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CORY WONG/Quartet Quintet: A young jazz guitarist with a lot to say, he comes out of the box with an ambitious double cd that features one disc quartet, one disc quintet, just like the title says. The difference between the two discs is more than the addition of an extra set of hands. Disc one is the more straight ahead side of Wong, disc two is his more fusion/jazz-rock side. Both sides of this coin acquit him in fine style. Any contemporary jazzbo looking for something new and worth while should make this a stopping point of the quest. Hot stuff from a cat that doesn't have to fret when he's around a fretboard. Well done--and talk about an impressive debut from a youngblood!

CHARLES COMPO/Foolish Pleasure: A funky sax man that has worked with a wide range of divas from Martha Reeves to Christina Aguilera, and a bunch in between over the last 20 years, he finds this to be a good time to set out and show off his multi instrumental prowess as well as his funkified chops. With a signature sound that you will recognize as an original right out of the box, Compo cumulatively bowls you over which makes for a much nicer ride than getting hit with a runaway train. Was that the sound of some Courvoisier opening? Check it out.

MARC COPLAND/Some More Love Songs: Easy going piano trio work on a bunch of love songs with several that not only haven't been beaten to death but the arrangements on the others are off the beaten path. C'mon, do you associate Ron Carter with love songs? Whether hitting some classic Joni Mitchell that never gets a proper dusting off or dipping a toe in the usual Sinatra waters, Copland and his pals are on the money with something different that grabs you. A tasty work out throughout that burns with a special, low key fire and stays at a warm, even keel. A well done set that is easy to enjoy.

BILL CARROTHERS/Family Life: Solo impressions on almost all originals giving snapshots of family life around the Carrothers household. In the main, it seems like a pretty calm, laid back place where creativity has the room to grow and flourish. A sitting down set all the way, this is a right on companion for when you need some music for the quiet times, sitting up style.

DAN DeCHELLIS TRIO/My Age of Anxiety: A heavy weight improvising jazz piano man, his day job as a teacher allow him the luxury of making challenging music that doesn't fit into any easy pigeon holes. To the left of left leaning ECM dates, DeChellis and his crew make deceptively simply sounds that are actually deceptive on several levels, and you might always be guessing as to what's really going on here. A sure bet to make the egghead top ten list, this is sitting down jazz with angles and switchbacks that won't leave you in dead ends but leave you far from where you started out.

DAVID CACERES: A Texas sax man makes an auspicious session capturing the attention of Matt Pierson in the producers chair and a bunch of first call New York jazzbos rounding out the sound. Sounding every inch like the kind of major label record this should have been, Caceres opens up with some jazz noir that grabs you right out of the box. A singer as well, he brings a lot to the table. A loaded set of dice throughout, this set has so much on the ball you won't know where to start, other than at the obvious beginning. Solid throughout.

TIM CAREY/Room 114: Well traveled Seattle bass ace steps out on his own with a set that's a cousin of the contemporary cool school but turns it up a bit making it stand out. A solid sitting down session, this set makes a good case for thinking man's jazz as it's more than background music---but it seems to instinctively know when to lay out. A gumbo of a lot of your fave styles, each taste maintains it's own integrity and it never sounds gray or washed out along the way. A new winner well worth checking out.

SYLVIA HEROLD & The Rhythm Bugs/The Spider and the Fly: Tasty bit of nostalgia from a guitar playing vocalist that enjoys some old timey hokum, jazz and more. When it's done right, it works. Drawing inspiration from a bunch of acts you never heard of even if they were hot stuff in their day, Herold and her crew are having a good time here and it's infectious. You don't have to be on social security to enjoy this, just be someone with a taste for adventuring across the buffet on the musical palette. Well done.

Volume 35/Number 216
May 25, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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