JON SPEAR BAND/B-Side of My Life: These road warriors kick off celebrating their tenth year of hitting the bricks with a funky opening that sounds like 70s porn soundtrack stuff. What better way to kick off a new decade? Their party vibe hasn't been dulled by the pandemic and this time out they hone the chops for home consumption. Fun stuff with a vibe that won't quit, they might not visit often but they make those visits count.
WADADA LEO SMITH JACK DEJOHNETTE & VIJAY IYER/Love Sonnet for Billie Holiday: With a line up and a title like that you thought Smith was coming in from the outré for a hot second? Not on your life. These hell raisers might have played together in the past but never all together at once. Well in touch with their free/loft/avant garde roots, they know all too well how to make things happen even in the most far out spaces. Strap in for a trip to the far reaches.
JOSH SINTON/B.: It's a clove ciggy special as the sax man delivers a set of solo skronk. He knows what he's doing and if you like this kind of starkness, you'll like this.
(Form is Possibility 2)
WILD BLUE HERONS/You & I: A simple and elegant cabaret set of piano and vocal on a set that's mostly a trip down memory lane but a trip nonetheless. Pure emotion throughout, they bring all the tools they need to give you a full on listening experience that sizzles deceptively. Well done.
FELLA CEDERBAUM/Truth & Destiny: When a shrink turns art chick and sets her poetry to music, you don't get a recidivist set taking you back to North Beach in the 50s. You get poetry set to quasi classical music loaded with insight that you have to be in the right mind set to get. It's certainly different and not for everybody.
CEU/Um Gusto de Sol: The Brazilian Latin Grammy winner comes back with a set of covers, not that the average gringo would know it. Delivering a sexy, sensual set that finds her wrapping the tunes around her little finger with an indigenous flair that takes this right back to the back alleys of Brazil where the after hours clubs flourish, this is one of those international sets that'll really light your fire. Wonderfully hot and on the money throughout.
HAESEN & BREIDENBACH/Ou est L'amour: This is a shining example of stuff Americans try to emulate but make it come out twee and not quite there. This German duo has got chanson down right, and they do it in totally contemporary terms on their own terms. Essentially a vocal/guitar duo, they are aces at setting a mood and a mode taking this well beyond cabaret expectations to new realms. A fine album that opens the ears with ease, it's one of those side trips that easily makes itself right at home on the main line. Well done.
JAN PRAX & GENE LAKE/Head to the Sky: A funky crew that originally came together at the aegis of Dave Sanborn, this might be light and easy funk but it is totally funky no matter how you slice it. A cross cultural experience, these cats speak the universal language fluently and in a most right on fashion. Solid throughout.
(Double Moon 71395)
HENNING NEIDHARDT TRIO/First of the Roll: Like many of us, Neidhardt first turned on to jazz via bebop. Unfortunately for him, he was already knee deep in studying Mozart and couldn't turn the corner. Fortunately for us, he found that imaginary corner where ECM cool school meets swing and we get the dividends. Leading the piano trio that that can veer from arty to artistic, he lays it down righteously and kicks off a career piano fans can look forward to being part of. Well done.
(Double Moon 71394/Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 90)
KNUDSEN RUDZINSKIS SPACE BIG BAND/Space Big Band: Having more in common with prog rock than the seventh galaxy, this big band kicks it off with a launch that finds them heading for parts unknown with chops to spare. Very much a pure listening date, these cats might be informed by big band but their goals are beyond. A most delightful trip through the cosmos and to infinity.
(Double Moon 71393)
November 29, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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