ITAI KRISS & Telavana/Supermoon: The jazz flute meister leads his recent crew through a new voyage across the horoscope, doing it in his Latin/Middle East fusion signature. More of a cultural mash up than a musical one, it all comes together under the name jazz and smokes along quite nicely. Progressing like chapters in a book, you haven't had a trip across the galaxy quite like this one before. Well done.
NEGRONI'S TRIO/Esperanzas Hopes: This Latin jazz piano trio keep getting nominated for awards because they have an innate sense of what the people want. They play with real soul but they play it for the masses and they know how to hit that sweet spot where the party comes alive. Kicking it out royally on their 11th set, this is one of those crews that just won't steer you wrong and provides a swinging good time for all.
(Sony Latin 27772)
DAVE MEDER/Unamuno Songs & Stories: Inspired by writings about the Spanish Civil War, this piano trio shapes their vision as a reaction to the turmoil we're gong through these days. Far from the heady stuff you'd normally think of as classic civil rights jazz. Politics aside, which you really can't devine when there's no singing, this is a solid, after hours listening date that eases the blood rather than angrys it up. Solid.
(Outside In 2138)
CORY WEEDS/What is There to Say? One of the ultimate jazzbo multi taskers of our times, sax man Weeds rounds up a fully loaded string section to augment his combo and pays tribute to the golden age of pre Samba Verve when they were rounding off the druggie edges to make jazz safe for nascent suburban rec rooms. Just missing stepping over the line that would make this dinner music, Weeds and Co. have an excess of the kind of jazz chops it takes to bring this one home. A textbook example of how to do it smooth.
PABLO SOLO/Solo Sings Simon: Surprise he's singing John Simon, not Paul. A sort of retrospective of the Band and other's producer in which Solo digs into the Simon catalog, I'm recommending this just because they dived deep enough to find "Living in the Land of Sunshine" and give it a modern treatment that works. Simon's certainly not getting any younger and this is certainly wonderful way for younger generations to discover him. Simon even shows up on piano. A wonderfully offbeat set that deserves to be celebrated.
(Think Like a Key 1125)
BE POSITIVES/Everything About: Time for another go round from the Manchester power poppers. A right on the money set that doesn't let any barriers of any kind get in the way of the sound they want. Fun stuff that cross generations as well, it's power pop and it's good for party soundtracks.
(Think Like a Key 1124)
NOVELTY ISLAND/How Are You Coping with this Century?: A modern singer/songwriter folkie type that runs the show himself and brings his off center views of things to the fore with an almost McCartneyesque vibe. Over all, a nice kick in the head for plastic fantastic complicity.
(Think Like a Key 1123)
SANDY McKNIGHT with Fernando Perdomo/San Fernando Blast!: Acerbic and off kilter power pop where you can almost taste the acid dripping. A strange set of nu sounds from the bedroom.
ADAM ROBERTS/Bell Threads: A set for cutting edge nu contemporary classical fans in which sounds themselves are explored as opposed to the sound. Assembling, disassembling and going where no man has gone before, the composer rounds up accomplices' from solo players to ensembles and plays with your head. It's almost like this is dance music for science heads.
(New Focus 312)
ENSEBLE DAL NIENTE/confined. speak,: Using technology to defeat the virus and distance, this nu classical crew streamed concerts to locations from locations where the players, as well as the audience, weren't even all in the same time zone. A bunch of recent commissions that are all cutting edge and all about sound exploration, it's always a treat for us when cutting edge stuff comes across as more than pots and pans music even when it's above our pay grade.
(New Focus 308)
November 1, 2021
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CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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