DAVID BENNETT COHEN/Bittersweet: Arriving in an unassuming little package comes the latest from Cohen, one of the original Fish that has played with everyone since in the last 60 years. Hanging out here with his pals just having an off the clock good time, he shows there's no dust on him and fun is still to be had. Eclectic as his career has been and bottomed by polished, pro chops all the way, this is certainly a great break in the confusion.
JOHN YAO'S TRICERATOPS/Off-Kilter: Bringing his three horn line up back together with some Hot Cuppers, this bunch resumes their be-bop from Mars assault with an album most properly titled. Mostly beyond the realm of even civil rights jazz, this bunch just loves to make trouble for the jazz police.
(See Tao 4)
BIG JACK JOHNSON/Stripped Down in Memphis: A posthumous set paying tribute to an acoustic blues cat that made a bunch of the moves that would become tropes and clichés in the hands of others. Culled from two sessions he did for the label, the recording technique is better than Lomax field recordings but the heart is right in the right place. Real blues from a cat that knew how to deliver and deliver he did.
BENNETT MATTEO BAND/Shake the Roots: A bunch of the modern white boys with the blues band together to back up this debut set by a roots duo that likes to blur the blues/rock/roots lines and play like they like doing this for fun. With an emotional core that holds it's own as well as holding the session together, these are some solid jams that get a real groove on.
(Gulf Coast 9038)
BRAD ABSHER & the Superials/Tulsa Tea: Delightfully loping southern soul and rock that's so deeply steeped in the south you aren't sure if you're listening to Nawlins or Tulsa or Florence--maybe a trace of Memphis here or there but the sound sounds deeper south most of the time. The roots might go deep but they are showing here. They don't need touching up either. Solid.
LOS ANGELES GUITAR QUARTET/Opalescent: One would think producer Steve Rodby wouldn't have to ride to rough shod over his charges as they celebrate their 40th anni here and you can be sure a good time is had by all. With a program that veers from Frederic Hand to Michael Hedges with loads of stellar stops in between, this set is highly recommended for the acoustic guitar lover that still wants to go places he's only heard in dreams. A high water mark throughout.
HENDRIK MEURKENS/Samba Jazz Odyssey: When has Meurkens ever let you down? When has WDR Big Band ever let you down? Mixing old and new and simmering it all in good vibes, this tasty, vibrant set finds everyone playing at the top of their games as it's tempting to say Latin jazz has never sounded this good. A definitive set of instrumental music, this is simply a winner throughout.
SUSAN HODGDON/So in Love With Cole: Not that Cole Porter needs any more interpreters but this New York cabaret thrush is so into the material she couldn't resist leaving her fingerprints on the legacy as well. She does right by herself and Porter throughout. While there's not much to add at this point, her and her jazzbos give this a heartfelt performance and raise performance to another level. Certainly a first class vocal treat.
RIQUE PANTOJA/Live in Los Angeles: A reissue of a 2001 lite/smooth jazz set by the well traveled piano man and his pals has been given new technological scrutiny for the modern era and if you check it out, your ears will thank you. With tech being the sixth man on the court of this set in this format, anything that you might have missed the first time around because it was lurking in the bytes is now front and center and his chops are even more impressive. Solid stuff that are sure bet for contemporary jazzbo ears.
TETEL DiBABUYA/Meet Tetel: A long time Brazilian classical violinist get a bolt from the blue about a year ago and finds herself reborn as a modern femme fatale. What was in that lightening bolt? Mixing cabaret, jazz, soul and the kitchen sink, DiBabuya crafts a heady mixture that could capture the muse of everyone from Stephane Grappelli to Johnny Rotten. Super stuff for sophisticated ears, give this a spin even if you just drink beer in your underwear.
May 13, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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