BLUE ROAD RECORDS STUDIO SESSIONS BAND/Ira The Tribute Album: You almost had to be a deep jazzbo like Bruce Lundvall to know about Chicago's Ira Sullivan, one of the most muscular bebop sax man/multi-instrumentalist of his times. With his son on board leading a crew in Miami that came from all over, pop has to be beaming down as all the soloists here keep Sullivan's sound in focus. A dazzling set the majors don't have the balls to make anymore, this is a tonic for straight ahead jazzbos that just want to hit a groove and dig it the most. Hot stuff throughout.
SCOTT RAMMINGER/Live at 3rd & Lindsley Nashville: A singing sax man that's got a major Mose Allison vibe running through his work, this guy knows how to let the good times roll. Purely a cat that's here to spread the good times as his main message, his roots go deep and his newest set is a real gasser. On the money throughout.
(Arbor Lane 2022204)
LOUISIANA RED & BOB CORRITORE/Tell Me ‘Bout It: Culled from sundry recordings recorded over a decade from the archives of Corritore that document a friendship that went back to 1980 across a load of time and tide---they keep it real and on the natch. Organic down home electric choogle, this is a fine example of how you rock a juke joint well into the morning hours. A nice blast from the past that's really timeless.
(Vizz Tone/SWMAF 19)
BOB CORRITORE & FRIENDS/Down Home Blues Revue: When you run an out of the way club that anyone whose anyone has to pass through and you leave the mic running for 20 years, some amazing things are going to be captured going through the ether. Down home stuff from the cats that would give the Chess brothers the fuel to run a blues revolution, they don't drop a jive lick in the bunch. It doesn't play like a historical document and it really fills that classic blues sweet tooth looking to chow down. Hot.
(Vizz Tone/SWMAF 20)
BIG AL & THE HEAVYWEIGHTS/Love One Another: They sound so tight because they are a bunch of hard bitten road warriors with serious country/pop chops between them. Al, from Nawlins hooked up with David Allen Coe where he met Warren Haynes, got a bunch of real hitters in his crew as well as pals like Luther Dickinson bringing forth with the licks. A top shelf bar band from when that was a real compliment, they know how to get a blues rocking groove going. This is what you used to head out to the road houses for. Good to hear the sound is still here.
(Vizz Tone BA01)
YOU & US/For Children of All Ages: Created as an antidote to the pandemic, it'll be interesting to see if this album has long legs or just becomes an artifact. Since the world seems to be becoming more of a cesspool every day, this could easily become a generational thunder shirt for kids that adults won't mind hearing more than once in short time spans. Powered by a whole lot of musical and theatrical chops, it's sets like this that herald a new age in kid music.
TODD ZIMBERG/An Afternoon in Sellwood: A swinging little taste of jazz from the Pacific Northwest by a piano trio that sounds like they ate the classic Ramsey Lewis Trio records for breakfast. It's always cool when well chopped cats can play like they can play like out of the past but have no dust on them. A really great piece of ear candy that won't rot your ear drums.
(Spring Beach 5)
YVONNE FLORES/Sheer Bliss: Even if she writes a bunch of her own material, she's the classic jazz thrush that knows how to deliver warm, personal material. Loading the deck with everyone you'd want to hear from the Bay area on board bringing their chops along, this is a smooth dream date for jazz vocal fans that miss the straight ahead stuff that goes right for the heart.
SIMONE DINNERSTEIN/Undersong: After coming out of nowhere on the run to become one of the pre-eminent classical pianist of our time, Dinnerstein has nothing left to prove and she keeps on proving it. Mostly playing it straight here, she might shift back and forth in time but the singular musical voice powering these chops never wavers. A solo set that goes way beyond being a highly polished recital, this is simply a majestic statement from a real pro. Killer stuff throughout.
(Orange Mountain 156)
REGINA BONELLI/Truth Hurts: A big voiced gal that shouldn't be mistaken for a Janis wannabe, she could power a locomotive if she wanted to. A white girl with the blues that doesn't try to pretend she is anything other than what she is, blues rock and roots come together in a primal way here as she continues to make her presence fully known. A real belter.
JANA POCHOP/Astronaut: With an alluring baby doll voice powered by a sharp quill dipped in colorful ink and pals like Lloyd Maines and Don Dixon. What's that add up to you? She might not be singing about leather winged bats or cruel mothers but she's a folkie to the core with modern eyes that scores points without being strident. A distaff Texas troubadour that makes you think she just might break into "Lone Star State of Mind" at any moment, did Nanci Griffith pass her chops to a daughter we didn't know about? Solid.
DAN SWEBER/The Way the River Goes: Absolutely the kind of stuff we need more of. If you can remember when John Prine was touted as the new Dylan, it feels a little funny to see Prine as the new touchstone that others are touted by, but that's the way the river goes. A wonderfully meaty songwriter with a philosophical point of view and a great story telling ability, if this is music for dinosaurs, count me in. A well seasoned, engaging set that feels like an overdue visit with a good, old friend. Top shelf.
(Highway 142 2103)
DANA COOPER/I Can Face the Truth: Another one of those records that seems to have benefited from technology and the pandemic, circumstances actually re-energized Cooper whether building tracks from behind a mask or over transatlantic wires. Modern country that doesn't feel the need to sound like 70s rock He may be weathered and seasoned but it all serves a grand end. Well done throughout.
(Dog Eared 2022)
KURT CRANDALL/Starts on the Stops: A singing harmonica man who feels more in step with the Aristocrat Lounge than he does with Butterfield, this is some swinging, jumping rootsy roadhouse rock that makes you feel like you're swigging your first ‘legal' beer one more time. Loaded with the kind of vibe you get from tube mics, this cat and his pals are first class party people that gloriously have one foot in a past that should not be forgotten. Real daddios or white boys with the blues? Who cares? This is the stuff.
(Yester Year 52)
February 2, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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