JASON PALMER/Live from Summit Rock in Seneca Village: There's a lot of civil rights and black history in this live, outdoor date that serves as Palmer's pandemic record. Palmer is a solid, reliable trumpeter that can launch from a solo spotlight into a fearless leader with very little in the way. Recording in a format that frees his soul to fly high, this emotionally driven date hit's the target for the sitting down jazz fan that really wants a good, deep listen that flows easily but mightily.
(Giant Step Arts 7)
BURTON-McPHERSON TRIO/Summit Rock Session at Seneca Village: The sax led progressive trio steps up and skronks it out in the classic New York tradition that takes the highs and lows to their ultimate extremes, often at the same time. Playing through almost like an ESP date that never was, this modern take on free jazz is for those who know what it is to have their ears opened wide by pros.
(Giant Step Arts 6)
VINCENT DING/Incredible Views From Above: I didn't know what to expect here. We have an Asian kid who had parents with their own vision for him and he didn't defy them until he met their expectations and then figured it was time to cash out. He digs big band and oldies but you can tell he didn't learn from singing into his hair brush aping Buble or Groban. It's his unique phrasing and ability to act like Sinatra---but as a member of the band, not as Sinatra fronting the band that makes this happen. He's also hip enough to have Brandee Younger hiding out in the mix. This is a really neat, sweet treat for vocal fans, especially those waiting for someone to go big or go home.
(Next Level 2216)
MAYA MAGUB/Consolations: You can do you. Me? Sunday morning? Rather than get up, get dressed and go out for eggs at a $45 brunch, I'd rather take my time, run the Keurig and let a gorgeous classical duo recital like this wash over me and ease me into getting awake until football comes on. Warming us up with a few classical greatest hits before launching into an extended Liszt program for violin and piano, This British violinist proves that you don't have to be a hot, young Asian chick to master the art and the instrument. Designed to be a comfort album, she fires on all eight to hit this out of the park (proper use of violent metaphors?----you know what I mean)
JOHNNY SANSONE/Into Your Blues: This grizzled white boy with the blues has been a music biz lifer since your grand parents first discovered pot and he's been continually honing his roots chops since. There are a few distinct tribes for white boys with the blues and he's leading his own pack of all stars here sending out no message other than ‘let's blow the roof off this sucker'. Rollicking throughout and we salute him for it.
(Short Stack 1013)
RAFFI-LINDSAY MUNROE/Nursery Rhymes for Kinder Times: Boy, does this set back me into a corner. When the Magastanians blow their dog whistle for a civil war. I hear it and I want to respond----against them. So how do I respond to this set of declawed classic nursery rhymes where the three blind mice don't get their tails cut off and the baby that falls from the tree top gets caught? Well, there's a lot of us that rubbed dirt in it, walked it off, didn't wear bike helmets and fought against real enemies of freedom and we turned out all right. This is a sweet little album and their hearts are in the right place but the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance, and that's a tough one to dispel.
NICK BINKLEY/Stardust Angels Ghosts: You could say this is a singer/songwriter protest album that's arrived 50 years too late but presto chango, nothing seems to have changed. Except Binkley's musical milieus. Mercifully as far from the 70s college coffee house as you can get, this is a modern protest set----with real protest, not kvetching and whining. If you've got at least a year of college under your belt and a part time job that has you continually watching the clock, boy-----are you going to get this. Righteous.
THE HARPOONIST & THE AXE MURDERER/Live at the King Eddy: This blues rock bunch sounds like they are best captured live because they are party people and it's too tempting not to catch spontaneity in the studio. Heavily on the rootsy side of the ledger, they just have a flat out good time jamming and rocking out letting the good times roll. It's a party platter ideally suited for after hours parties.
DAVID OWEN/Oh Suzanna Blues: Any pal of Colin Linden's that shows up with a feast of meat and potatoes is a friend of ours. Tired of hearing about those legendary Dave Van Ronk albums you can't find? Owen and Linden Ronk it up without any of the sloppiness that rambled around those Van Ronk records making them so hard to find now. A growling blues folkie in a simple setting that writes smartly and can ape Gary Davis just as well when it's time to drop one of those in. There's no way a traditional folkie can resist this.
ANGEL FORREST/Angel's 11 V. 2: There's something to be said for the rise of the Internet and the fall of the mass market. It's good for folk rockers with Janis edges because they can make wonderful records that fly under the radar and reach all the right people. A Canadian that knows lots of the right people north of the border writes her own stuff but that doesn't mean this isn't her vision of Nanci Griffith‘s "Trip to Bountiful". A solid, sturdy set that was just made for keeping handy in the car.
(Ad Litteram 721)
May 24, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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