GARD NILSSEN AQCOUSTIC UNITY/Elastic Wave: A nice post daddio set that harkens back to when labels cut budgets and jazz made brainy, small group sets to keep moving forward. A drummer led trio that puts sax at the fore, this is loaded with solid sitting down listening music that lets you think and feel as it works it's magic. Well textured and solidly played.
BARRE PHILLIPS-GYORGY KURTAG JR/Face a Face: When you've got the skills and confidence from swinging your ax for a long time, it's amazing how much can be done with so little. A bass and electronics recital, these two know how to make the most of darkness while retaining white space making this a great soundtrack for rereading old Stephen King novels. So many try to imitate, so few succeed.
JULIA HULSMANN QUARTET/Next Door: It just wouldn't be ECM if there wasn't a playful pianist ala Carla Bley on board. This pianist brings some current compatriots along with her for a Eurojazz leaning date that has accessibility anywhere open minded tastes are located. Presented very much in a recital mode, the subtly here is very much understated and quite sneaky in the end. A fine listening experience.
STEVE TIBBETTS/Hellbound Train An anthology: The forward thinking guitarist celebrates 40 years with the label with a generously loaded twofer showing the only constant over the years has been his drummer. Since there were long stretches where he didn't release anything, this well programmed set is more appropriate than a box set. Even at his most hippie dippy, Tibbetts sound doesn't come across here as dated or any less than forward thinking. With the kind of diverse and flexible chops that could have easily had him trying to be Hendrix's heir, it's jazz's gain that he didn't go for it. Solid stuff that takes you well beyond the Wes wall.
REINHARDT WINKLER/Flying Home: When the magic is there... The track list makes it look like a set list you'd get when the star comes into town on a budget and plays with a pick up band calling off tunes everyone knows without consulting a fake book. The thing that happens here is that it all gels in a way that really captives. The drummer picked Harry Allen to lead with his sax and Allen nearly has you thinking it's Houston Person taking the lead on these oldies. A serious must for any straight ahead jazzbo.
TRYON/Lauterung: Just when I was wondering who would win a song contest between Lou Reed and Townes Van Zandt along comes this set from a Seattle prog rocker that said screw it when his band broke up from the pandemic. He took off for Berlin where he apparently got his beak more than wet in the avant garde and produced mash up music the future hasn't caught up with yet. Extending Varese period Zappa at his wildest, this multi mash up of everything is more than you can handle at once but it all comes together in the end. Perhaps he's reached an underground we're not even aware of yet. Utterly wild stuff.
(Double Moon 71409)
BART PLUGERS/Blossom & Blasphemy: Maybe because there's no word for thrush in the male jazz singer lexicon is why the field is so thin. This 24 year old from Bruges wants to defy the odds but he makes his debut too left field for even staunch cabaret lizards on these shores. Very much a product of the tortured artist effect school of emotion, we'll wait and see what he's up to next time.
(Double Moon 71406/Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 94)
MAIK KRAHL QUARTET/In Between Flow: The young lion's third set finds the trumpeter in a lyrical, pensive mood handling it quite lyrically and with a deft touch. Setting a fine after hours feel throughout, this straight ahead date is on the mark hitting it's targets squarely. Solid.
CRAIG DAVIS/Tone Paintings: No matter what you might think of something basically unfamiliar, if you see Clayton & Hamilton showed up to play, you dig in. This set celebrates the music of Dodo Marmarosa, a bop era piano man from Pittsburgh that was a contemporary of Powell and Monk but wasn't treated as well by history (or the time and tides as they were). A labor of love for Davis that took a decade to realize, he does fine by his fallen hero here leaving us with a set well worth the effort to discover. Totally wonderful, straight ahead piano trio work that sounds timeless here in the right hands.
JIM McNEELY/Rituals: A shining example of the kind of work a Yankee has to go to Europe to get made since we don't believe in fine arts programming here anymore. McNeely was commissioned by the Frankfurt Radio Big Band to create a new work for Chris Potter based on "Rites of Spring". Certainly a cinematic, concert piece, everybody here is playing like nobody's business giving it the majesty a serious classic work long the canon would deserve. A real must for people that like instrumental music presented big and bold.
(Double Moon 71404)
BEN PATTERSON/Way of the Groove: Not only is Patterson a high octane bone man, he seems to want to give us a cavalcade of all the best of commercial 70s jazz all at once. An original date with crafty, catchy melodies that walk the tightrope of art and commerce successfully, when he jumps out at you---you better be ready. Trust me on this one, poppa loves his work. Killer stuff.
CHRIS WALDEN/Missa Jubileum Aureum: A cat that once played with Thad Jones & Mel Lewis commissions a renowned studio rat to do a real rave up on liturgical music to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary. Roping in Tierney Sutton and Kurt Elling to help him take it to church, this is a jazz mass like no other. Bold, brassy and contemporary, this work is too encompassing for him not to have shared it with the world. A real one of a kind work that defies genre and beliefs.
August 5, 2022
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2022 Midwest Record
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