CHARLTON SINGLETON/Crossroads: Unfortunately, Singleton is too old to be described as a young man with a horn but he's got a lot of fine playing ahead of him before Medicare kicks in. Hooking up with a local drummer that comes from church, these two take it to church in high old daddio style. A fine take on a classic, classy romp, this cat has what it takes to blow your ears wide open. Well done.
QUENTIN BAXTER QUINTET/Art Moves Jazz: The prime mover of Ranky Tanky reshuffles the deck keeping his friends close and not letting his enemies near. The vibe and the spirit are the same but the sound is more retro this time around as the powerhouse drummer shows how it's done. Sounding like the combo that would have backed up Tom Waits on "Nighthawks at the Diner" if he was looking for more than some swinging cats that could sight read, this'll turn anyone into a daddio in no time. Hot stuff that's a gasser.
ELIZABETH WARD LAND/Still Within the Sound of My Voice: If you live anywhere west of New York, you probably haven't been exposed to this do it all kind of big apple gal. That could make you wonder how a tribute to Linda Ronstadt would work out. Since Ronstadt moved through a bunch of genres and was never taken seriously as more than a pop confection until she lost her voice, you have to applaud Land for seeing the forest for the trees enough to level things out and keep this from being a gift shop record. With a baker's dozen of classics given a proper setting and send up, this almost feels like a great lost Ronstadt greatest hits. Solid.
AMERICAN WILD ENSEMBLE/Duos and Trios: A contemporary classical quartet that was formed to present concerts in national parks took the initiative to keep it together and continue to create and present works inspired by nature. An impressionistic set powered by more than good intentions and trust fund inheritances, they know how to serve up a wild ride and find beauty in stuff hidden under rocks. With nature generally not being linear, this crew understands following the trail where it leads and dealing with the rough edges later. They make it sound a lot easier than it is.
(New Focus 339)
LOADBANG/Quiver: A crew that fashions new works to sound like old liturgical works and they keep it authentic. Quite an interesting feat. Solid listening for those kind of eggheads that laugh at things nobody else does, there are the kind of subtle twists and turns here a plenty that will hold that audience in thrall.
PUTUMAYO PRESENTS AFRO-CUBANO/various: Since I'm still not flying or traveling (or getting off season rates to off beat places in the Caribbean), this set and some bug spray in my backyard is the closest I'm going to get to a rum drink set against a long sunset on the beach after the noseeums have been cleared out. Even though these cats are first call genre cats you might not have heard of, they play a most authentic dose of indigenous music that you'd hear on those beaches. Inspired by the African Diaspora to the 'bean, you will never mistake this for gift shop music --even if you'd want to bring it home with you and that's the only way to get it. The real traveler will love this as much as the armchair traveler. Top shelf throughout.
MARK DUDA/Bodega Flowers: A New York rocker with all the makings of a critical darling loads the deck here by playing with a bunch of critical darlings. With a real lower east side hot house fervor that can't be faked, he might have the credentials to be a scenester but he's got the rock chops to back it up. A whole bouquet of 70s flavors are blooming in this bunch of flowers.
(Train Faces 29)
July 26, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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