DON PAUL & HYAMID DRAKE/Compassion: Who needs hippies when there are still beatniks floating around? A poet and a drummer of renown fuse their talents and muses and you get a trip back to San Francisco back in the day. Offbeat or weirdo? You decide. This duo feels like the grandfathers to Goth in a sideways kind of way.
(Irresistible Revolutionary 26)
DON PAUL/Women & Music (Meld #2): He might be recording in Nawlins but there's so much North Beach beatnik in the spoken word artist that you almost expect to see Bob Shane dropping by after the Trident closes for the night. Could this guy have been Lee Groban's spirit guide?
(Irresistible Revolutionary 25)
UPTOWN VOCAL JAZZ QUARTET/Fools for Yule: These delightful throwbacks to such harmonizers as Swingle Singers and Singers Unlimited bring their four part swinging to bear in service of the holidays this time out. Mixing chestnuts with some sly originals, Sinatra would certainly approve of this at one of his holiday gatherings and so should you. Well done.
(House Kat 5)
PATRICIA VONNE/My Favorite Holiday: A member of a talented family, Vonne has sailed to the top on her own chops and uses those skills to rope in a real crew of hitters for this original Christmas set.. Penning the tunes herself, this breath of fresh holiday aire is a real tonic. A nu holiday set for a bilingual America, this is a fine example of inclusion at it's best. Make merry, y'all!
HALLEY-CLUCAS-REED-HALLEY/Boomslang: Second to his ability to be a hell raising sax man, Rich Halley has the uncanny ability to pluck players from all over the geography the meld at the right moment in time for some right on improvs that seem to take more telepathy than a few rehearsals. Crediting this as a band date, Halley and the gang seem like they are trying to entice Sonny to come back to the bridge for a real blow out. Hot stuff that writes a new book on improv blowing.
(Pine Eagle 14)
ELENA MAQUE/Feel Again: This Russian saxy lady that looks dressed for some Diwali celebrating follows the smooth jazz side of Candy Dulfer's vibe in fine and high style. Going for the mainstream but doing it with international flair in a subtle way, this likable debut shows that this is a act worth following as she moves on to greater glories. Tasty work that always works.
DAVID JANEWAY/Distant Voices: A killer pianist with more than a few years under his belt just let's the fur fly with his current trio of equally skilled vets. Doing that stuff that sounds like cocktail jazz but reveals so much more the more you listen, just put this right up there with all your fave jazz piano trio dates and let the good times roll. Dazzling stuff, so subtle and yet so massive.
(Steeplechase Lookout 33145)
ALEXANDER McCABE/Body & Soul: A sax man that plays like he has nothing to prove because the size of his vitae does all the proving on his behalf, this is a date of pure music and pure playing. Knowing how to hit the target without making it obvious, this is a slice of commercial music that's almost too good to be true. Playing with other jazzbos that could boast similar resumes, These are the kind of guys that play some joint on a Monday night just to keep their chops in shape. You sit there amazed because you've never heard of them and wonder why their smirk at your compliments as you drop a dollar in the tip jar. Don't over think, just let the groove happen.
THE BEATLES & INDIA/score and then some: This is a fun little hybrid package. A twofer, one disc is music inspired by the pic by world beaters of some repute, the other disc is the score from the pic. What better way to follow the Fab Four through an opium den than with people that know the way? Roll off collection or not? A lot of work went into it and you'll just have to let me know if this bird has flown.
(Silva Screen 1648)
ROBBY STEINHARDT/Not in Kansas Anymore (A Prog Opera): This guy is the violinist from Kansas. Get it? A classic sounding and feeling prog rock date that shows not all of it had to originate in England to be real. A fast ball down the middle for old fans of the sound and those who wish they were.
November 8, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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