumpeter, Hall leads with a sure handed lip guiding a cast of characters that doesn't need to be told what to do. You don't even need a libation to go with this because you won't want to miss a note. One solidly swinging good time.
STEVE MILLION/What I Meant to Say: Four jazzbos became good friends in Kansas City in the 70s before they drifted away on the sands of time. But it didn't make their friendship drift away as 2019 brought them back together to kick it out as a crew one more time. Deceptively deeper than hotel lobby music, these cats know what to do to power a piano quartet to great heights by breaking a minimum of sweat. Simply a tasty workout that's on the money throughout and always hitting the right notes.
JAKE BREAKS/Breaksy: Need a groove record that knows how to furnish a groove? This dj driven set shows how djs are artists in their own right when really given a freehand at freedom of expression. There's something about this that just takes you someplace else whether a late night club or an upmarket opium den---and it's all cool. In the end, it's nu jazz for nu ears but everyone is welcome.
(Wide Hive 363)
LARRY McDONOUGH QUARTET/Kind of Bill on the Palace Grounds: Liz Story might have studied with Bill Evans but McDonough studied Evans. That's why his remembrance of Evans is passionate like he has a he is risen kind of remembrance. No wonder McDonough is recognized as a foremost Evans interpreter, Evans was his lodestar. He plays like he is his own man all the way but you know where he's coming from. Basically a non record recording of a 40th anniversary remembrance concert of Evans passing, this is as close to the real thing as you can come. Killer stuff that makes you wish you were there.
GERRY GIBBS THRASHER DREAM TRIOS/Songs From My Father: Here's two discs of proof that it pays to be a good son. Gibbs puts together 4 editions of his ad hoc trios to pay tribute to his 96 year old pop, one of that last architects of bebop still standing. With almost all the songs written by Terry Gibbs, except for a specially composed Chick Corea tune, recorded on Corea's last date, this collection of jazz royalty pays a fitting tribute to some jazz royalty. With tunes as old as 70 on this collection that don't sound like it, this murderer's row line up of jazzbos step up and show how to kill it. A record that had to be made that hardly is anymore, this is the stuff! Friends, Romans and jazzbos, lend me your ears!
(Whaling City Sound 131)
Volume 45/Number 279
August 6, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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