SERGIO PEREIRA/Finesse: Smooth jazz with a world edge is what comes from the latest from this award winning Brazilian born guitarist currently living it multi culti in NYC. Quite the snazzy, easy going set, the chops are in evidence all the over the place and he never feels the need to indulge in ‘look at me' ism. Very much the kind of cat that should be on your radar, if you haven't heard any of his previous stuff, three is definitely the charm. Check it out.
KENNY SHANKER/Vortex: A satisfyingly eclectic sax set, Shankar might not be prone to doing a lot of covers but he chooses wisely. When's the last time you heard "Lulu's Back in Town"? And done so jauntily? Working out here with his regular band, everyone is on the same page and the joyous noise comes easily. Smart stuff.
(Wise Cat 9)
AARON BAZZELL/Aesthetic: Not cutting edge but certainly edgy sax playing that shows it's New York affinity proudly. A jazzbo with some real breath control and tone, he can merrily and easily take you places off the beaten path and lead like a real pro. Although instrumental, some of the pieces have been informed by politics and every day life where the living ain't so easy. One of those impressive debuts that you can't wait to tell your friends about.
WAYNE ALPERN/Secular Rituals: The multi tasking hyphenate leaves Frankenstein home this time and shows off what he gleaned being Steve Reich's editor as one of his stops along the way. Almost to be seen as a modern update of "Music for 18 Musicians", there's no need to be manqueing around when you are this close to the real thing. It might be long on art meets drama but Alpren left the tortured artist effect home where it can't' bother us. If you go into this knowing what to expect, there's no way you'll be disappointed.
MICAH GRAVES/Pawns: While it might be inspired by Weather Report, this jazz fusion isn't that kind of jazz fusion here. The fusion here is more a product of styles and times than it is jazz into rock. Clearly an angular, left leaning date that progressive tastes will gravitate toward, it's a high octane salmagundi that draws it's real inspiration from roller coaster rides. Hard hitting stuff that hits hard and often, this is not a set for the complacent that want pretty music for the people. It's rocks!
JOSIE BELLO/Resilience: Odd how this folkie's topical songs could have been peeled right off a Malvina Reynolds record 60 years ago. Guess things don't change that much. You can't blame the tenor of the times on this folkie. You can't blame her for anything. A sharp and smart writer, she's not about granola and kumbiya. A very solid singer/songwriter, Bello is John McCutcheon topical, not mush mouth topical. She says a bunch of things it wouldn't hurt you to hear. Well done.
JAMES GAITERS SOUL REVIVAL/Understanding Reimagined: A noted associate of noted hell raisers, Gaiters takes his noted love of classic organ trio dates and blows the dust off John Patton's 50 year old plus date revving it up for a modern swinging take that's sure to keep the classic in the public eye for another generation or so. Tasty stuff that gives the original some new polish, it's proof once again that good taste is timeless, especially when it has such groovy underlying funk at it's core.
DOUG MacDonald and the L.A. All Star Octet/Overtones: If this record sounds like a mutha, it might be because LA's essential guitarist has a lot of first call pals with time on their hands these days looking for the opportunity to play like they mean and they show up for him. Sounding like these could have been Joe Pass overcall sides Granz never got around to releasing, this program of almost all originals hit's the mark so squarely that it's amazing the target is still standing. Essential jazz guitar listening, this is a classic fast ball right down the middle. Hot stuff.
KENNY ‘BLUES BOSS' WAYNE/Blues From Chicago to Paris: The award winning standard bearer of post war blues still knows how to boogie hard enough to teach the young ‘uns a thing or two. Paying tribute to Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon on this fatly tracked set, the chops and the charm merge in a most tasty way here. Spry as anything at 77, Wayne is the real deal that could deliver the goods in his sleep. Glad to see he was wide awake here. Hot stuff throughout.
(Stony Plain 1443)
DIEGO RIVERA/Mestizo: In another shuffling of the Posi-Tone all stars, we find this hard charging sax man leading the assemblage through a sweltering, modern date where the blowing might well be front and center but everyone gets some. A leading contender in the competition to blow the most notes per minute, Rivera has lungs any Olympic competitor would envy. Modern daddio stuff that makes sure you get swept up in the groove.
February 4, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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