BAKAN HALL PARSONS/History of the Future: Two professors with wildly incredible musical resumes hook up with a third pal they've been hooking up with for years and finally make good on the promise they made to play together again---after a 20 year wait. Boy, have we been missing out. A snazzy, adventurous trumpet trio that just loves taking convention and turning it onto it's head and coming up with something new and wonderful, this is one of the coolest trips you can imagine taking. These cats can play! Without limit! And with a lot of exclamations points! A high octane set that wows with creativity and unstoppable vibes.
SHEILA JORDAN/Comes Love (Lost Session 1960): Here comes a 60 year old date that not only shows off a Sheila Jordan you never heard but she doesn't even remember making. If it wasn't for the Jordan name out front and the Jordan chops in the grooves, this might be a period curio by just another thrush hitting the standards---but it's not. It's a vocal master class that ought to be used in school. Already a little past her ingénue years with her "real" debut still two years down the road. Recorded old school style, all in a day, this is a fine glimpse of a vocalist that learned her lessons in Detroit and got her Ph.D. after moving to New York. It's probably more treasured now than it would have been then.
ROBERT KYR/In Praise of Music: Take the old chant records, make them modern with a choral ensemble that doesn't miss the mark and combine thoughts about the healing power of music. Quite the interesting soufflé. Certainly high minded stuff for the unabashedly egg headed, the liturgical vibes could make this catch a fire with those just looking for a respite from the noise of the day. Interesting stuff well laid out.
MATHILDE HANDELSMAN/Claude Debussy Images: Playing an authentic Debussy era piano the way a rocker would play Duane Allman's guitar, Handelsman takes the complete works of Debussy from 1903-07 and places them somewhere else entirely. Focusing on a period that changed his approach, this set has a playful vibe that often makes I t feel like what the piano player at Nordstorm fires into when he gets tired of smooth jazz and easy listening stylings---and you don't realize you're listening to something deep. Playing with much more consummate skill and dexterity than you would expect from a debut, Handelsman marks her territory here in no uncertain terms as a piano player to watch. Well done.
ANREAS BOTTICELLI/Voice from the Distance: The leader of the pianoforte renaissance, this pianist has scooped up about all the awards a Canadian classical musician can score on her home turf. A lovely recital, she tackles some familiar territory but none that's really worn out it's welcome. Spot on throughout, this is a return to the kind of stuff that once made Sunday afternoons special.
BRAD VICKERS & His Vestapolitians/Music Gets Us Through: The blues rocker with the impeccable vitae doesn't feel like taking things seriously after the year we've had. He just wants to party and throws the door wide open. A real all nighter of a roots rocker, this set is dripping with good vibes and high energy, all of which is put to good use here. You remember house rocking, don'tcha? This is the real deal.
(Man Hat Tone 2010)
DAVID BIRD/Iron Orchid: The audio portion of a soundscape installation, this could be put to good use as the soundtrack for a bad acid trip. Merging Eno's "Music for Airports" with Lou's "Metal Machine Music", with all the algorithms and sine waves flying around, this is easily party music for "The Big Bang Theory" bunch. It's science baby and like MTG says, ‘you gotta respect the sience'.
(New Focus 309)
GABE STILLMAN/Just say the Word: This white boy from Pennsylvania looks like he doesn't even know what the blues are but give him a Gibson Guitar award, pack him off to Austin with Anson Funderburgh and let him shred---and then see what happens. A searing debut from a real comer, he knows how to turn it up and turn it loose crafting a blasting, blistering rouser for true believers. Hot stuff throughout.
(Vizz Tone VTGS 1)
JUNE GARBER/Off the Carousel: The vet Canadian jazz vocalist rolls back the clock to turn in a classic sounding and feeling thrush date but mixes in some never recorded before songs with the golden oldies always keeping you on your toes. Sounding like it could have been right at home in the pre-Beatles era, it's sound and fury wrapped in feelings. It all comes home nicely. A real treat for jazz vocal fans that need a little something for the sweet tooth.
TERESA JAMES & the Rhythm Tramps/Rose-Colored Glasses V. 1: Back in the good old days when you could have a respected career as a journeyman selling 100,000 copies of a new release, this blues rocker would have been top of the class. Finely polished but still dripping with soul, this LA bunch by way of Houston is hanging out with a bunch of Delbert Mc Clinton's gang here and they all pull together to pull a deluxe roots rocker out of their hats. First class stuff all the way from a soulful gal that's always welcome around here.
(Blue Heart 15)
Volume 45/Number 286
August 13, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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