APOLLO CHAMBER PLAYERS/MoonStrike: You almost wouldn't know that this is a contemporary classical piece affected by multi culti progressive thought but surprise, that's what it is. Celebrating the moon through forward thinking musical eyes, even the first Native American to ride the lightening gets a say here. The work has yet to have it's live, New York premiere so this is a chance to get a real front row seat on heartland and indigenous takes on the lore of the moon. No matter what your taste or timeline, even younger tastes can gravitate to this due to the punk energy that seems to bristle through it. Well done.
ORLI SHAHAM/Mozart Complete Piano Sonatas V. 2 & V. 3: Sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let the pros do their thing. Now half way through a journey through Mozart's complete piano sonatas, Shaham wants to make music from the ages for the ages as she crawls inside the music not deeming it ready until she can add something extra to it that goes beyond. Bringing her improv skills to the fore, you get a fat dose of Mozart here that gets a proper reading but isn't like you've heard it before----and none of it rolls off the rails. An absolute must for any of Mozart's fans.
(Canary Classics 21)
WENTING KANG/Mosaic: There's a whole lot of multi culti going on here as a Chinese violist and Russian pianist team up to examine the intersection of French and Spanish classical maestros. It all makes a great case for music being the international language. Given the classic kind of classical reading, this brings forward the majesty and elegance found in so many of the golden eras Masterworks and Living Stereo readings of classical repertoire. It's a solid set, well conceived with only four hands on the wheel giving you all you need.
(Blue Griffin 609)
LYN STANLEY/Novel Noel: For someone that claims to have never stepped up to the mic until a decade ago, the slinky Ms. Stanley might have mastered the art of being a retro thrush but she's also incredibly forward thinking on the business side by hiring all the best SoCal jazzbos, having the best talent on both sides of the glass and jumping on marketing trends before they get here, like this set being issued as a double vinyl album that spins at 45 rpm cut from the lacquer masters. While not the strictest Christmas record, it not only brings cheer to the holidays but you'd be hard pressed to prove this session didn't come about because Sinatra slipped Basie and Riddle a few bucks to do the right thing for this kid. The new cornerstone in a growing, glowing discography, trust me, this is all the Christmas music you need for this year.
(AT Music 3110)
SOUTH PARK/Complete 24th Season: Trust me, it's not you or your player. Because of Covid, season 24 was truncated to two extended, pandemic episodes. While some billionaires have corrupted words like ‘populist', our two billionaires behind this madness are still as populist as ever. Still in touch with their iconoclast sides, Cartman finds ways to exploit Zoom classes, Randy is the reason Covid happened and in the end, the pranked teacher dies from not getting the shot in time--not for lack of trying. All this and I didn't give you any spoilers. And there's so much anti-government stuff here Abbie and Jerry would be proud. Don't believe anyone that says they've lost their edge.
JASON MILES/Extraordinary Journey: Just think, except for a few simple twists of fate, Jussel from the block could have turned out to be just another frustrated, mid-level lawyer paying his Mexican secretary child support/hush money for popping out a half Jewish kid named Jesus so the wife doesn't find out. However, being packed off to college in Indiana and being able to buy CTI Records at Columbia House monthly garage sales just down the street turned him into a guy that could play anything with anyone and has. Even if you don't know his name, he's played with all the greats in every genre over the last 48 years and made many of the sounds you love. This generous, conversational tome is the ‘and then I wrote' type bio you should be reading if you are a true music geek instead of the celeb bio B&N will have on the remainder table next month. Walking that fine line of going behind the scenes without any gossip or treachery, Miles may have made it to Medicare but as long as his fingers can keep programming, this won't be the last word on an illustrious career. Or the last note either.
August 3, 2022
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CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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