GWILYM SIMCOCK/Blues Vignette: Here's one of those jazz/classical piano cats that you kick yourself for not knowing about. He's a whiz at the whole jazz/classical/improv thing and he plays with the kind of energy and style that grabs you right away and holds on. Already a well decorated player in England, he launches his stuff here with an ambitious double cd that finds him working out solo, duo and trio, in that progression doing a sprightly mix of original and cover that keeps you on board just so you can hear what comes next. A straight up winner throughout, this is a real ear opener for jazz piano fans looking for a hot, new kick.
PHIL WILSON-MAKOTO OZONE/Live: Available for the firs time in 25 years, here we have the reissue of Ozone's first recording, made at Berklee with his teacher in a duet setting. Wilson is no slouch himself, but 1,200 people turned out to hear this 21 year old kid tear it up on what would be the auspicious beginning of an artistically significant and satisfying career. The piano/trombone interplay says it all and no other embellishments or colorations are needed with these two front and center. Their interpretation of "Gravy Waltz" is a gasser as well. While not a record record, it's a great document of the birth of something great.
ANN CORIO/Presents How to Strip for your Husband and More v. 1 & V. 2: Ah, return with us to those thrilling days of yore, before the sexual revolution and when America's suburban expansion was fueled by the G. I. Bill. Yes, it's true, your parents and grandparents hated each other back then. Mom was doing the gardener while stuck in the burbs and pop was doing his secretary at his job in the city. Mom knew he wasn't making enough yet to make alimony viable enough to get by so along came Morris Levy, never one to miss riding a concept. He hooked up famed stripper Corio, who was already hitting 50, with band leader Sonny Lester for two albums of bump and grind that was actually good music situated somewhere between amped up Martin Denny, amped up Dixieland and Duke Ellington. With David Rose taking "The Stripper" to the top of the charts right around the same time, this is the music that warped the sensibilities of people now around 50 back when they were kids. We love it when Collectors Choice let's their sense of humor fly proudly and this off beat jazz date fills the bill on so many levels. Yes, return with us to those thrilling days of yore when married couples like Rob and Laura Petrie slept in pajamas in separate beds and "Twister" hadn‘t yet been created..
JORGE CALDERON/City Music: Don't take this the wrong way but the reason why this 1975 solo album by Warren Zevon's best pal is such a hot collectors item is that the rock world just wasn't ready for a Puerto Rican star. With chops and a resume that's second to none, Calderon is to the California rock sound as much as J. D. Souther is--a background super hitter, superstar that everyone on the inside knows raises the game. Easily as competitive as anything that was topping the charts at the time, it's no wonder he was on Souther's hit single as the background stars got a chance to step out. If you still find 70s California rock timeless, this is a great session you probably missed on that is probably more welcome now as something this fresh and in the pocket is hard to find. Pure lite rock enjoyment with some grit and soul throughout.
DOLORES DURAN/Between Friends: She's been dead for 50 years and in her brief career she was a central part of the Brazilian pop scene. She wrote her first song with Jobim and played with the crème of the crop on this previously unreleased set. Casual fans may be put off by the historical nature of this session and the roughness of the live recordings, but for those on the prowl for something that will keep them being the hippest cat in the room, this session that crosses the continents with a vocalist whose presence commands over technological deficiencies is right on the money. Hot stuff for serious genre fans.
DAVIS & DOW
DAVIS & DOW/Loverly: If life were fair, Vegas wouldn't be catering to douche bags almost exclusively these days and one of the big hotels would have a lounge this duo could call their own in the manner (though not the style of ) Louis Prima and Keely Smith and they world be continually lighting up the night. They don't break any new ground here in their treatment of oldies but they are such leading lights in sophisticated, adult entertainment that it's a shame there isn't a piano bar on every corner where they could hold fort and you could have a great time. Not cabaret, just swinging adult jazz/pop that brings back the fun. They know how to deliver with such precision that it's a great treat from start to finish. Hot stuff adult ears need to check out. They play a lot in Florida and I'll bet the alte cockers down there who get to hear them regularly don't know how good they have it.
SOLOMON BURKE/Nothing's Impossible: Finally getting the chance to record together shortly before Willie Mitchell's death, these long time soulful friends finally bridged the missed connections and made an album that is landmark for both of them. Mitchell hadn't lost a step and Burke delivers the goods as only he can. Deep gut bucket soul in a badass timeless groove, this is real deal soul that you have to listen to at night and let it wash over you. A masterpiece? That's an open call but it certainly is a winner. Hot stuff.
THE FIVE BROWNS/In Hollywood: Did the Mormons find the fountain of youth and not tell us or something? The lovely ladies in this sibling outfit are all moms but they still seem like shiny, little overachievers getting ready to conquer the SAT even though they are the only ones that think they can't. Already proven masters of classical crossover, here they deliver what looks like the obligatory movie album, but please, don't go selling it short like that. As The Who would say, ‘the kids are alright'. Since the Hollywood album is no more obligatory that the Beethoven album, the best thing you can do is sit back and relax with these familiar themes given new life due to the expert chops powering them along. It's fun stuff, and these days, that counts for a whole lot. Check it out.
Volume 33/Number 229
June 18 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record
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