JAKE LEAR/Diamonds & Stones: Playing scorching lead guitar in a white boy blues power trio may not get you the chicks the way it used to, especially if you have to be of a certain age to make it sound authentic, but it will get you the admiration of genre geeks that aren't into "Star Wars". Keeping it real and original while tipping the cap to forefathers like Junior Wells, John Lee Hooker and loads of west side players getting lost to time, this transplanted to Memphis cat knows his post-industrial migration blues moves like a champ and a pro and anyone that's punched a clock instead of a keyboard will relate. High octane stuff neo-trad blues fans will love.
PAUL WINTER SEXTET/Count Me In 1962-63: It's one thing to know Paul Winter has been around forever but this 50th anni collection of released and unreleased material outlines the difference between knowing it and KNOWING it. A fresh faced lad just out of Northwestern, Winter landed a deal with Columbia under the aegis of John Hammond and brought along his pals Warren Bernhardt, Richard Evans, Chuck Israels among others that we didn't KNOW were around back when the earth was cooling. He was hanging out with Denny Zeitlin as well, but Zeitlin already had his Miles Davis stripes so we know he was there when psychiatry was invented. (He wasn't in San Francisco yet because Lewis and Clark hadn't discovered it yet). Meanwhile, before Winter was running with the wolves and examining nature, long before it was hip, he was a bebopper! This collection licenses the original Columbia sides and adds a White House command performance for the Kennedys because he was the Kennedy's fave jazzbo. They even hooked him and the crew up with the State Department for world tours. (You thought he was just some old hippie). Disillusioned by the end of Camelot, the band broke up and the rest is history. Cutting his own path through the wilderness hasn't hurt Winter at all, but it's interesting to hear when might have been if the course of human events didn't throw one of it's unexpected monkey wrenches into the works. Of particular note to the young jazzbo out there, this doesn't sound like old man jazz a bit and the new mastering shows how much Hammond cared about his new find as what's brought out in the tape shines mightily. The more time that passes, the more there is to check out and the more that gets forgotten. Thanks for the trip through your back pages, Paul. You were always a gasser.
JOEY STUCKEY/Mixture: For a cat that started out in classical guitar, he's turned into a riffing shredder that can choogle along the lines of anyone from Frank Zappa to Al diMeola. With the heart of a commercial jazzbo, Stuckey is immersed in a musical lifestyle that appears to let his work become his play and gives back the enjoyment of the freedom it gives him. Not limiting himself, he revels in showing off his versatility to the point where it feels like this is a cool radio station you tripped over by accident and are glad. Heady stuff guitar geeks will love.
FADO EM SI BEMOL/QB: Ok gringos, this is Portuguese music, the band's name should tip you off to that. However, we won't deduct too many points from your score if you go off thinking this is some chanson or cabaret stuff. It doesn't sound like a lot of the fado that reaches our ears and if you are not an aficionado and not willing to give up your tourist status, that could be a very interesting change of pace. A delightful record to have handy when cocktails for two on the terrace are in order, this is one of those classy, smart, up market records that's fun to hear and doesn't require you to have a Ph.D. in world beat to enjoy. Don't ask us why, but it works and we dig it.
Volume 36/Number 4
November 4, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record
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