MARILYN SCOTT/Landscape: The preferred female voice of smooth jazz checks in with her 13th album that finds her fusing smooth jazz with Brazilian undertones once again without repeating herself. A snazzy after hours album borne as a reaction to the shut down, her spirit continues to fly high here making you forget how deep she is into her career. She still has it all on the ball and her fusion pals are up for joining in righteously.
(Blue Canoe 1494)
ANDY ADAMSON QUINTET/A coincidence of Cats: The academic piano man rounds up like minded Ann Arbor pals for a left leaning jazz date that thoughtfully goes it's own way in serious fashion that demands serious attention. Loaded with twists, turns and switchbacks that keeps your ears on their toes, it's not malcontent music but it doesn't color inside the lines either. These cats know how to tear it up in fine style.
RAFAEL GRECO/Dice Que Vive Signs of Life: Would the average gringo know this sax man is from Venezuela and not Brazil based on what he hears here? Probably not. The back bone of some serious local hitters down his way, Greco steps out solo here with music that's in his own tongue but comes with some serious lessons. And it's presented in nice, ear opening Latin jazz as well. A nifty new flavor for armchair travelers to enjoy, consider expanding your horizons.
(Blue Canoe 1496)
JAZZ PROFESSORS/Blues and Cubes: With a set of mostly originals inspired by Picasso's paintings, you wouldn't really know if this is some retro period stuff or a bunch of cats just playing it down the middle in a most pleasing way. If you miss those records your grand pa probably played you back back back in the day, this is going to be a trove of fine nostalgic feelings. These cats are on the money throughout.
(Flying Horse 60122)
BRIAN LANDRUS/Red List: The sax man wants to do well by doing good and rounds up a bunch of leaders to join in this set dedicated to preservation of our endangered species. Played with prog rock energy, this is a jazzbo outing all the way but they have the fury of people being pissed off we might not be seeing pandas and elephants much longer. All the critters we really love and would miss are sonically represented in one way or another and this set is something to really think about as you let these pros entertain you.
RANEE LEE/Because You Loved Me: Leave it to a vocalist that doesn't play it safe and a savvy producer to come up with a compelling album of mostly songs I despise. Since they were mainstream pop hits, a lot of people might not feel as strongly about the material as I do, and they can go for the win here. Lee ought to be a mentor on network talent shows because she could really give the kids a lesson or two and how to sell a song and how to project instead of scream. This set is the right stuff for the right people.
(Justin Time 270)
LAURA ANGLADE & SAM KIRMAYER/Verez Donc Chez Moi: With all the charm and panache of a Putumayo French café record, this voice guitar duo is upfront and on point. With a load of songs by major French pop composers stacking the deck, this gamine charmer gives it her all on well known French tracks you never heard of while the guitar man gives it his best Django making this a wonderful antidote to hustle and bustle. Fun, charming and a most tasty diversion.
(Justin Time 265)
PAUL WINTER CONSORT/Concert in the Barn: When the pandemic screws up your annual tribute to summer played on the first day of summer every year what is one to do? Well, if you are the cat that set the gold standard for what new age should be, you cop a vibe from Levon and record in your barn, round up some friends old and new and draw a cross section of material that shows you remember your roots but have no dust on you. Succinctly put, Winter does it again. Certainly a compelling contemporary record, this time around he breaks down barriers that could have derailed this and takes it to new heights. Summer will be arriving on schedule this year. Well done.
(Living Music 57)
TOM HEMBY BAND/Dealin' It: A funky white boy and his equally funky white friends show what a guitar slinger and his pals from the heartland can do when someone let's the genie out of the bottle. A bunch if jazzbos that like a load of grease in their mix, this is a wild ride that puts lots of fun back in listening. Solid throughout.
PETER KOGAN/Just Before Midnight: In which we find the drummer recording with his pals in five different configurations and showing how they dig daddio jazz the most. Swinging, bopping and freely coloring outside the lines as often as needed, this set recoils the golden age of Van Gelder turning on the recorder and letting the cats wail for as long as the label was paying for. Solid as it gets.
YOKO YATES/Mystic Life: A highly skilled pianist comes to New York, starts meeting people as she builds her band and brand and the next thing you know, an ensemble is born that knows just how to deliver herb, original tunes. Smoking instrumental music that is jazz but goes beyond jazz in many ways.. Often impressionistic and visual, this is a smoking debut from a pro that just planted a recording flag quite firmly.
June 17, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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