DEBBIE BOND & the Tru Dats/That Thing Called Love: Originally intended as a live recording for broadcast, Bond and the gang found the session rolling with such a mighty groove that it had to be captured for posterity. Right from the start of this date, you can feel what Bond and company were feeling at that moment. A white blues belter from the deep south, Bond has her own special sauce all over this proceeding making it different that what you'd expect from the usual guitar slinging blues momma. Able to caress and seduce as well as steamroller over you, this is the kind of set that raises the career bar and makes everyone take note. Hot stuff throughout.
SHAWN MAXWELL'S ALLIANCE: A progressive big band with a sense of humor about itself? Yum. One of the many facets to Maxwell's jazz self, this is an off shoot of an offshoot of his that has taken flight on it's own. With the kind of vibe that makes it feel like a domestic travelogue through a lot of jazz back alleys, this is sitting down jazz that isn't for eggheads or work to listen to. Of course, if you ever had a taste for Zappa's instrumental side, this should seem like a welcome post card from home. An out of the ordinary set that knows how to color outside the lines in just the right way. Check it out.
GEORGIA FLOOD: Someone was just bitching that law schools are turning out so many graduates that there's no jobs for that a lot of otherwise good young lawyers are forced to go straight into the marketplace with no mentoring hipping them to the tricks of the trade. Georgia Flood seem like a musical version of said young lawyer. Freshly out of school, this crew has their musical heroes and have done the equivalent their book learning for their art, but these kids really need a mentor to dry them behind the ears. Dropping right into the classic blues rock power trio format that other kids born in the 90s would find positively pre-historic, think of how cool it would be if they could work with Mike Finnegan over Skype to get those finishing touches that would move this to great. As it is, this is an auspicious debut that any boogie recidivist will have a great time with as we see that the killer bar band will never die.
ANNIKA CHAMBERS/Making My Mark: I can understand how an 8 year hitch in the Army with stops in Iraq can lead you to wanting to be a blues singer upon discharge. From Houston she came and Chambers brings her big, bold, brassy attitude to her brand of blues/soul R&B keeping the pros backing her up on their toes. A modern take on classic southern soul, it feels like Chambers is gong to be one of the lucky ones that gets to follow her dreams all the way to the end of the rainbow. Hot stuff.
ON THE ONE
SCOTT WILSON & STARK RAVING/Kackle Jackle: The prejudice is still with us. When you get an indie record this cool, you think something has to be wrong. Nothing's wrong. The EVI/trumpeter knows how to gather a bunch of solid pros around him and lead on the natch. Funky, contemporary jazz that just smokes and sizzles as it plays, it always keeps you guessing, in a good way, and demands your attention so mightily you would never mistake this for biz-jazz. Genre bending with gleeful abandon, it's a today record loaded with the spirit of jazz from a century ago. Killer stuff throughout that grabs hold and doesn't let go.
STEVE FIDYK/Heads Up: As much as we really love a real original that knows how to work an original, we have a soft spot for leaders that can take a chestnut and put a whole new spin on it, much like Fidyk, Stafford, Warfield and company do here on "I Can See Clearly Now" as well as several others. Original, creative and somewhat visionary, Fidyk has loads of live and recorded flying time to bring to this session making a seamless set from start to finish of pure, contemporary jazz that's sure to open your ears. Whether speeding it up and swinging or slowing it down to give every one a breather, Fidyk never gets complacent. Just when you think this is going to be a set of TV show big band, whoomp, there it isn't. A really solid set for the jazzbo looking for a good time.
RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO
ROBERT KNOTT/Robert B. Parker's Bull River (read by Rex Linn): There's artistic continuity here in keeping Parker's cowboy series alive and well. Several of the talents on board here have worked on Parker's cowboy series before so the touch and feel is in place. Knott handles the customary Parkerian twists and turns in fine fashion laving a trail of McGuffins along this trail. A highly satisfying oater, I'm sure Parker is smiling down upon this outing.
Volume 38/Number 81
January 21, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record
Did you know we dig you linking to us? Go ahead. It's fun and easy. Want to make sure your link opens to your review? See those dates on the side of the page? Click on the one that relates to the page you want. That page's permalink will open in the browser window. Just cut and paste from there and we're off to the races.
Tossing a doubloon, shilling or sheckle in the Paypal tip jar is not only very appreciated but helps keep this site happy and well fed.
FTC Blogger Disclosure: Hold on, we're working on something that doesn't sound lame.