RONNIE EARL & the Broadcasters/Mercy Me: One of the old reliables of the white boys with the blues corps comes in with his 28th album and as always, it doesn't disappoint. A certified guitar slinger with and eye and ear for talent just plain serves it up right here. Deceptively simple and made to look easy, you can't even think of trying this at home. Playing in a wide open way that won't intimidate anyone who thinks the blues police can dictate what's what, he's still making new fans and there's still plenty of room on the bus. Betcha it's another award winner.
(Stony Plain 1449)
RICH PELLEGRIN/Passage: It might have been recorded in Seattle but this set of improvs from the same session as an earlier volume is loaded with that ECM/miniature sensibility that just screams Eurocentric. Seeming to be a vortex of Jarrett, new age and classical, this solo piano set is a boon for the high minded, but you don't have to be an egghead to get it, just someone that wants an oasis from noise. Delicate, skillful and always beautiful, this is a solo piano cat with something extra.
JORDAN VANHEMERT/Nomad: Aha, Korean jazz that springs from the Midwest but has a Sonny Rollins sense of skronk, toned down. This is what they mean by multi culti cross pollination. It's the sound of something new and it takes you places out of the ordinary while not going too far off the beaten path.
ALAN BROADBENT TRIO/Like Minds: Like other august peerages of the piano, Maestro Broadbent likes to fade into a small group setting once n a while and let fly with chops that just need to be let loose every so often. Taking a smoking trip down memory lane here, that most reliable brand name in New Zealand jazz delivers the goods as always. A pure jazz listening date that'll take your breath away, this is just one of those ground zero sets of greatness that can't be disputed.
BILL HEID/Dealin' Wid It: A vet B3 pro that played all the race rooms with all the jazz greats and mainstays shows his lifetime of organ chops that are way too loaded with soul and blues for the average white boy. Swinging and smoking , the sound behind so many sounds steps to the fore and shows you something you knew all along. He takes it out of the church to take it to church and it's a pretty holy experience through a smoky night. Hot.
WAY NORTH/New Dreams, Old Stories: They may be a small group but they have a throwback feel to the golden age of the arranger. While they consciously look to merge old and new, they do it without irony and are committed to the music, even when they slide some sly humor into the mix. Tasty cats that play from the heart, their easy going vibe makes it all work so nicely.
TOM GUERRA/Sentimental Junk: A vet journeyman with pals that know how to rock bring it all back to the 70s when being called a bar band was a real compliment. With an eclecticism that reflects those times, this smart writing cat rounds it up all into something the kids might not get--unless spurred on to by some Tik Tok accident. Their loss, this bunch knows how to rock it right down the middle with an honesty you didn't always find on the charts.
(Thin Man )
JACKIE MESSINA/Necessary Arrangements: Reissue of a 2011 album in which an award winning poet got bored with the suburbs and poetry, ventured into the city and found jazz could set her free. Her mentor died and this set was a tribute to him. A dandy jazz vocal trip down memory lane with some unexpected stops, it's nice to see a hidden gem like this get another chance.
April 1, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Edi tor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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