DIANE MONROE-TONY MICELI/Alone Together: And before you turn up your nose at a violin/vibe date just consider, these two have been playing together in Philly for over 30 years and have developed the simpatico to make them sound like a lot with just a little. With a dizzily breathtaking diverse set card at their finger tips, this sounds nothing like chamber jazz or hotel tea time music. With tunes from Ralph Towner to the "Star Trek" theme in play here, it's a lock that you're sure to be enchanted by the mastery and musical wit and whimsy on display here. By all means check it out.
HARVEY WAINAPEL/Amigos Brasileiros V. 2: In which we find another sax playing gringo smitten with all things Brazil. Recording on his own nickel, Wainapel doesn't have to worry about what Creed Taylor or anyone else is thinking and can dig deep pursuing his passion and muse with fervor. Recorded all over Brazil with a bunch of top cats from all jazzbo musical dimensions, Wainapel had such a good time that he's now gearing up for V. 3. A great session for when your ears are ready for more than a sampler or a commercial confection, this is the proverbial real music for real musos. You don't even have to be a snob or a connoisseur to dive in freely, this is great music for everybody. Check it out.
BILLY JOE SHAVER/Long in the Tooth: The conventional wisdom is that this is the best Billy Joe record ever. Even if he admits he can't turn phrases like the classics in classics like "Black Rose", Shaver not being the man he used to be still finds the grizzled, weathered, wizened 75 year old more man than most. If this seems like his best record ever, it's because this is probably the first one that's all Billy Joe. Over the last 40 years, you'd think his producers and handlers would have realized that you can't tell someone that hitch hiked cross country with Townes Van Zandt what to do. God damn amighty, if the greatest hillbilly poet of his generation (he is about 15 years younger than Hank Williams Sr. would have been) can turn out work like this at 75, get out of his way and let him do some more. Hell, hoss, why don'tcha live forever while you're at it? While Jethro Bodine was double naught spying on Uncle Jed's money, Shaver was losing his fingers at the saw mill. Of course, Shaver had an eighth grade education compared to Jethro's sixth grade graduation and I guess that shows us how education trumps money in the long run. It's a mixed up world we live in when Shaver's airplay play ground would be NPR rather than CMT but his is the kind of bedrock this country was built on. Great stuff throughout that mandates your attention.
THE COOKERS/Time and Time Again: I'm pretty sure The Cookers was originally intended to be a one off to let some Alta Cockas have another well deserved go at it but it's nice to see the fans and the check writers have pushed to make this a regular happening. A bunch of all stars with a little gray hair show the young ‘uns how it's done once again as they claim turf as a super band that continues to kick it out in high style. With combined experience that takes them across a wide spectrum of jazz, all put into play here, this was the jazz you were digging when you were trying to get your young teeth into Miles when he was exploring the cosmos. Killer stuff throughout.
PSYCHO SISTERS/Up on the Chair, Beatrice: It might sound like once a Bangle, always a Bangle, but in true alt fashion, this is the record Vicki Peterson and Susan Cowsill would have made 22 years ago when they first started performing together before grunge co-opted alt. pop. To complete the circle, they chose songs they were working on back in the day to make up their long delayed, recently recorded debut. With the intention of making this sound like it was recorded back in the day, this should open jaded boomer ears quite nicely since it's also tempered with the singers tours of duty in alt.country, alt.pop and other outside the lines things they've done over the years. And to top it all off, they sound like they did 22 years ago. Fun stuff that really hits the nail on the head.
SAULO DUARTE E A UNIDADE/Quente: Time to add some North Brazil party music to your play list. This bunch takes the wheel into their own hands for their second album adding some afro pop and reggae vibes to the mix keeping the party going strong. With all the hallmarks of Latin jazz that keep you coming back for more in the mix, this bunch has a strong new outing to point to proudly. Even if gringos don't understand the words, they will understand the feelings. Solid stuff that works throughout.
Volume 38/Number 286
August 13, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record
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