DANA LANDRY TRIO/Memphis Skyline: A jazz trio celebration of a handful of the great jazzbos to spring from Memphis, the collection hangs together as a unified whole no matter how they skip around between acts and styles. Landry at the core on piano has an ear for all kinds of jazz and puts that ear to good use. No matter how you slice it, this is smoking jazz piano trio work throughout that you can dig even if you don't know a thing about Frank Strozier, James Williams or any of the others. Hot stuff.
MISSISSIPPI HEAT/Warning Shot: Producer Bob Koester must be about a million years sold by now so you can figure he would know how to deliver an old school, electric blues date but you might not expect him to have the ear toward keeping it contemporary while keeping it real. He could teach the youngbloods a thing or two about staying in the tradition while moving with the times. The bad ass kind of date that knew how to pivot long before the bloviators flogged the concept, there's no music loving audience that can't be touched by this boundaryless blues outing that finds it's seeds in Chicago and the delta but sent it's blossoms everywhere. A hot winner throughout.
HOWARD GLAZER/Looking in the Mirror: An old hippie that never met a blues riff or a guitar he didn't like or couldn't play invites you to stuff your pejoratives up your wazoo as he was recently inducted into the Michigan Blues Hall of Fame, Jerry Garcia hair and all. Celebrating all his recent allocates with a set that starts out with a spark and proceeds to burn down the whole block (this is from Detroit, so, really...what do you expect?) An organic recording mindful of commercial considerations, this is a smoking cooker of electric eclectic white boy blues throughout. It's a rollicking good time sure to keep the roadhouse lights on well past closing. Hot.
DARRELL KATZ & THE JCA ORCHESTRA/Why Do You Ride? Have I become too much of a musical encyclopedia of facts that no one cares about? This third stream jazz date sounds like Zappa's "Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny", with avant garde vocals, from 50 years ago when he was mind ripping Edgar Varese. Add some early 70s Carla Bley and you have a warped trip through the time tunnel by a big band that reads from the left of center. Sunday afternoon arts council jazz all the way.
ANDY WADDELL/Alive: The west coast jazz guitarist's second set is supposed to be loaded with original tunes that represent tough time in his life. Hmmmm. Sounds like pretty damned fine edgy west coast smooth jazz to me. While we can hear it's not exactly cocktails at sunset jazz, it's got teeth and blood and is perfect for when you want some jazz with bite. A snazzy date that works well no matter where you want to draw the line, this is a showcase of a smart guitarist that's here to stay. Hot stuff.
EZRA WEISS SEXTET/Before You Know It (Live in Portland): It's not easy to be a ground breaking, genre pusher but experimentally leaning piano man Weiss keeps his eye on the ball and his crew on message as he tackles his first live recordings seeming to have pulled it off without a net. Bristling with the kind of experimental energy that powered so many 60s jazz classics, there's no dust on Weiss as he seems to be doing just what comes naturally in fine style. If you've got any appreciation of daddio jazz, this is the stuff that's sure to get you grooving. Well done, again.
TETHERBALL/Whimsy: A Nashville young blood that fancies himself a nu Todd Rundgren by way of Spoon, Beck and Phil Dick goes the alt.soundscape/pop route with deconstructed music for deconstructed times. Young and disaffected have a new voice of alienation to help them rebel against the dictates of fashion and conformity. With a touch of 60s Zappa in the mix, there's something here for everyone that doesn't flow with the status quo.
RUNAR HALONEN & TRON SYVERSEN/Voices From Heaven: Time for a little improv relaxation healing music from a new age pro from Norway. Mixing wordless vocals with soundscapes, Syversen produces channeled music that either comes from the heart or the center of space. Not your basic, cheesy noodling stuff that makes you want to tell your massage therapist the cheese is making you violent instead of relaxed, this is solid audio getaway sounds that isn't made to crack the top 40 but is made to keep you from cracking up. Stressed adults know well what I talking about. Recommended if that describes you.
Volume 38/Number 331
September 27, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record
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