ARI & MIA
ARI & MIA/Unruly Heart: This duo, who are probably sisters, spent a lot of time listening to old time folk sessions on labels like Tradition where the Appalachian/old timey stuff was in full swing and really given room to take wing. Deceptively simple, this is highly personal stuff just made for head phones or turned down lap top speakers where they are playing just for you and the intimacy just blows your mind. They seamlessly genre blend some organic styles into one delightfully tasty stew that'll have you coming back for seconds---and more. A winner throughout.
NEW YORK ELECTRIC PIANO/Keys to the City V. 1 & V. 2: Jazzbos, grungos and their various hipster pals lock themselves in a room for an afternoon and come out with an accomplshed double cd that is a chill soundtrack for the urban hipster/weekend warrior. While these players might know how to deliver mass hits, this is one of those underground hits where you can only nod your head and say ‘cool' as is plays on it's merry way. Fun stuff that shows these cats don't have to be overly serious all the time, even if they really aren't cracking a smile here. Check it out for what real alt.adult sounds like.
CHANTALE GAGNE/Wisdom of the Water: So, here we have another hot, young pianist that knows how to attract solid jazzbos to round out her sound and deliver the goods in top shelf fashion. A contemporary swinger that knows how to deliver sitting down, piano jazz with her own stamp on the proceedings, this is a fun, buoyant set by a leader/writer that knows how to play it from the heart. Warm and easy going, this is cocktail hour jazz that you can enjoy anytime. Well done.
J WAGNER/Disappear: Wagner is certainly a poster boy for the new paradigm. With his latest album being a fan funded/sourced session, the transplanted New Mexican has made himself at home, part and parcel, in the Texas music scene while his songs get covered by Victoria Williams and featured in programs like "Californication". Call him folkie, call him Americana, this top shelf singer/songwriter would be right at home in any generation standing toe to toe with the best and brightest of the time. The kind of progressive folk that can't keep fans away, this session will hit you right in the gut, in a very good way. Killer stuff from a voice just ripe to be heard wider.
LANDON KNOBLOCK-JASON FURMAN/Gasoline Rainbow: Just when you think you know what's in the hearts of your local, Florida bar mitzvah band, they up and show you that they are progressive jazzbos that like to play challenging music, even if it's only with their piano and drums in tow. Angular free jazz that skirts the line of civil rights/loft jazz, this duo knows how to improvise and kick it around spontaneously with fine results. Obviously the telepathy in the air at all those weddings they played was ‘how do we get out of here' as they've since gone on to solid jazzbo resumes. Fun stuff for the lightly, left leaning tastes.
ANTHONY BRANKER & Ascent/Dance Music: Yeah, dance music by way of a jazzbo composer that leads his own jazz orchestra with a floating membership of first call players that might never be the same twice. Tending toward sitting down jazz mostly, Branker is an interesting anomaly in that he leads the way on stuff he writes but lets the real pros kick out the jams. The tunes smoke and the players know what to do with them. The kind of session that fires on all cylinders, it's a first call date that's just made for people that like their jazz sitting down, but might not be overly proud of that fact. Check it out.
UWE GRONAU MUSIC
UWE GRONAU/Midsummer: A double cd of head music inspired by an old philosopher? With boundaries like that you can make up any rules you like. The kind of music that flowed originally in the wake of "Tubular Bells", this is new age, jazz, ambient or what ever you want it to be. Performed by a pro, this isn't just a bunch of sketches and noodling...but if you do like a lot of the excursions of Mike Oldfield's brother Terry...., what can I say? Those that are into the genre, whether they know Gronau from past recordings or not, will be in the pocket here.
AUDIO BOOK SUPPLEMENT
RODNEY CROWELL/Chinaberry Sidewalks: Those of you that knew Crowell was a genius long before his solo break out will welcome the opportunity to get the know the man who wrote golden classics that powered 70s and 80s contemporary country. A loving look back at growing up in his dysfunctional family, the Houston kid survived it all and now we know how he could write a song like "Til I Can Gain Control Again" when he was only 25. It's refreshing that there ain't a whiff of self pity on any of these seven, unabridged discs. A good 20 years after his commercial ultimates in music, Crowell successfully claims another realm.
Volume 34/Number 100
February 9, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record
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