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NEWPOLI/Tempo Antico: This group sounds like an Italian Pentangle. Digging their roots in Italian folk music, they wanted to do something that didn't sound like tourist music. So, they found their folk music in the 1500s. And they didn't want it to be dusty so they juiced it up with enough brio to make it one, spicy meatball. You won't confuse this with the soundtrack of the next period inspired New York mob movie, this is a whole nother animal. Just the thing you are looking for when you want some indigenous Italian music that doesn't sound like it came from a stock music library. This is another wonderful stop on the grand, musical world tour.

THE MATTHEW FINCK JONATHAN BALL PROJECT/It's Not That Far: A nice multi generational crew that knows it's jazz from various quadrants comes together again for a tasty trip through their songbooks. Cool modern jazz throughout, this sounds as close to a smoky New York club as you can get without actually being there. Ball's tenor sax leads like a beacon. This opens the ears nicely.

KANJI OHTA & THE JAZZ FAMILY featuring Jimmy Heath/Our Jazz Family: An awful lot of our older jazz friends find late in life second homes in the Far East where they are welcomed and revered and given the chance to play their original jazz without compromise---and that's the vibe running through this concert that features Jimmy Heath as a guest. He might not be breaking a sweat here, but you really want to hear him do what he does best. The Japanese crew on display here show that special knack for capturing American jazz of the 50s and 60s giving us a sweet club take that's been hiding in the vaults for too long before it's recent escape. Well done throughout and right up the alley of anyone that loves the classic sound.

PETE ANDERSON/Birds Above Guitarland: For a guy that's had a hand in selling a jillion records and introducing a bunch of important artists, Anderson seems to display a full on who gives a fuck attitude on his solo works. With an all original program of telecaster driven, white boy blues, this stuff sounds so dyed in the wool, it doesn't seem possible that you haven't heard any of this compelling stuff before. If you've dig any of the classic, white boy guitar slinging bluesters, this is right up your alley. It almost feels like it comes with it's own sweat and booze. Get on board.

RIMBOMBANTE/Maria Has lost Her Soul: Here's some killer slinky, smoky world jazz with a Cuban core and soul that sounds like it came from the live sex shows Johnny Ola was checking out in "Godfather II". Burning over a slow, low fire that somehow manages to produce sweat when you don't realize it, there's the kind of vibe here that just grabs gringos and won't let go with it's out of the ordinary vibe. There's plenty of sonic adventure going on here to keep your ears well satisfied and distracted at the same time. Check it out.

B'SHNORKESTRA/Go to Orange: At first blush, I thought this was some kind of goof on Bjorkestra. Not so. Funded via Kickstarter, it's interesting to see there's enough interest out there in netland in the left side of the arts ledger to support the efforts of this trumpet playing whiz that seems like an art chick but has the chops to sail way beyond that. While her program certainly is art jazz, it's the kind of stuff that has a beginning, middle and end and a stylish set of moves that keep things moving. Leading a full sized jazz orchestra, it's heartening to see the public supporting the kind of records record companies used to make out of a sense of obligation---up to a point. This is a lovely, creative date that never falls into the trap of creative of the sake of it. Well done.

COLORADO CONSERVATORY FOR THE JAZZ ARTS/Hang Time: And here's another reason why it pays to support the arts and encourage the kids. This set of all originals by a bunch of tyros that can play kicks off sounding like something you would find in a box of late 50s Blue Note classics. No homage here. These kids know this vibe and love it. Not retro, not hipster, this is just killer playing right in the pocket that gives a classic sound a great and welcome second wind. Hot stuff.

ZANSA/Djansa: High octane party music from the Ivory Coast by way of North Carolina, this set merges all your fave Afro-Caribe party sounds into such a kitchen sink mix that the band's name even means ‘blend'. With enough heat for the feet to get even the most deadest lardass out of his seat, this set could sound like equatorial sunshine no matter what time of year. Put it on and let the goods times roll in mighty fashion.

Volume 37/Number 288
August 16 , 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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