CATHY SEGAL GARCIA/Social Anthems V. 1: Bob Lefsetz keeps saying things are messy these days because music doesn't drive the culture anymore. Part of the problem is that no one is driving the music. SoCal jazz vocalist Sega Garcia reaches back to the 60s to refashion some anthems the kids aren't punching up on You Tube anyway for a new airing with a new audience. Rounding up some real A teamers for her label debut, her renditions take you someplace different that's a place you need to go. Well done.
SUSAN KREBS with Mixed Remotions/Daybreak: A jazz vocalist that normally does intimate on the floor recordings gives into the pandemic with a band sized date recorded remotely and proving Hoagy and Frish can reside comfortably next to Sandy Denny and Grofe. A nice set for easing into the evening with, it's the right kind of jazz for the right kind of time. Easy going but not easy listening.
(Green Gig 35)
ROSANNA VITRO/Sing a Song of Bird: If Joni's "Mingus" album was this chipper, she's still be mining that ground today. Vocalist Vitro really hits it out of the park here surrounded by her idols in a set that's been gestating since 2017. Setting Charlie Parker tunes to new lyrics in such a jazzbo setting where everyone gets the chance to shine off the clock, all you can say is wow. A really special set throughout that connects on every level.
JOHN DeNICOLA/She Said: This record is the sound of someone having a load of f*ck you money. The spark plug behind "Dirty Dancing" and lots of other stuff follows up his overdue debut where he kicked it out on stuff he wrote for others with this set, one he made for himself throughout. Taking pop to the next level, it's an out of the ordinary set by a self confessed geezer that has no dust on him. Kind of special throughout.
PORKROLL PROJECT/Papa Didn't Raise Me Right: Roots rockers from Philly have the southern gothic redneck blues rock down like they were to the manor born. A Lou Reed style set for those of us not from the urban mean streets, this'll give you a proper taste of what the back roads hold long after dark. A smoking side trip.
ELLY WININGER/Blues Never End: A 2014 New York Blues hall of fame inductee, if she's new to you.... At the other end of the Maria Muldaur spectrum, closer to Malvina Reynolds or Peggy Seeger, Wininger sounds like a nice old lady that you find out you shouldn't mess with. Still in touch with the sound that brought her out of campus coffeehouses in 1973, the charm and the skills power this folk/blues spotlight set like you wouldn't believe. And she plays a mean resonator to boot. Well done throughout and a real antidote for what ails ya.
ELIANE ELIAS/Mirror Mirror: The liner notes seem to say this should have been Elias' next Concord record but the bankers over there couldn't have stood behind such a pure recording that feels like a classic just from it's pure simplicity. Doing duets with Chick Corea and Chucho Valdes, this is no mere collection of odds and ends swept together. In fact, Elias hasn't played with such fury and fire in a long time obviously charged up here by just getting back in touch with her muso roots. A must for anyone that wants to hear beautiful instrumental music with a Latin flare.
STACEY KENT/Songs From Other Places: An English thrush that's never really caught on here, it almost feels right to call her a secret diva. Staking out the ground held by Blossom Dearie, she's got the boite thing down righteously here putting it all in a modern setting. A set like this could teach a thing or two to our homegrown cabaret divas as her command of a bunch of new songs is a real ear opener.
COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA/Live at Birdland: Essentially a tribute band or a band with none of the original members playing casinos, how come they sound like so much more and deservingly get it served up on fully packed double disc set? With the verve and passion of the originals when they were at the wheel, this crew carries the mantle proudly, doesn't wallow in nostalgia and delivers the goods faster than a stressed out Amazon diver. A killer set throughout that makes all the old stuff new. Hot!
GRAHAM DECHTER/Major Influence: No matter how the Capri gang wants to reconfigure the Clayton Hamilton bunch, it doesn't matter. The result is always the same, killer jazz that just doesn't quit. This time around the guitarist of the bunch gets front and center and really swings hard in a sideways tribute to his musical heroes, even the keyboard and drum ones. You're in good hands as always with these pros and the jazz in non stop, hitting the heights throughout. Killer!.
SCENIC ROUTE TRIO/Flight of Life: A hard swinging bass player led piano trio that is storming out of SF giving you the feel of what it must have been like back there back in the day when things were jumping and the world was new. They don't play it like old timers but they know the feel and vibe. Delightful stuff that often feels too good to be true, this is the stuff!
(Cross Currents Jazz)
Volume 45/Number 311
September 11, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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