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SCOTT FIELDS FEARTET/Kintsugi: For people that like dissonance in their jazz/classical sounds, this four piece string crew sounds like they are ready to roll off the rails at a moments notice. As much 80s No Wave as anything else, betcha this is what Hendrix would have sounded like if he lived and wound up recording for Masterworks. This is what happens when a white guy in his mid 50s started out in Chicago hanging out with AACM before growing up and moving to Germany. Crazy stuff for those that appreciate right on, improvised, free jazz

ED REED/I'm a Shy Guy: He might not have made his recording debut until pushing 80 but Reed is no longer a novelty act loaded with good intentions. Rolling the clock back 70 years to when he was first bowled over by Nat Cole, Reed salutes Cole's trio repertoire of the 40s (with one exception) putting his own stamp on the proceedings while showing his affection and debt to Cole and the material. With a solid crew behind him that knows how to let the star shine, this is dandy jazz vocal date that delivers sophistication and smarts by the truck load. In the pocket throughout, Reed might have been a long time coming but he sounds like he's not planning to go anywhere else any time too soon. Check it out.

JOHN ROUCCO AN D ADRIAN MEARS MEET THE WURZBURG PHILHARMONIC: I'll bet you anything you haven't heard anything like this is quite a while. A throwback to when listening music was in flower and you didn't have to have footnotes to enjoy arty music, this harkens back to when jazzbos faced off against orchestras and the two entities brought out the majesty in both. A listening date throughout, this is elegant, moving music that remains full blooded and lively. We'd almost call this contemporary instrumental music but it really is so much more. Jazz and orchestra, not a new or novel concept, but this time around, it's worked properly to the max and this is one killer date. Quite the audio trip that's well worth taking.

BUNDESJAZZORCHESTER/25: The BJO is getting ready to celebrate it's 25th anniversary and 50th recording so the ramp up here is a double album celebrating their 49th release showing differtn sides of the crew. Soemthing we need to learn more about here, this jazz orchestra is a feeder to the German jazz scene. With a requitement that no players can be older than 24, this bunch is a real proving ground for those that need to get hot or go home. For such a diverse young bunch, they know how to hit it out of the park, big band style. Loaded with names you'll be hearing about in years to come, this is a smart move for the uber hipster jazzbo to check out to get bragging rights for knowing about these hot, young cats when they were still hungry. A wild ride that can easily stand next to anything by established stars, this kids really cook. Firs tclass stuff that'll really grab your admiration.

JOCHEN BALDES & SUBNODER/Here: There's modern elements here to throw you off the trail, but otherwise, this set could be at home on any of the 50s jazz labels that were going farther out than Blue Note and Verve but not going off the deep end in their travels. A floating feast of a group led by a sax man that likes to take chances in the course of turning this into one of the longest running crews in Swiss jazz, it's low key fun music that makes you smile. Serious about being jazzbos to the core, they may be light hearted but they are serious as a heart attack. The current line up has really got their stuff together and any daddio hipster could easily mistake this for the real 50s deal. Right on throughout.

CHRIS PARKER TRIO: The drummer came from Chicago and went on to play with Miles and everyone else playing every kind of jazz. Here we find him with a humbly titled album as part of a classically styled piano trio that serves up sophisticated, sitting down adult jazz that won't put you to sleep or have you numbly reaching for another cocktail. This crew plays with a precision and style that keeps things lively and moving. Easily a set whose crispness and buoyancy will keep you locked in from start to finish. Hot stuff that really works.

CHAISE LOUNGE/Dot Dot Dot: Not only does this crew just keep getting cooler each time out, the retro times have caught up to them as this is so in the "Mad Men" pocket that it's impossible to figure out which end of the retro neuvo spectrum is which. A throwback to groovy jazz firing up the suburbs, everyone here is so on the money that it's mind blowing. Charlie Barnett writes great stuff. Marilyn Older has a total knack for these vocals. The rest of the crew that first turned up for a one off lark is right in step with the whole thing. Jaded tastes that just need to come flying out of the box with some fun will really appreciate this set, the group's sixth outing that really moves them into the gold circle. Offbeat, sly and solidly performed, this set will reside on any hip adults hit parade for quite some time. Hot stuff throughout.

DIANE HUBKA/West Coast Strings: The esteemed New York jazzbo packs her golden voice and seven string guitar and heads west for a guitar summit set where she squares off with some of the top guitar players around delivering the kind of set that is loaded with the kind of playing you get when people at the top of their game are playing because they want to. The kind of set that will further and enhance Hubka's reach and reputation, this set is simple, direct and totally mind blowing. A winner throughout, there might not be a lot of obvious pyrotechnics here but jazz vocal rarely comes any hotter than this.

Volume 37/Number 324
September 21, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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