UNDER THE PSYCAMORE/I: These Swedish youngsters love David Lynch, Yes, Tool and some of those math metal bands that were on ROIR in the early days and the two of them bring the whole things forward to the 10s for today's kids with a hankering for yesterday's prog sound, no matter how many sources it gets sprung from. Not headache music but nothing prog parents will remember from back in the day and it looks like those parents'll never get a break. This is what it is to be young and want to push the boundaries in a bleak world.
TORBEN WALDORFF/Wah-Wah: Ditching the sax in his band sound, the jazz guitarist steps more into the center on this outing and after a start that makes you think this set is going someplace else, Waldorff ups his game and delivers a lightly left of center release for ears that like their guitar with some pepper. Not a mainstream set, the music is challenging but not work to listen to. A pretty safe bet for those that don't like it too easy.
JASON ROBINSON/Tiresian Symmetry: Keeping it downtown and keeping it based in Greek mythology once again, Robinson honks his sax in the impressionistic musical telling of a blind, hermaphrodite prophet that really had his hands full in mythical, ancient Greece. Well that's a mouthful of a different amount. Surrounded by a bunch of like minded downtown noise makers that love the freedom that comes with no boundaries, they kick it out in true arts council fashion. Ditching his day job in music studies for a few minutes, Robinson takes the vibe back to the sixties when anything could happen.
ELLEN ROBINSON/Don't Wait Too Long: Simply a straight ahead, straight up live vocal session from a jazz singer that delivers it pure, not needing to drape on any extra special sauce to dilute the taste. A nice mix of standards and originals from various periods and writers that she manages to weave into a seamless whole, this is a real treat for the jazz vocal fan looking for a pro that can hold the core all by herself. Right in the pocket throughout.
JOHANNES LINSTEAD/Tales of a Gypsy: The Spanish guitar ace does it again. Instrumental world beat with flamenco flourishes, this is great music for any kind of listening or activity, including just sitting back and enjoying it. C'mon, he does have a yoga background---he knows there's nothing wrong with sitting back and letting the world go by---and this is stuff to do it to. Lovely work by a contemporary master that's yet to play us a false note in the whole of his canon. Killer stuff.
PAZ DEL CASTILLO/Eleven Drops: A pillar of the Spanish piano community, Del Castillo is still in the rare delicacy stage over here despite having a new age session produced by Suzanne Ciani. Expert at the kind of playing that makes it look deceptively simple, her music, inspired by nature and water, is the right in the pocket new age/NAC solo piano music that inspires pretenders to go out and do a bad job. Lovely stuff that any instrumental/solo piano fan will just love. Made of fibers that are delicate but strong, one listen will make you a fan. Well done.
BOB SZAJNER TRIAD/Down Beatrice Street: Sitting locked away since being recorded in 1978, Szajner unleashes these hard bop Detroit sides that have aged well as they were marinating in boxes in the garage. Not mainstream, not radical, just solid playing from a cat that got the bug at a young age but wandered off the reservation too soon before finally finding his way back many years later. Well worth checking out. This stuff is improv in it's purist state that feels too sure fingered not have been planned. Quite the interesting juxtaposition.
DANNY GREEN/A Thousand Ways Home: A jazz piano man that loves Latin jazz struts his stuff nicely here. And if you don't hear the Miles influence in his music transformed from alloy to ivory, you aren't listening. Simply a cat that knows his stuff and is certainly going places, this set shows that his high water mark debut set was no isolated occurrence. A tasty, dazzling set loaded with quiet fire pyrotechnics that just keeps bringing it and delivering the goods. Wonderful stuff you have to check out.
Volume 35/Number 343
September 28, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record
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