OCTOBER GOLD/Bridge of the Sun: Here's a Canadian alt.folk duo that proudly wears it's Leonard Cohen influences on it's sleeve as proudly as it does it's Steven Erikson influences. You might not feel like gargling with razor blades after you play it, but you will feel the introspective thing washing over you. Avoiding all the college kid clichés that can send a set like this riding off the rails, there's something deep and solid brewing here. Well worth checking out by any nu folkie fan.
RON BOUSTEAD/Mosaic: Wonder who's going to fill the Michael Franks void for you since he's getting older every day? Boustead heard your call. An easy vocalist with a light jazz touch, he has the ear for knowing what yuppies want in their's when the day is done but the night hasn't finished. Easy going by a cat that knows how to bring the skills, it's for people that like good music not polluted by the self conscious searching for a hit track.
JAMIE BREIWICK/Spirits: If you wonder if Milwaukee can sound like New York, give the latest by this trumpeter a spin and wonder no more. Sounding like something that could be wafting out of any coffee house/jazz club in the big apple or any of it's close by locales, Breiwick has the soundtrack for black clothes, hipster beards, imported ciggies and art chicks looking for a night out. Atavistic without being recidivist, modern jazz is alive and well in the hands of this jazzbo. Well done.
BILL HOLLIS/Best of: One of the many jazzbos that labored unsung for years, Hollis rubbed elbows with many luminaries but didn't take his own recording seriously until much later in life. Then he had a stroke in 1991 that really out him out of commission. Some true believers took the task on of bring his music out of the dust bins and into the ears. If you have a taste of those piano cats that came up in the 40s in the wake of Cole and others, this trio set will have a lot of charms to work on you. If you're any kind of a hipster, you really want to be able to be conversant with the works of Hollis---your one-upsmanship will be what keeps his legacy alive.
MARACATU NEW YORK/Baque do Brooklyn: Another gringo falls under the spell of indigenous Brazilian music that doesn't often come ashore here and returns the cultural exchange favor by doing his bit to spread the sound far and wide. Carnival music from the back streets, this is nu urban party music for multi culti ears that aren't afraid to go way beyond the 50s exotica legacy. It's helps if your ears are more attuned to drumming as that's the real pulse here, this is a solid win for the arm chair traveler whose ears need their ticket to somewhere new punched pronto. Well done.
DUDUKA DA FONSECA TRIO/New Samba Jazz Directions: With a 50s sounding title, this drummer/leader delves into his back pages to come up with the non-commercial side of Sergio Mendes showing where samba roots and straight ahead jazz can easily and comfortably fit together. With the kind of sound that defines summer jazz with some bite, the cat that came out strong and just keeps getting stronger continues to have it going on. Playing with a youthful vigor that belies that it's been 40 years since he moved to New York, this set is loaded with roots and isn't afraid to take you down some back alleys that helped define the sound as it is. Tasty stuff tailor made for world/jazz ears.
ARTURO O'FARRILL/Final Night at Birdland: The closing night after playing 15 years of Sundays at Birdland finds the younger O'Farrill leading the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra in a program of what else? Filling a big footprint in fine style, ten years after his father's death, Arturo can play his pop's stuff with the best of them. Big band Latin jazz that's loaded with vibes that will take you back to the day, this stuff forces you to get out of your chair even if you don't dance around the room. A wonderful taste of how sweet it all was.
PAUL CARLON/La Rumba is a Lovesome Thing: Since the sax man loves Billy Strayhorn and Latin jazz, he muses just what the Ellington band would have sounded like if they were all born in Havana. Why not? His fertile imagination makes this work. Ellington did get them dancing back n the Cotton Club, didn't he? The result is stuff you know like you never heard. A wildly wonderful set, this is pure high octane throughout with Strayhorn getting a chopped and channeled make over that never would have come together in pomo hands. Killer stuff that is essential to any deck party because it gets the party started and doesn't let it stop. Top shelf throughout.
Volume 37/Number 227
June 16, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record
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