MARC JOHNSON/Overpass: I really don't know if people appreciate what chops it takes to pull off these solo recitals on instruments once you get past guitar or piano. Especially when most of the songs are originals. Here we find Johnson packing his bass and the Mrs. off to Brazil with Steve Rodby close by and making the kind of music that has you wondering if it's jazz, classical, contemporary classical, instrumental or what. But, who cares as long as it's good? The last time I heard compelling thumping like this was when Sara Sant'Ambrogio took wing on her own with her cello. Certainly a set of thinking man's jazz for when he wants to be alone with his thoughts, it's a classic case of less is more.
ANDREW CYRILLE QUARTET/The News: Can you ever get enough Bill Frissell? We'll let you know when that happens. Meeting up with an arts council drummer for an ad hoc band date where everyone gets some, even in the song stack, mellow is redefined in a non linear way just made for oak paneled dens lined with first editions. VSOP anyone?
CRAIG TABORN/Shadow Plays: Wonder if Taborn can fill Jarrett's shoes? We'll let you know when we hear him in other contexts but when it comes to extemporaneous solo work, Taborn is fully his own man but he can carry the load. A dexterous player that can almost fashion his own genre, he's more than capable of taking you on well crafted flights of fancy.
MICHAEL MANTLER/Coda Orchestral Suites: You know how you wonder who gets to keep the friends in a divorce. The Watt gang first gave ECM their toe hold. While Bley and Mantler may no longer be together, it's nice to see how all three of them can still play nice. Here we find Mantler calling in conductor Christoph Cech to re-examine works from 60 years ago in fuller and modern contexts. Mantler's European sensibilities are really given free reign here to run wild, big and bold. More on the scale of an adventurous classical work, this really challenges the listener to pay close attention to take it all in. Quite a righteous set.
AYUMI TANAKA TRIO/Subaqueous Silence: Perhaps the quietest piano trio you've ever heard, these minimalists take it slow with nearly a glacial sensibility. Don't look here for any bopping and swinging, this is purely an art trip all the way.
DAYRAMIR GONZALEZ/Tributo a Juan Formell & Los Van Van: Time for some modern Cuban nostalgia as this bandleader revs it up for the mighty influential 80s & 90s Cuban players the set things on fire all over again. With crackling arrangements and zesty playing, the caliente is preserved and amplified. Heat for the feet even the clumsiest gringo can appreciate, this is a sound that should be kept alive and this set does a fine job of going that distance.
CAMERON MIZELL & CHARLIE RAUH/Local Folklore: An acoustic guitar duo that makes it sound so easy it's easy to make the mistake of thinking that it is. It took more than 10,000 hours of practice to get chops like this. The kind of music you'd expect from two jerks playing in the corner at a Starbucks but if said jerks played like this, they'd be playing at Carnegie Hall. Just plain delightful.
RED KITE/Apohenian Bliss: What separates the manqué from the real thing? In the case of jazz from hell types like this crew, it's the ability to keep the chaos coming without repeating themselves or making it sound like nothing more than pots and pans music. A handful of reds probably enhance the enjoyment of Red Kite's oeuvre, so partake. It'll all be legal soon enough.
(Rare Noise 133)
MIKE PRIDE/I Hate Work: It's like Joni once said, all romantics meet the same fate. One of the music biz's great tropes, turning radical music into lounge stuff is hard at work here as the drummer refashions a seminal hard core punk work from 1982 into lounge jazz. Sounding almost like nothing you'd ever expect from this label, it's a very nice album that could also function as one of the greatest goofs of all time once you get a punk hater involved in it. Meanwhile, you can hear the martini glasses clinking away here.
(Rare Noise 132)
PHILIPPE COTE with Marc Copland/Bell Tolls Variations-Fleur Revisited: Jazzbos going classical with the piano man composer filling the piano chair in this re-examination of his past work. Bucking the trend of solo recital sets, this set finds the duo at work with quartet augmentation. A Sunday afternoon wine & cheese set all the way, it's well done deep music for deep thinkers.
(Odd Sound 21)
Volume 45/Number 352
October 23, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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