DANILO PEREZ/Crisalida: Once upon a time, it was enough that Perez was a great Latin jazz pianist. Now he's gone on to be so much more. With a pair of suites backed by the Global Messengers, he's moved into that realm where you really can't separate jazz from world from instrumental from classical from contemporary classical. This is a date for people that want music to go that extra mile and be a cinematic experience. Deep, without having any of the pedant overhang that often mars dates going for deep, this is a delightful ear opening experience that qualifies as a masterwork.
(Mack Avenue 1178)
ELI DEGIBRI/Henri & Rachel: In which we find the sax man paying a loving instrumental tribute to his departed parents not only sending them off in fine style but using this as a bridge to meeting up with them again. He does a fine job of telling time and tide with his ax letting things be joyful more often than not. Quite a nice suite unto itself.
CHICAGO SOUL JAZZ COLLECTIVE meets Dee Alexander/On the Way to be Free: It's not like they have so many pieces playing but they do sound like early Rufus as a big band and how much more Chicago soul jazz can you handle? A wild and wooly set that sneaks some message into the sound, doing so without hitting you in the head with it, this is damn smart music for the times. Hard hitting stuff that really delivers the goods.
JEAN-MICHEL PILC/Alive: The top jazz piano improviser set up camp with some like minded freedom loving cats for a night in Montreal where they kicked it out on some familiar tunes, stretching things out and refashioning them along the way. The snap, crackle and pop that was in the air that night is captured well on this disc and a swinging good time is had by all.
(Justin Time 275)
ALEKSI GLICK/Guitar and Me: A proverbial jazz guitar pomo release in that this cat has taken it all in from Wes to McLaughlin with loads of stops in between, he plays with the dexterity of a working musician that has to make a living in New York. While this solo debut is his pandemic album he plays across the waterfront like he's exploding rather than running and hiding. A dandy new find for jazz guitar fans that want to keep looking for the elusive chord.
GARY CAIN/Next Stop: Talk about a man for these DIY times. This white boy with the blues is a one man power trio mixing his shrederooni pyrotechnics with modern protest lyrics. There's something for everyone here without this being some jive that panders to the lowest common denominator. Rest assured this high octane cat is a real mind blower that could turn into a Bob Dylan for pissed off times where indictments need to be slung.
BARNEY BENTALL/Cosmic Dreamer: And if you've been missing Zen cowboys like Chuck Pyle, this Canadian best selling award winner steps away from group settings to go introspective during the lockdown. His take on roots here shows that a little time away from the madding crowd can be a good and useful thing in the right hands. A sensitive folk flavored set that hit's the nail on the head squarely, this is a really killer late night session.
(True North 789)
MARC JORDAN & AMY SKY/He Sang She Sang: If the proposal for this landed on my desk, I probably would have said something like "Who sent this over, 1989?". But ha ha, it works. Take a pair of long time married pop/rock hit songwriters, turn them loose in the studio to do covers of some well known stuff---well, they make it work. A total pro job, you never feel like you're listening to a gift shop record, even if others have left an indelible stamp on the track. Some people have it and this pair does.
ORI DAGAN/Click Right Here: Oh, sure everybody talks about Frish and Dorough but it's hard to follow in their footsteps and that's why most don't. Dagan accepts the challenge and brings the pair's vibe right into the present without missing a step in an extravaganza only moldy figs that can't make the jump will belly ache about. Loaded with swing and sly, sassy humor, these pandemic tracks are the "My Attorney Bernie"'s of 50 years from now. Don't miss out on the gasser for real hipsters (not the commercial hipsters).
(Scat Cat 4)
LOU POMANTI & Friends: If anything could be tossed off as a gift shop record from reading about it, this would be it. But----this cat's been a muso his whole adult life without having to get a real job and it's given him plenty of time to hone his chops as has been seen over the course of millions of records sold with his fingerprints on them. With a set card mixed in a most audacious way, overloaded with diversity and things that shouldn't fit, it's almost like listening to a really hip FM station when those things still existed. Maybe you've got to be a certain age and have an attention span to get it, but if you got it, you're sure to get it. Hot stuff.
April 29, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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