MASON BROTHERS/Two Sides, One Story: Trumpet/trombone playing brothers grew up in a house filled with jazz and they show what they soaked up by giving back with a classic sounding straight ahead cutting edge date that is loaded with mighty blowing. It's not the 200 mph kind of licks that power things here, it's deliberate, smart blowing that isn't about speed as it is style. Solid stuff for people that just want to relax with a cooking date, expertly played by a pair of brothers that love their work and love working together. And if the playing isn't enough to get you, the guests and associates are sure to get you to play attention .Hot stuff.
DWIGHT TWILLEY/Green Blimp: And if you're ready for some power pop nostalgia, Twilley don't mind. Going back to Tulsa with Susan Cowsill and some other like minded travelers, Twilley brings it back for those that dug it the first time around in this quadrant. There are some concessions to time and tide but basically, this is a return to why you liked him in the first place. You might not find this at the check out at Wal-mart with the rest of the acts from that era, but if you were in the right time and place, you should make the effort to find it. On the money throughout.
JOE GILMAN/Americanvas: This is certainly a new way to fuse art and jazz. Impressionistic jazz taking it's cue from existing paintings as interpreted by young players that have the fire in the belly. Pulling from the works of any artist that speaks to them as opposed to restricting themselves just to the classics, the masters etc. The thing that speaks to me is that this is a fun, upbeat jazz date that spotlights youngsters with more talent than they should have. It's probably a really cool, candid look at the stars of tomorrow.
JON IRABAGON/Foxy: Whether intentionally or not, Hot Cup wants to be the name you think of when you think about pomo jazz. After some dandy goofs on classic Columbia covers, they come in this time with a great goof on a classic OJC cover when the covers on Contemporary records were about hot babes that didn't really have anything to do with the music, but were great eye candy. Here we find the mighty sax man doing an energetic job throughout where the music sounds like 80 minutes of Lou Reed bringing his Metal Machine Music to meet with Sonny Rollins under the bridge where they aren't talking about all those Jim Jims in this town. The song titles are all a goof on "Doxy" but it's one long riff where you don't know where one song ends and another begins unless you are playing this on an mp3 player and hear the slight break. Totally nutty stuff that's jazz to grind your teeth to nubs by.
FLORIAN ROSS/Mechanism: Another one of those solo piano players that has that special touch that puts him a head and shoulders above the rest of the pack, this German educator plays in a literate way, but he also plays with some swing and soul. Working with a wide palette, even going so far as to duet with himself, Ross bridges the jazz/new age/classical/impressionistic gulf with an easy grace that makes this a first class sitting down listening experience. If Keith Jarrett is your gateway drug, this is a nice more into the contemporary version of the harder stuff.
NATACHA ATLAS/Mounquliba: Everybody's fave singing belly dancer is trying to give her joints a rest by delving into an amalgam of Arabic classical music brought forward that gringos will recognize as a sinuous, sexy set that is a great example of what girl friends are talking about when they say they want you to go slow. Light some candles, light some incense, put up some mosquito netting (for effect--not because you have bugs) and let this be an ingredient in letting the good times roll as you role play you are a sultan. It's a wonderful trip to someplace you've haven't been yet but would like to return to soon.
ROBERT SPANO-JENNIFER KOH-ATLANTA SYMPHONY/The Singing Rooms: In which we tip our hat once again to Telarc, this time for presenting some world premiere classical efforts. Of course, the chops here are unassailable and if you are anything other than a moldy fig, you will pay attention. This multi textured, multi faced work is certainly a first class sitting down work to us non-hard core classical listeners and is certain to find favor with those looking for something different and high minded.
DAVID BIXLER & ARTURO O'FARRILL/The Auction Project: By this time, we know that O'Farrill and Zoho are a match made in musical heaven so what's the deal with him recording "The Chicken Went to Scotland"? Joined by one of his Afro Cuban compatriots, him and Bixler take off for other parts of the globe mixing Celtic sounds, originals and laying some left leaning Afro Cuban over it all. It's that wonderful kind of musical busman's holiday you can take with cats you trust at the wheel when you'd otherwise just be scratching you head and wondering why. Not exactly what you're used to from these cats, but the apple really hasn't fallen that far from the tree. Check it out.
Volume 33/Number 306
September 4, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record
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