RIGBY SUMMER/Geography: Having traveled a few miles before getting this debut set under her belt, her take on Americana is different from the usual fit the format fare. Having shed several skins along the way, she's kept the best and forgotten the rest in making this mature set for ears that weren't born yesterday. A nicely mature roots record, there's lots of the right flourishes to leave the right impressions. Solid stuff.
NATHAN BELL/Red, White and American Blues: A topical singer/songwriter, Bell is also a pretty prescient observer as well. Recorded before the pandemic and sitting on the shelf since, he's covered a lot of blips that weren't even on our radar yet showing just how easy it is to pick off things if you have your eyes open. A folkie at his core, this international award winner delivers the goods without stridence and finger shaking. Stuff form the heart from a cat with a lot of heart whose muscle is beating strongly.
(Need to Know 132021)
DOC CARTER/High Tide for Low Times: For fans of the great lineage of Texas troubadours, here's the latest in a long line that knows how to cut to the chase and make the kind of tunes that grab your attention. Modern and traditional at once, this cat has learned his lessons well.
ALON FARBER HAGIGA/Reflecting on Freedom: Is it world jazz or is it fusion if it comes from Israel and incorporates other local musics? Does it matter? Now entering it's third decade, this ensemble snake charms, belly dances and parts the waters with chops to spare. Opening the ears to jazz pouring out of Israel, these vets and pros are some really sterling travel guides to new sonic lands.
LILI ANEL/Better Days (remastered): This is a big voiced gal that knows how to really kick it out. With a soul/jazz vibe that rattles the rafters with it's power, this well traveled pro knows how to make her music be more than just a bunch of notes. Finding the key to the gate that kept whitey from really getting into the classic soul/jazz divas, this is hard hitting and accessible all at once. Far from the stuff that top 40 dreams are made of, this is personal and engaging in the classic Joni Mitchell way that just can't help but connect with adult ears. Hot stuff.
BARRETT MARTIN GROUP/Stillpoint: There's something about the far reaches of Washington state that seems to keep music coming from that place where the lines between new age and lite jazz blur in a pure, non clichéd state. The multi instrumentalist checks in with a perfect brunch soundtrack on his first all acoustic album after 30 trips to the studio. With an airiness that sets a fine mood and vibe, this old hippie is sure to keep his award wining ways in tact. Solid stuff that provides a great break from the humdrum.
RUSTY ENDS BLUES BAND: When this album first came out 25 years ago, white boys with the blues and roots were just starting to take hold. Like a true bluesman, he recorded this for a label that went bust shortly after the original release. Flash forward, the album is now here and the funny thing is you get to see how timeless this genre is because the record sounds freshly recorded. Loaded with high energy and high octane, this is a jumping party record that specializes in letting the good times roll. All original by a real original, it's nice to see him finally getting his overdue due. Purely roadhouse music all the way. Well done.
TONY KAYE/End of Innocence: A tribute album to the 20th anni of 9/11 with a cut of the profits going to Gary Sinise's first responders fund. While prog music can be a good soundtrack for tragedy, there's nothing about this cantata for 9/11 that's knee jerk and contrived. With the songs broken up into self contained suites and statements encapsulating the feelings that went through Kaye at the time, he does a brilliant job of capturing things cinematically and preserving those impressions. It takes a real vet to pull off an amazing collection like this.
(Spirit of the Unicorn 10)
LE GGRIL/Sommes: If you're an improv music crew from the far reaches of Quebec celebrating your 15th anni, you better throw your own party if you want it done right according your pervue. Loading the deck with three discs that take in all phases, these improv pros go totally off the clock and let their freek flags fly past, present and future with fellow travelers close at hand. Certain the spirit of "Escalator Over the Hill" lives on in the hearts and minds of kids that weren't even born when it was here the first time around.
(Tour de Bras 8905)
BRUCE T. CARROLL/First Bird to Sing: This cat that's been through it all could have been forgiven if this folkie set was a bunch of mush mouthed southern gothic attempts. Perseverance let's you make surprises. This is a brilliant album that attacks the dark side with a tac flashlight and hope. Inspirational throughout, he hammered various aspects of the dark side into submission giving hope to all of us no matter what we've been through that might be less than desirable. Very much a singular talent that deserves admiration.
MOLLY FILLMORE/Bold Beauty: The soprano vocalist shows us there's more than jazz coming out of North Texas. A modern classical recital, she's got famous poets set to new music, a world premiere of a specially commissioned work and a vibe that Sunday afternoon recital fans will gravitate to. Keeping contemporary classic work coloring inside the lines, this multi media inspired singer is here to take things to the next level of the game. A sterling vocalist, she's got the chops to really get the job done.
(Blue Griffin 559)
Volume 45/Number 313
September 13, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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