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ALEX SNYDMAN/Fortunate Action: This guitarist turned drummer finally posts his debut outing after a load of building up a résumé and he comes with a pleasing, free form cocktail jazz outing. Riding the wake of the post piano trio sound, this jazzbo wears his drumming passion on his sleeve as the hallmark of this date is that it percolates along. A fine accompaniment for when you're not feeling linear and want something with some easy snazz, this date is just right for those off center summer nights when there's an anything can happen vibe in the air. Check it out.

DUDLEY TAFT/Deep Deep Blue" For anyone that never knew why they didn't get Phish, this cat and Trey Anastasio formed their first band together when they met in prep school. After being bitten by the grunge bug, Taft took a 20 year detour into the Seattle spin cycle and now returns to his arena/flyover rock roots. Mixmastering his various rock influences with his blues influences that have come together over time, this is mash up rock for people with mortgage worries.

JOANNA MOSCA/Let it All Begin: How come Deana Carter never really captured lightening in a bottle again after her initial breakout? Because Bryan White just produced what Carter should have followed up. Rocked up country from a New York girl that straddles other performing disciplines with often stellar results, Mosca lands on the right side of the line that divides commercial country into good or yucky. This is an ep that leaves you wanting more.

YELLOWJACKETS/A Rise in the Road: Is it really a big deal that Russ Ferrante is the only member to have stayed the whole 32 year course of this band and that Jaco's kid is now on bass? Nah. With all the changes the group has gone throughout over the years, it hasn't slowed down their recognition from peers and public a whit. At this stage of the game, this doesn't feel like a big sea change, this record feels like a savory, heaping helping of musical comfort food from a reliable jazz brand. It's too late in the game for them to worry about breaking new ground or caring about what anybody thinks and the playing reflects the joyful abandon that goes with that kind of thinking. Fans old and new won't be disappointed here. Tasty stuff that's sure to bring you back for more helpings.

RAQUEL CEPEDA/I'm Confessin': What a difference 20 years makes. Cepada's debut song stack sounds like it was cribbed mostly from Diana Krall's first few albums. With a few sambas that capture her Venezuelan heritage and the jazzbos on board being from Texas rather than the Big Apple, you almost have a parallel universe Krall album. I'm not saying, I'm just saying, but if Al Schmitt did the mastering here, this could have really gotten weird. A fine album on it's own merits, it's interesting territory for Krall fans to check out. Hell, Cepeda sings in a different register.

PERRY BEEKMAN/So in Love: There seems to be a lot of retro Diana Krall love in the air these days. Beekman leads a jazz trio doing bright, bouncy takes on core Cole Porter classics. This is probably pretty much how Krall would have sounded, except for the singer here being a guy, if she did a Porter album instead of a Nat Cole record. Weird synchronicity, huh? This jazz guitarist takes a delightful meander through territory that's not quite jazz, not quite cabaret but enough of both to please either audience. Standards taken off the beaten path, what a concept. Give it a spin when the need for sophistication is in the air.

EMILY HERRING/Your Mistake: She might look like a disciple of kd lang, but Herring is a good old gal from Texas all the way through. Like Dixie Chicks when they were on their Dale Evans kick, like Asleep at the Wheel when they were hippies doing cosmic American music and like lineages that go back farther than that, this is the distaff sound of honky tonk without any of the regret the times imposed on Kitty Wells. Wild as the west Texas wind, Herring tears it up in fine style, Texas style, and delivers the rouser that'll get your blood flowing. Herring is right in the pocket for continuing the tradition of independent Texas troubadours that do it their own way and plant a flag others salute. Hot stuff throughout.

MAUCHA ADNET & HELIO ALVES/Milagre: In which this duo delivers on what the power of two means. With just voice and piano, we are reminded the Adnet family has too much of concentration of talent and that Alves is a swinging jazzbo that can play anything any way it's requested. A duo can only light so much fireworks but be assured that none of the fireworks in their bag are duds. Keeping the song stack full of recognizable classics, even of they do them up in ways you aren't familiar with, this is a smoking recital that'll keep you rapt throughout. Killer stuff.

Volume 37/Number 176
April 26, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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