GREG LATO/Adults These Days: Happily for all ears involved, Lato decided to make his second album without more of the same--except for the quality. Inspired by a sarcastic remark his eight year old made about grown ups, he took the ball and ran with it giving the kids something that really speaks to them. The sound fits in well with today's pop fury and it all takes wing nicely. Keeping them quiet is the name of the game.
ERIC HUEBNER/Earth: Composer Stephen Barber is not your normal egghead. While working on high minded contemporary classical works, he's also faced off against Stevie Ray Vaughn and Keith Richards. Here, his solo piano works are realized by a very sympathetic Huebner who brings wing to fanciful takes about aspects of things on earth. Loaded with whimsy and humor as well as serious sonic looks, this is a recital made for opening the ears. A great gateway drug for kids you wanted to feed some "Peter and the Wolf".
(New Focus 340)
NAKED EYE EMSEMBLE/Series of Indecipherable Glyphs: If Boulez could be inspired by Zappa, who was originally inspired by Varese, why can't the circle come full circle and have this award winning nu new classical crew be inspired by Zappa and other rockers. Unafraid to go as dada as needed, this bunch clearly draws inspiration from left of center rock while keeping their recital spirit in the fore. This is the sound of young eggheads letting loose.
(New Focus 338)
PLINIO FERNANDES/Saudade: We're always ready, willing and able to open our ears to the hot, new guitarist and see what's what and Fernandes does not disappoint. A classical Brazilian guitarist that can cover the waterfront from Villa Lobos to Jobim in fine style, he's thrilled to be following in Segovia's career footsteps and it shows. A solid work that tantalizes the ear, this cat better be ready to drop at least a new set every year. Hot stuff.
(Decca Gold 35736)
MATT LOMEO/When You Call: Flavors change. Lomeo is a millennial white boy with the northern soul blues and shows why he was the youngest performer invited to play at any of the subsequent Woodstock festivals. Now an LA mainstay, he blends well with Tulsa cats as this buffet of genre splicing works unbelievably well. You know these kids never picked cotton and it really doesn't matter anymore.
FRANK KIMBROUGH/2003-2006: A mainstay of both the label and Maria Schneider's crew, the pianist that had cancer beat him down before collecting social security is remembered here with remixes of two of his classics for the label that refocus away from being a piano showcase to being band statements. Working with two different trios on the two different dates, this really gets to the core of what New York jazz sounds and feels like even if times and tides changes. A lyrical player with just the right touch, these two sets are a great way to remember him. The collection consists of "Lullabluebye" and "Play".
NATHAN KALISH/Great Big Motel Bed in the Sky: A freek folk malcontent like no other, Kalish rages against the machine without raising his voice or shaking his fist but manages to make his point loud and clear. Sounding very much like a modern Steve Goodman, this road warrior has forgotten more tricks than most other acolytes ever knew and that's why this work so well. Back porch music from an urban landscape fire escape, this should be the sound of the modern college coffeehouse that appeals to a folkie crowd. Way too cool.
TAYLOR SCOTT BAND/Hang: Having honed his chops by being the white boy guitar slinger backing up Otis Taylor, he opens up the left of center rock moves stepping away from the blues but not ditching them altogether. With road tested moves that will assure his place as a top tier bar room rocker, there's something about this set that feels so right. Well done.
ART HIRAHARA/Verdant Valley: Admirably not wanting to repeat himself on his 8th outing for the label, the swing is still in the piano but the textures are inspired by aspects of earth and what's in and on it. With a trio made up of label all stars with ringer Donny McCaslin on half the tracks letting his sax fly, this is a solid listening date any piano jazz enthusiast should enjoy. Never too arty, never too commercial, this set falls deeply in the pocket and feels like it's being played just for you. One of those dandy winners.
WALT WEISKOPF EUROPEAN QUARTET/Diamonds & Other Jewels: When he gets time off from his day gig with Steely Dan, Weiskopf has a band stashed in Europe that really lets him get a change of sights and sounds. Basically having them in moth balls during the pandemic he was glad to finally get the chance to reunite but didn't think he had anything in his bag of tricks worth recording. A train ride from Bruges to Germany changed all that and this set shows you don't know where the lightening is coming from and how it's striking. While it's certainly a date for a sizzling sax to be front and center, these bad boys deliver as a whole. Would you expect any less from a cat that could fill Pete Christlieb's shoes? Hot stuff throughout.
July 16, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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