MATT OLSON/Open Spaces: In a jazz version of the folkie's hejira, Olson packed up his sax and his Chicago life and headed for the wide open spaces of South Carolina. Ignoring it as the birth place of the real civil war, he continues to bask in the sun shine and country side as he and his sax (and pals) bop their way through a lively set of high hopping jazz that sounds like it comes from the heart. Snazzy!
NATHAN BORTON/Each Step: Not afraid to drop a coin or two in realizing his vision to draw attention to the history of Michigan/Detroit jazz, the guitarist gasses up the tank with modern jazz masters for a trip down his own memory land showing how greats like Grant Green got it done. A solid listening date, Borton has the touch that backed by the skills to pay the bills. A right on, right in the pocket jazz guitar date that'll you'll be playing more than once.
STEPHEN MARTIN/High Plains: An all original writer, this sax man uses his GPS to take you on a journey through the past, sort of, in which his past is more about texture and vibe than recreation. Taking it from his native Kansas City to places beyond, this is jazz to take you away from the day. With a winning sound and tone, Martin crafts his way into being the most able tour guide for his excursions.
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PIET VERBIST/Secret Exit to Another Dimension: The title is certainly misleading as the bass player leads a jazz guitar trio that sounds like they stepped out of the past with the creases in tact and no wrinkles. A really sweet throwback date that takes it to places all the greats of the past came from. Solid stuff that is loaded with can't miss vibes and playing. A winner throughout.
BEN THOMAS TANGO PROJECT/Eternal Aporia: After spending 15 years studying with the tango masters, Thomas is now ready step out on his own with his tango trio under the auspices of the label's world banner. Sounding very much like he's learned his lessons well, the vibe master takes mallet to hand to hammers out a good time that's got it's hands full keeping you in your chair. With all the angles, twists and turns you love about tango packed in, this is a real treat for those who know there's more to south of the border than Brazil.
DOUG SCARBOROUGH/Colors of Angels: This bone man/composer is skilled at knowing how to keep things hopping. A world beat set that almost stages of world of it's own, the fusions here come fast and furious. Heady instrumental work that knows how to hold it's own, this is pure delight for the armchair traveler.
JON STANCER/In Light Of: You have to give the alt. popper credit for this on this ep, he isn't shy about letting you know how bummed he is to be living through this topsy turvy times where all reason is out the window. And he does it atmospherically too.
EEDIE BERMAN/Broken English: The vibe might not be the same but the intensity is. This set will hit you between the eyes the same way the real early Kristofferson sets did. A rumble voiced folkie, others say it but he really means it when he says this is cosmic folk music.. It's better experienced that spoken about. A primer on how to bitch with optimism, there's something so different going in here that checking it out ought to be a compulsion. Deep and wild throughout.
RON JACKSON/Standards and My Songs: The true test of a creative cat is to be able to open a set with a hoary thing like "Brandy" and turn it into a soul/jazz bopper that has you questioning you own memory. A seven string guitarist that tips the cap to the masters that preceded him as well as giving Ben Wolfe some long overdue tape time, this cat is right on the money, right in the pocket and right on top of all the other clichés where bad means good. A dazzling set that shows how little you need beyond real talent and chops to get your point across.
REDDOG & FRIENDS/Booze, Blues and Southern Grooves: A veteran white boy with the blues decides to stroll down his own back pages and head back to Muscle Shoals for his new record. Recording in the old rooms with as many of the old cats that can still play, this set is a master class. With echoes of Eddie Hinton hovering in the rooms as well as some who ambled over from Memphis, this is an utter throwback to when the music mattered. Even if you weren't there in the time and tide, this will take you there. Killer stuff.
January 7, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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