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SCOTT HAMILTON-ROSSANO SPORTIELLO/Midnight at Nola's Penthouse: A piano/sax teaming by two burners who know their stuff so well, they don't have to show off. Just the two of them, in a mellow after hours mode that's just a touch too light to be film noir music but certainly captures the sound of rain on the roof at three in the morning, a single candle, a single glass but no melancholia. When you want some real music by a pair of real players, this is the place. Killer stuff.

ELIZABETH WOODBURY KASIUS & HEARD/Karibu: She approaches the same world/jazz/classical turf as Paul Winter but comes at it from a different angle imbuing it with a smooth jazz edge that gives it more of an across the board yupscale feel. She might have paid a different set of dues but her passion for the form will bring a lot of new listeners into the tent on the whole. A groovy, easy going set that works wonders for tired ears.

LISA LINDSLEY/Every Time We Say Goodbye: The sound of a piano, bass and an evocative blonde thrush is a sound that never gets old when done right. Jazz singer Lindsley and her well traveled compadres can knock off sweet versions the classics in a few takes and be spot on with a cabaret performance that'll bring you back for more, often. Solid little gem that has all the right sparkle in all the right facets.

MARY JENSON/Beyond: Her business career and raising youngsters seems to be getting smaller in Jenson's rear view mirror with every successive outing. Widening the lens to make more of an art recording, Jenson has enlisted some real hitters to back her up and make this an ear opening experience. Often hinging on lite head music, this is some performance work, some art, some loft jazz and a nice mix of all of it. You can almost hear this being the genesis of divorcee jazz as cutting loose vibes run throughout it. Not exactly girl friend music but a pretty wild ride anyone with open ears will dig.

MICHAEL FEINBERG/With Many Hands: If Prestige were a young, forward thinking label recording today, this might be some of what you'd be hearing. A new generation of young lions, all raised well into pomo, find jazz as their métier, and are already skilled in delivering mature, thoughtful performances. Certainly squarely in the range of sitting down jazz, the oldest cat here is 24 and good things are up all the players on board sleeves. This might easily be a look at the face of the future of jazz and it's well worth any serious jazzbo checking out.

BENJAMIN DRAZIN/Inner Flights: Here's a sax man that just drips New York out of his ax and it's the kind of angular playing that fuses commercial and progressive easily without letting too much of either get into his mix. A solid player that shows he knows his stuff over and over, this is a happening, straight ahead jazzbo date that'll be welcomed by anyone that wants a solid dose of solid playing. It's taken a while to see his solo debut, but the aging process just added to the flavor. Well done.

KIP BOARDMAN/Long Weight: Pomo folkie with a lineage that runs from Son Volt through Watson Twins bringing his lo fi shoe gaze to college dorms everywhere. He's got he pen that could take him to the top but he feels a comfort zone in being a cult hero and delivers to the cult accordingly.

JOAO LENCASTRE/Sound It Out: If you like improvising jazzbos that play Coldplay, this is the next stop on your itinerary. Solid cats that know their stuff, they choose to play outside the lines and know how to get close to the edge without falling over it. Certainly a set tailored to progressive ears, the left leaning will understand from the git go.

Volume 34/Number 124
March 5, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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