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STAR PEOPLE/Black Tie & Tales 2001-2021: Bracketing this set with a remastered version of their 2001 album and a newly recorded 2021 set, the only main constant here is the duo's core members and their good taste in adding Lorenza Ponce to the mix. Theatrical rock that goes it's own way without aping prime period Bowie, it's a nice dose of way out stuff for people that don't like to stray too far from their rec rooms and video game consoles.
(Hyperspace 1036)

DAVE POTTER & RETRO GROOVE: A bunch of Nashville jazzbos pretty much set out to make a gift shop record. And they failed because this is too hip for the spinner rack at a candle store. Asked to play songs people actually know, they sifted through the pop catalog of the last 40 years, found stuff with nice melodies adaptable to jazz, brought their chops and rolled tape. It's not smooth jazz but there are certainly times when nice and easy works much better than nice and rough.
(Square Biz)

CHARLIE WINTON/Soul & the Shadow: Here's one of those unexpected, little pleasures. A book publishing exec with a 40 year career of hits secretly harbored musical dreams all that time. Hooking up with Bonnie Raitt's producer, he steps up to the line and kicks out the jams. In true heartland rock fashion, he gives it his all and leaves it on the tape. Falling right in the pocket of all the classic rockers but being his own man throughout, this is simply a solid set to rock the night away with. Well done.

NATALIE CRESSMAN & IAN FAQUINI/Auburn Whisper: Not wallowing in the pandemic screwing up the lives they had planned, this duo took to their art with four on the floor. The result? A wild album that seems like art jazz but really is not at all. Delving so deeply into the music and their skills, this is one of those sets you have to sit down and really listen to. It's loaded with so many moods and modes that you'll have a bit of disbelief that only the two of them are making this all happen. A real winner for adult ears.
(Cressman Music 108)

ROBERTO OCCHIPINTI/Next Step: Canada's protean bass player tries something new to him, leading a piano trio in classic ECM style. Putting his focus into a classy, high brow sound, his subtlety will run rings around you. Tasty adult listening that never gets so far away from it's real mission of entertaining you, in the end, a good time is had by all.

GEORGE WINSTON/Night: At this point in time, your aren't showing up for a Winston record because you expect to hear him with a band. Maybe dipping into some barrelhouse or Hawaiian, but you know what you want and you know what you'll get. As has been for the last 40+ years, Winston doesn't disappoint. Actually, about the only thing that's changed is the recording techniques and capabilities. Recorded after midnight at five different studios, even though he only has four originals here, this is probably his most up close and personal set in his career. Solo piano fans, start your engines.
(RCA 96243)

LYNNE ARRIALE TRIO/Lights Are Always On: Hey, all you fat cats busy bloviating like you're the great, white father while you rape musos out of their rights to meet the numbers for your next five year plan, how about giving something back? You goofs mean to tell me that there's not one western hemisphere label that would toss this jazzy, piano lady a deal when she's playing at the top of her formidable skills? This is worse than the Reagan years! An uplifting, original album inspired by these idiotic times, Arriale soldiers on with more drive than almost anybody. Here's the proof a piano trio can change the world, one note at a time. Brilliant listening.
(Challenge 73532)

TONY MONACO/Four Brothers: Wasn't it Jackie DeShannon that said "what the world needs now is more B3, that's the only thing that there's just too little of"? If not, she should have, and she'd find the answer right here on this jumping combo set led by a cat that's been at it for 50 years. This set screams ‘fun' and that's all I need to know. It's really swinging and groovy when a joint jumps like this.
(Chicken Coop 7029)

KATRIONA TAYLOR/Blind Passion: A zesty British thrush that sings it like she means it because she's been there, this is the sound of a survivor crossing the finish line and looking over her shoulder to see she finished ahead of the pack. A white gal that knows how to meld jazz and soul with a touch of the blues, this is an emotional album with a solid core. The players are right in step with her making this the kind of adult album they don't seem to make much of anymore---and they should rethink that lapse. Solid jazz vocal.
(Diva One 5)

SALLY TERRELL/Feel Alive: The communications teacher might have come to this realm a little late down the path but she must have had the music in her heart the whole time.. With smart jazzbo instincts and a forward thinking vision, she pulls it together to be a thrush for our times.. Not traditional and not cutting edge, she occupies her own space nicely and has the skills to pay the bills.

Volume 46
March 12, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record

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