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LARIZA /Weave: The driving wheel behind Lariza has all the markings of an art chick but it's not fair to paint her with that brush. Left leaning music that's not exactly progressive and not exactly a lot of other things it has elements of, she weaves a setting that almost reminiscent of the old San Francisco days when almost jazz and almost rock headed off toward each other. Neo hippie music! Certainly done with chops to spare and not in slapdash fashion, this is the delightful stuff of magic carpet rides.
(Double Moon 71403 Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 91)

TONY OVERWATER-ATZKO KOHASHI/Crescent: An absolutely lovely instrumental album of interplay between double bass and piano on a nice mix of oldies and newies that flows like a mighty river in no hurry to get where it's going. A little too stripped down to qualify purely as jazz, these two did it old school, playing the session in one afternoon and not at all sounding like it making their interplay really shine. Tasty stuff throughout that's hard to resist.
(Jazz in Motion 74725)

JIM McNEELY/Rituals: Here's a record that couldn't be made in Ame4rica anymore. Chris Potter is really the star attraction on this set of McNeely making new music for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band giving Potter free reign. Re-imaging some Stravinsky and letting Potter do his thing on his own, this is high octane creative stuff played with passion and heart and not an eye on the clock. A dose of creative jazz in the best Kenton tradition, everyone is on the same page here and this is a real page turner to boot. Hot stuff.
(Double Moon 71404)

MARKUS BERGER/Vienna Sessions: Can you be in the Jarrett tradition without manqueing Jarrett? Step right up for the answer. The piano man has the key and it fit's the lock. Solo piano the way it should be played, Berger has the touch as well as the sound and the fury, when needed. A real ace of a set, it's the perfect example of how less can be more.
(Challenge 73535)

ALBERTO RIGONI/Songs for Souls: Cutting edge guitar and more are at the core of this progressive music set where sounds can change shapes and spin your head around. Head music for the future as designer drugs go to new realms, this ain't your daddy's hippie trip through the cosmos.

HELD BY TREES/Solace: Improv music with a load of hippies and a load of others that hung out to help make things happen. The kind of stuff that starts out somewhere in the girl friend music realm but manages to wander off the reservation. With an impressive guest list if you take the time to wade through it all, this is almost a busman's holiday for alt. rockers that are looking for a little more as time goes by. Enticingly different.

AMBIGRAM: Energetic Italian prog for kids tired of the same old D&D stuff. With some jazz and world chops in the mix, they do their best to keep it interesting without coloring too far outside familiar margins.

KARNEY/Gonna Be Beautiful: This ep is kind of a mini greatest hits as Karney revisits some of her older tunes with new, well traveled pals that know how to heat things up. Stirring the pot with optimism for disenheartening times, she's a modern singer/songwriter with a finger or two on the pulse.

MICHAEL MASON/Transcendence: The Chicago multi instrumentalist whose made his bones with everyone from leading jazz hell raisers to James Galway turns in a high-minded record that doesn't take itself seriously and is just the right tonic for the times. A sprightly jazz/world/new age set driven by a smooth jazz vibe, it's just the right music for when it's five o'clock somewhere in the world. Delightfully engaging and loaded with chops that don't' get in their own way, this is the kind of jazzy session that makes believers out of non-believers. Well done.
(AVG 2)

ALEX "APOLO" AYALA/Bambula: Although this is an instrumental outing inspired by political unrest, you start thinking you've been around too long if you start asking questions like ‘do you wonder how it would have sounded if Oregon ever got around to recording in Puerto Rico?" The leader debut of the hard working bass man celebrating his Puerto Rican roots from New York, it's more high octane jazz with international flair than it is multi-culti. No matter how you slice it,it's tasty all the way. New roots following new routes.
(Trr Collective 60)

CHRISTIANE KARAM QUINTET/Nar: The middle east meets the Balkans on the corner of jazz on this artist's first new set in 9 years that documents how she hasn't been sitting and watching soap operas all this time. High toned world beat for the serious aficionado, this is a deeply textured set where the band is playing as one while they chart new dimensions that combine the well worn with the modern. An ethnic record for everyone to enjoy, this is a fully realized, mature sound that really hits it out of the park.

KRISTEN LEE SERGEANT/Falling: There might be some first call jazzbos hanging in the background but this is a nu wave cabaret record by a woman who would be a theatrically setting Tom Waits minus the growl. With inspiration that feels drawn from "Nighthawks at the Diner" and "Step Right Up", Sergeant is carrying on in a tradition we've always been fond of. A real departure from her previous sets, it's just perfect for when the night, a snifter and you need a soundtrack.
(Tiger Turn)

Volume 46
February 1, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record

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