ALLAN VACHE/Look To the Sky: Nice mix of classics and standards from across the eras and genres given a fine tootle oodle oo by the ace clarinet man and his pals. Simply a date to show up for if you want some stellar playing from all hands on deck that might move the sound out of Nawlins but keep it jazzy. Tasty stuff for the mainstream groover that wants some stuff with bite.
HOWARD ALDEN/I Remember Django: When Barney Kessel's widow says you're the guitarist that's the keeper of the Reinhardt flame and you cast a long enough shadow being Sean Penn's guitar stand in 12 years ago to make a side career out of the Reinhardt penumbra, let no man accuse you of being a guitarist taking the easy way out. Alden and his pals evoke a time and place without being cheesy and deliver an old timey sounding date that also sounds right in the moment. Old time party music may have morphed into sitting down jazz but it sounds great here for any of your favored listening purposes. Well done.
DAVID LOPATO/Many Moons: Solo piano from a jazzbo that knows his way around grabbing an arts council grant. When he plays, he keeps his performances with those on the left side of the ledger. This set is kind of a resume piece but progressive jazz piano fans that want to get inside the music with having to go to a church basement to hear it will find this something to really take comfort with.
EDDIE MENDENHALL/Cosine Meets Tangent: A piano man with a classic jazzbo's soul delivers a snappy debut with some solid players in tow bringing a spark to everything they touch. Sounding like some one that grew up eating Prestige sessions for breakfast, Mendenhall swings with precision and soul making this a contemporary good time. Solid work throughout makes this a set not to be missed.
GEOFF BERNER/Victory Party: Alt.klezmer? Hang around long enough you'll hear everything. Jewish punk that makes a case for the new Jewish sentiment coming up from the streets---not the suburbs. This sure as hell isn't wedding party music. Wild stuff for young yids raised on psych out music.
WOOF/Percy Grainger-Tuneful Percussion: Let's say your interest in ‘classical' percussion started with Evelyn Glennie. Now it's time to move back a century with these revivalists and peek inside the notebooks of Percy Grainer who was exploring the possibilities of percussion back in the olden days. These kids love banging on things, but not to give you a headache. A completely charming recording, it's twee Britishness will go well in the background of your discussion group meeting about "King's Speech". Delightfully offbeat fun stuff that will really catch you unawares.
NICHOLAS URIE/My Garden: My goodness, the days they run away like wild horses over the hill. Was it really that long ago that Bukowski was alive and we were pissing off professors by toting around original Black Sparrow copies of the works of Charles Bukowski? Avant big band cats melds the music of his head with the Buk writ making the world safe for hipsters of a new generation, but not so for anyone else. He spoke from the 70s but this is almost a uniquely 50s experience. If you want to dig deeper into the Buk writ, give up on "Barfly" and take this out for spin, Chinaski.
DELFEAYO MARSALIS/Sweet Thunder: So, you give one of those other Marsalis brothers an NEA award, let him reimage Ellington's tribute to Shakespeare and let all the hippest contemporary jazzbo cats answer the call to show up at this session and what to you get? A stone cold moth**f**ker (stars placed in word so we can get picked up by Huffington Post and get some of that AOL booty!!!) Bringing the original forward with cats that keep true to the vibe but play for contemporary ears, this is the new take on old man jazz that has earned it's timeless status but has to swim against the tide like everything else lately. Yes, to celebrate Ellington's 112th birthday we get something other than a lite version of "Take the A Train". God forbid stuff like this ever having to become arts council music----that would take the sex and sass out of it. Killer stuff.
Volume 34/Number 103
February 12, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record
Did you know that in addition to tossing something in the tip jar, by clicking through us to get to Amazon for your purchases helps support this site? Much obliged.
Did you know we dig you linking to us? Go ahead. It's fun and easy. Want to make sure your link opens to your review? See those dates on the side of the page? Click on the one that relates to the page you want. That page's permalink will open in the browser window. Just cut and paste from there and we're off to the races.
FTC Blogger Disclosure: Hold on, we're working on something that doesn't sound lame.