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DMITRI MATHENY/Cascadia: An incredibly lyrical player, Matheny and his flugelhorn guide a crew of Seattle pals through a set of grace and dignity that seems almost classical in it's elegance. A real jazzbo that understands the purely instrumental side of things as well, this is the kind of enchanting recording that was made for weekends.
(Origin 82849)

HUGO FERNANDEZ/Ozean: An innovative German cool school guitarist whose idea of cool school is laid back Wes rather than standard ECM, he comes in with a solid set of jazz for the mind that any fan of sitting down jazz will recognize as top shelf. Well played and well planned, this is certainly a guitar player of note leading the way.
(Origin 82848)

BEN MORRIS/Pocket Guides: Inspired by his world travels, this is an impressionistic guide to spots around the world. Except he's doing it with a big band that plays in a way of his own devices that he writes and arranges for with an out of the ordinary, singular vision. A cat whose work plays it straight while coloring outside the lines, he wants to bring you into the tent and doesn't worry about the ars gratis artis effect. Fun stuff that works on a lot of levels.
(OA2 22203)

CHRISTIAN JACOB/New Jazz Standards V. 5-the Music of Carl Saunders: The latest edition of Saunders taking us through his back pages features piano man Jacob leading the way with Oles and LaBarbara rounding out the trio. Jacob has more than proven himself as the kind of cat that it pays to lead where he follows so there's no risk in checking this set out. A killer trio that plays like they've always known their métier, they could go out as a band anytime. A real treat that even being new to the trumpeter's songbook can't deter, this classy crew has it all on the ball throughout.
(Summit 798)

TOM COLLIER/Color of Wood: A real solo set in the Todd Rundgren sense of the word in how he does it all here, this set shows why this grand old man is recognized as the grand old man of vibes, marimba etc. A engaging recital by a cat so into his work that he doesn't need to work and play well with others, you never knew banging on things could sound so sweet. A real treat.
(Summit 793)

JOHN WASSON'S STRATA BIG BAND/Chronicles: A grad of one of Woody Herman's later thundering herds, he might have to take to Kickstarter to get his records made but when the results are this sweet, it's a good things there's enough geezers that are computer literate enough to want to keep this sound alive and well. Other than the vibe, Wasson is not one to marinate in the good old days as the playing here is forward thinking and full of vigor. Just what the big band fan is looking for. Hot.
(MAMA 1058)

BRAD ‘GUITAR' WILSON: A nice solid meat and potatoes white boy with the blues, he shreds, he rocks, he shows he can do other things that the basic blues/rock shuffle. A partier that wants to bring the party, this is a set that livens up the background but never becomes background music.
(Cali Bee)

STEVE HOWELL & the Mighty Men/Been Here and Gone: Leading off with an instrumental take on "In Crowd" that takes you places you never imagined before, you know Howell and the gang are up to their left of center/out of the ordinary tricks once again. Keeping it to the jazz/soul/blues axis with a few ringers, this is a hypnotic set that comes at you from a different direction that shows how Howell is all about staking his own territory. For the muso that thinks the hits are too easy.
(Out of the Past 17)

RON CARTER/Foursight-Complete Stockholm Tapes: Just because his last few Blue Note albums sold under 10,000 copies doesn't mean that he shouldn't be celebrated as venerable. We're glad these German's weren't scared off and have been keeping us in Carter records the last few years. This set pulls together both volumes of his stand in Sweden around his 80th birthday, not at all playing like he's that old. With his own entry in the Guinness Book for World Records for most session splayed, those chops come mightily to the fore in this jazzbo quartet setting. Pleasing the crowd at this live recording with a few sops to his Miles days, the rest is al original and all killer. This repackage celebrates his 85th birthday---now on to 90!
(In + Out 77150)

SIDNEY JACOBS/If I Were Your Woman: If this jazz/R&B vocal set is supposed ot be a political statement, in these gender fluid times it falls a little flat unless you're one of those dog whistle Republicans that needs to get upset over something. An R&B cat that came up through gospel sings songs generally associated with women, even if he wrote a bunch of them himself. As a vocal set powered by some first call jazzbos bringing up the rear, it works. As a political statement----next time call Western Union to send a message.

Volume 46
June 3, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record

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