BLACK SWAN SOUNDS
ECCODEK/Singing In Tongues: When you think of electroAfrica, you think of, Canada? You better. This sonically well traveled Canuck hooks up with a singer from Mali, brings the volts and the sparks really fly. A hot, hard hitting set that sounds like Africa as it skips over from having no phones to getting cel towers, this is smoking party music for party people. A solid must hear for millennials that don't know anything about boundaries or time zones, this'll get you waving your hands in the air like you just don't care. Grampa would call this a real dilly of a pickle, you can call it hot as a mofo!. Killer stuff.
BROOKLYN JAZZ UNDERGROUND
ANNE METTE IVERSENS' DOUBLE LIFE/So Many Roads: This time out, Iversen makes a personal statement and it finds her swinging for the arts council fences. Swinging within it's own margins, there's loads of downtown talent on board here, and it's all going toward pushing chamber music boundaries in a way that might not be every one's cup of tea. Highly and wildly creative, this set exists in it's own Sunday afternoon, high brow time zone. If you like it arty, she's out to be the art chick pin-up girl for the intellectual set.
DYLAN CHAMPAGNE & the Lost Explorers/The Bones EP: Leonard Cohen meets Lou Reed in a punk rock future. They've seen it and it's murder. Loud and dark, pissed off college kids have something that sounds like they feel.
JOHN ELLIS & ANDY BRAGEN/Mobro: How arts council do you like your jazz? I think this sax man is Carla Bley's grandson or something. A sax man and a librettist get together with a grant from the Copland Foundation and do a fully composed work about a New York garbage scow that dusted up quite a tussle in 1987. Their work is a commentary on our plight with garbage. And it all sounds like something Bley would have done when she wasn't working on liberation music and tong funerals. Actually, Carla Bley nostalgia is a good thing, even if the original is still readily accessible, but it would be nice if the young ‘uns could focus their creativity on her more accessible, later side. Soon come?
ORRIN EVANS' CAPTAIN BLACK BIG BAND/Mother's Touch: Right from the opening, this feels like a classic big band set. He might be a piano man, but he's got the arranger's chops of instrumentalists from other axes from the last 50 years of greats. Starting out by sort of taking it to church, Evans and his vast collection of players knock it right out of the park. Brimming over and dripping with great talent, it might be impractical to take this on the road these days, but any corporations that want to walk it like they talk it could at least trot them out during festival season with some sponsorship. Utterly great listening that will sorely remind you how they don't make them like this anymore----and they should. Hats off to Evans for his wonderful originals and wonderful originality.
NAMASTE/Healing: A solidly tracked label sampler that calls attention to tracks from various albums that focus on music to bring peace to bring healing, it's a nice trip through the body as well as the label's back pages from the last ten years into the present. A sure bet to give your massage therapist to freshen up her music shelf, it's anything but hippy dippy and sure to make an hour fly by all too quickly. Check it out.
FELIPE SALLES/Ugandan Suite: Mixing jazz and Africa is nothing new, but specifically using Ugandan spice is something new, well, unless you're Idi Amin, but then we aren't talking about jazz. The sax man knows of which he plays and this is a fun jazz set with that something extra that makes you really pay attention instead of just using it for pleasant background sounds. Inspired a 2011 grant (and it doesn't sound like arts council music), it's vibe and undercurrent are contemporary and hip. A well done set throughout that really hits it out of the park with a smoking, but low key, fire. Well done.
ELLIOT SHARP'S TERRAPLANE/4AM Always: A malcontent with 30 years and 85 albums worth of standing makes the craziest album of his career and it sounds like he could teach the young and dissatisfied a thing or two. With industrial, Texas blues guitar, pissed off civil rights jazz/blues lyrics with a suitable vocalist for the vibe, and an other worldly vibe that makes you think they're pissed off on Mars as well, Sharp and his troupe have an uncatagorizable masterpiece of outsider music on their hands. If you're stuck in traffic and don't think lite jazz is what you need, this baby will blow open your ears and the ears of those in cars around you. This is music you jog to the day after you get downsized. I never knew heated, pissed offedness could be done so well with such low decibels. Whew! If you aren't a top 40 person, you will dig this the most. Hot stuff.
Volume 38/Number 169
April 18, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record
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