DELBERT McCLINTON/Outdated Emotion: Several years ago, McClinton was sitting around the house when a phone call came that convinced him to add a third act to his career and it turned out to be his most fruitful period. Now hanging around the house in his 80s, he wants to keep going but doesn't want to catch Covid from his audience. So, here we are with what might well be his last album before some well deserved kicking back. Bringing things full circle, the man that taught harmonica to John Lennon tips the cap to the songs that brought him along when he was coming up. One of those non-essential albums that somehow becomes indispensable, the good times are rolling and that's that. A fine farewell(?).
(Hot Shot 3)
SIMEON DAVIS GROUP/Narratives & Nocturnes: A twofer from genre blending instrumentalists that like to explore. Here they take on worlds of their own creation that go all the way from the seventh galaxy to who knows where. Not playing like a bunch of trust fund snots marking time until they can get appointed to the Supreme Court, this is a bunch of jazzbos jamming out from the heart. A solid, cohesive performance, giving us music with a beginning, middle and end, they treat us with respect and intelligence. That right there makes this a good listen.
(Next Level 2219)
JOSEAN JACOBO/Herencia Criolla: In which we find another flavor of Latin jazz that we haven't really explored is Dominican jazz that draws upon the usual Caribbean flavors, then adds some more. Hallmarked here by tricky changes an d switch backs, this is the kind of set you can really groove to without ever having to get up. A smart, snazzy piano man, Jacobo plays with the kind of passion that made us music fans lean toward getting adventurous in the first place. A welcome new flavor to the piano jazz realm.
KALI RODRIGUEZ-PENA/Mélange: A Cuban trumpet man gives us a pure party date from the Latin side of the street. The kind of cat that you know was chomping at the bit early on to make his mark, he delivers a bright brassy set that shows how jazz is party music when it wants to be. Smoking stuff that's a gasser throughout, this party serves up a plate where everything tastes good.
(Truth Revolution 56)
AVISHAI COHEN/Naked Truth: The trumpeter that's been making his bones on indies finds himself on ECM and making his vibe fit into their mien with the listener coming out the winner. Playing a full suite with a quartet, it still retains cool school minimalism and should find a home with staunch label collectors.
MARK TURNER/Return from the Stars: Taking his sax to cool school, Turner leads his crew through a low key set that has a nice, slow build setting up a musical environment rather than a musical backdrop. Certainly a nice set of thinking man's jazz, it's high brow all the way.
ODED TZUR/Isabela: An art jazz record in the truest sense of what ECM set up for that platform, this is one of those musically cinematic sets that has a muscular sax leading the way. No strong coffee, no clove ciggies and no junkies lurking in the background are needed to get this full blast here. Bringing an appreciation of music as art is all you need to get the most out of this Eurojazzcentric production.
SUSIE SUH/Invisible Love: A sister that's doing for herself what she found Sony couldn't reveals the truth of self healing is just showing up and marking the path so others with similar feelings can find you and relate. Getting the synchs and play listings that get you on at least all the right fans lips, Suh makes the world safe for art chicks that find life to be a glide on sand paper. It might not be a perfect world but you can make your world perfect to your specifications.
FRITZ MICHEL/On the Rocks: Contemporary folk rock singer songwriter shows up with an ep that doesn't let him wear out his welcome. With a recurring theme of distance running through the five songs, he makes his statement about modern alienation and moves on to continue his seeking ways.
JACK'S WATERFALL/American Roots Project: A blues label impresario gets his drum kit out of storage moving it to the back of the riser to lay down the beat for this Nawlins flavored trio that likes to play like they put the easy in the big easy. A great after hours set to blow off steam, for both listener and player, this is a mighty good time for those whose ears are still open enough they can enjoy things without being told it's the thing to like. Fun throughout.
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CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
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