GOLDBUG/The Seven Dreams: In which we find the contemporary dreamscape session supplanting the ground that formerly would have been occupied by a new age set. This explores the sound of dreams, but it's dreams of people that watch vampire movies. Kind of minimalist but still progressive, it's the kind of genre splice you want to listen to after the rave is over.
BLACK BUTTERFLYS/1 De Mayo: We have to admit, an awful lot of our fave jazzbos have been junkies. How do we deal with this slap in the face by these young jazzbos putting together a set of healing jazz that's aimed squarely at each of the chakras, in order, to really kick your spine into line? Well, they are a bunch of good players and the jazz is quite worldly without really being world beat. Lots of genre splicing, lots of good vibes and lots of right on playing. What else can you say except that it's a pretty dandy all around album? Well done.
RYAN COHEN/Another Look: Hey, once you win a Guggenheim, you can tell the band it's time to go into the studio and improvise---just let the fur fly. And they do. And they have fun. Lots of it. More fun that you associate with serious jazzbos. Very much in line with a 50s Prestige date where everyone was high but played dead, solid, perfect regardless, this is one of those cool, timeless jazz sets that will be making an impression for a long time to come.
THE TRIO OF OZ: A bunch of progressive jazzbos band together in a trio that does jazz takes on contemporary alt.rock and removes it so much from the whining twists who made it that you don't even know you are listening to bleeding gum music. Omar Hakim, Rachel Z and Maeve Royce all together jamming a joyful noise. It's a killer set. Over and out.
SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM/original Broadway cast recording: We are always amazed at the way producer Tommy Krasker keeps managing to out do himself with each new recording, but, damn, what a way to celebrate ten years in business! This is probably he last time we'll see him credit himself as "Tommy" with the next one reading "T. (whatever his middle initial is)". You only get one Gershwin. You only get one Porter. You only get one Sondheim, and here we have the ultimate ‘and them I wrote/lion in winter' stage memoir by a guy in his 80s who will take an era with him when he goes. Barbara Cook leads the ensemble, she of the most stage/Sondheim chops, through an assemblage of works that aren't all tent pole songs but move the story of the composer along, with the master providing the narration of his life. This double cd packs so much presence, after a while, you feel like you are actually watching the stage production. If it was me in the producer's chair, this would be a place I would be proud to leave my fingerprints. Absolutely must listening for any true show music fan as something like this will never come this way again. First class all they way.
DOUG WEBB/Midnight: What distinguishes music from music product? Every diva digs into the chestnuts, every sax player works the same side of the street. And? Well, Webb is the Hollywood go to guy for sax being the first call cat on Clint Eastwood's list as well as being the ‘voice' of Lisa Simpson's sax. With friends like Larry Goldings, Stanley Clarke and Gerry Gibbs hanging out on this after hours feeling, post bop jazzbo tour de force---baby, this is music. So soulful a non-jazzbo will be mesmerized that he can sit still for a grown up session like this, the sound of players playing what they want to because they can is an unmistakable high. Killer stuff that gives the oldies a whole new breath of fresh air---divas take note! Hot stuff,.
JARED GOLD/Out of Line: Somebody tip our pals at Dusty Groove this B3 date is coming down the pike because this is an organ pro that understands the meaning of groovy. Kicking it out on a set of mostly originals, he respects the tradition but he's just as much about finding his own voice to add to the organ vocabulary. Swinging, high octane stuff from a crew that likes to light the blue lights, this is a smoking set that's a first class party on a platter. And it's Jersey style to boot. Check it out.
CROSBY STILLS NASH Live at Ravinia: Almost 41 years to the date of their debut gig at Woodstock, CSN finally made their debut gig at Ravinia. Whether they do it overtly, like the on going tribute to Sondheim, or covertly, like giving dinosaurs a place to stomp out the oldies, Ravinia knows how to run a franchise series. The lawn expanse at the park did look a little like the staging area for the LaBrea tar pits with all the dinosaurs that turned out to see these dinosaurs, but we got to tell you, with all the jibes we've given this band over the years, it's way too easy to overlook what game changers they were at the time. Youngsters think of them as the herald of the era of corporate rock, and they were, you could even go as far as to call them the Kingston Trio for hippies, but with only a real legacy of only one record, they were real game changers. With songs that towered over everything that came in the initial wave's wake, that still stand up today, there was a mighty showing of talent in the room back then. Stills can still go toe to toe with Hendrix, even if it seems like he needs some oxygen after he does it. Nash has the harmonies that hold it together. And Crosby, even if he doesn't know where he is, when he wants to turn it on, his muscle memory saves the day, even when kicking it out on some hoary white boy dated blues like "I Almost Cut My Hair". Those emo clowns could learn a thing or two from this bunch as seeing them really kick it into gear makes you want to bash an emo creep in the face. The boomers forgot about their underwater mortgages for a few hours, even if they were arthritically doing the bump to old protest songs (?) and a good time was really had by all. Stills probably didn't have the wind in him to do "Judy Blue Eyes" but once the crowd got their 'do do do do"s in "Love the One You're With", they probably didn't notice. All you kids on Facebook embarrassed by your parents trying to act cool? You're right, they probably never were cool, but they once knew how to rock---corporate style, which they morphed into, after they cut their hair. Except for a strange, record company inspired interlude, it was a killer night. (Hint to Lyor Cohen: nobody wants to hear them do an album of songs they wish they wrote, even if Stills did way more acoustically that anyone should be able to on "Midnight Rider").
Volume 33/Number 299
August 28, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record
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