AIR CRAFT/Divergent Path: An 80s crew that was new age when no one was really sure what that meant got back together in present time with a set that would have been at home on later period Windham Hill when they were grabbing acts like Shadowfax or on Nouveau. Sounding very much like a timeless version of period west coast, it feels like all your era faves are lending a hand even if the only one on board is Mads Tolling. Well played instrumental jazz with a prog rock edge, it's nice that time hasn't dimmed their light and they were still willing to give it a go. If you ever liked stuff like this, you are going to like this stuff.
MAURICIO J. RODRIGUEZ PROJECT/Luz: The Cuban born bass player brings his chops to the fore to recreate Latin jazz in more of a saudade mode than a fiery party sound. Crisp and cleanly recorded, the music is front and center, fully drawing you in and holding you on pointing a cinematic fashion. Tunes attuned to provoking feelings and thoughts, this is not a set to be taken lightly. This is more of a find for gringos because I'll bet there's no one on here you'd ever heard of, but you'll certainly want to hear more of them. Well done.
ALEXIS PARSONS/Alexis: A jazz vocalist that made herself at home in the new century, she now has both decades under her belt and is showing how well she's mastered the art. With two trios loaded with first call jazzbos to back her up, you know she knows her way around smoky rooms and how to deliver the goods while in them. The tunes are way older than she is and it just doesn't matter a bit, as it doesn't as to how many times you've heard them. She's a real jazzbo full of real feelings.
(New Artists 107)
ANYONE/In Humanity: Not one for half way measures, this cat serves up a double disc of contemporary, high octane prog rock that has all the right moves in all the right places and is structured to be grabbed by contemporary ears. It a careening ride of wild stuff that always manages to pull back just before rolling off the rails.
NEKTAR/Sounds Like Swiss: Too bad these hippies didn't get the chance to be on a good label in prog's original golden era. At least this live set was rescued from the clutches of the evil empire and they can bring the glory days of the sound back. Recorded in Switzerland in 1973, this double disc and DVD package let's you relive the good times the cult enjoyed fully. This was the real alternative to the Crimson bunch and their splinters. A great look over the shoulder.
(Think Like a Key 116)
FURYS/Again: Wonderfully skewed power pop that brings the madness and wild times right to the fore. When you need some mindless fun to keep the party hopping and pogoing, this is the disc to keep near the player. Fun stuff.
OSIBISA/Sunshine Day-the Boyhood Sessions 50th Anniversary Edition: Some back in the day fun funk from Africa gets resurrected in fine form. With modern mastering and mixing, it's a non stop party that party people from any era will get a groove on with. Solid stuff that never goes out of date, classic stuff remains just so.
(Red Steel 9244)
SWAMP TOOTH/B Flat Earth: In which we're treated to the next generation of new grass/space grass by a crew of Georgia pickers that have the bluegrass chops but took off in another direction when hanging out in the lockdown. Tackling originals for the first time, this is the proof that it never hurts to learn your lessons well. A totally delightful back porch stomper for modern ears.
ALIAS JAMES/Free Country: From Bakersfield's new generation, this is traditional country for tomorrow. A dyed in the wool singer songwriter that's learned from the greats takes western gothic to heart and sets off in several nu directions at once. Not at all boot scooting boogie material or bro country, this is as close to the real thing as modern times will allow. Well done.
NICK FINZER/Out of Focus: God love him for looking at the lockdown as a time to explore rather than complain. Using the time to explore his back pages, Finzer and his bone examine the songs that informed him on his journey so far. Working here in a quartet setting, this is a well played jazzbo date where he allows himself to sink into the music and let the vibes flow where they will---with his hand always on the wheel, of course. A real player for tomorrow continuing to show what he's all about, Finzer is a wildly creative cat that knows how to knock them dead but still has some time to go to reach his apex. Hot stuff.
(Outside In 2139)
ROBERTO ALONZO/Semina Rerum: Leading a trio in a chamber program of Italian Baroque Violin Sonatas, Alonzo knows how to command the spotlight and give an intimate recording a big sound. With a boldness that's often at odds with the delicateness of the material, you get to go on a wild ride with something that you might suspect to be dry but isn't. With everything well chosen and well played, this is date to blow open classical violin fans ears.
GUSTAVO DIAZ-JEREZ/Metaludios II: A modern classical piano man with a flair for the dramatic tackles two new books of his own works issued since his last recording in 2018. Using science to lead the way and inspired by mythology, it's not pots and pans music but it's not easy listening either. This is a cat that likes to travel through his own dimensions.
Volume 45/Number 318
September 18, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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