TREY GUNN/The Waters They Are Rising: Anyone already familiar with Gunn's dexterities will know how to expect the unexpected here. Novices may not be turned into new fans unless thye have a strong malcontent streak running through them. Of course, anyone that fancies chops first...
ANTONIO ADOLFO/Tema: The always welcome Adolfo, a Brazilian jazz piano cat that you should be as familiar with as you are Sergio Mendes, takes a walk through his own back pages this time around----pages that stretch back 50 years. Setting aside his musical explorations, assignments and variations on themes, this time he shines the light on himself with a new of new recordings that keep the spirit of the originals but show how they've grown and wandered over time. Since we love everything we've heard by him over the years, you can bet we love this too. And we think you will too. A real pro interprets the tunes as only he can do, and he does more than right by himself. A winner throughout.
AIMEE ALLEN/Matter of Time: A snazzy jazz vocalist that somehow finds the nexus between Brazilian and civil rights jazz shows us how some of the 60s divas would have sounded if they'd chilled out on the beaches of Brazil. With some top Brazilian cats in tow and an appreciation for Jobim as well as a sure hand at crafting originals, anyone with a ear open for new jazz vocalists has a real find here. Tasty stuff throughout that seems to hang together no matter how disparate the sources of the material.
BLUES STRAIGHT AHEAD
ANTOINETTE MONTAGUE/World Peace in the Key of Jazz: If you wonder what Burt Bacharach or Rodgers & Hammerstein have to do with civil rights jazz, go back and listen to Curtis Mayfield's intro to his version of "We've Only Just Begun". Nuff said. The apparently jubilee inspired return to civil rights jazz, which has been bubbling under for a while now, really couldn't be more timely. Just remember NIMBYs, whoever is looking to screw over someone else today will be looking to screw you over tomorrow. Montague gets the message out and across with some Flying Dutchman inspired sounds and a wise choice pairing of songs. If this was a time and place you missed, the way Montague cuts across all lines make this a tent all are welcome in if their eyes are open to the future.
KEN GREVES/Night People: Well here's an interesting concept for you---a non-tribute to the centennials of Sinatra, Holiday and Strayhorn. With some of the cuts so deep you have to be an uber fan to know them, Greves is a jazz vocalist with more bite than you usually expect since swing is usually the thing. Greves breathes the rarified air that uber fans crave so much.
JOSH GARRETT BAND/Honey for My Queen: A white boy that says he has the blues, he's got just as much nu honky tonk and Cajun running through him as he does blues. A fine player and an engaging performer, Garrett is all about le bon ton roulette no matter how you slice it. Easily the kind of cat you could see Jimmy Buffett taking under his wing, Garrett has such a winning way about him as he lopes along that you can hear his crooked grin every time it spreads across his face. This is the best party you've been invited to in quite a while.
JEFF RICHMAN/Hotwire: It's fun with fusion time as one of the hottest electric guitarists it seems you have to be a real insider to know about has Jimmy Haslip round up all the top fusion cats who know this is a fine workout to keep their chops up gather round the fire because things are going to heat up. Sort of an after hours fusion date where the players are out to impress the other players with more than break neck scale runs, this is the kind of high octane stuff these cats were doing as young lions 35 years ago but have perfected over time while keeping heart and soul in the mix. Tasty stuff the knowledgeable fusaholic must consume. Well done.
PRISCILLA BADHWAR/Mademoiselle: A Texas gal with a doctorate in pharmacy rounds up some of the rising local cats to record an album of...what else...French jazz. Amazingly authentic given the circumstances, she sings in French in a most coquettish way, the band plays like members of Hot Club and it all sounds like the kind of thing Starbucks would have featured by the cash register in days gone by. The only real knock here is the cd is only six songs long. Fun stuff.
GURF MORLIX/Eatin' At Me: When the cat that's made some of the best roots music of the modern era steps up to the mic, you pay attention. Made for the connoisseur coterie that finds the sweet spot somewhere in that zone where John Prine meets Townes Van Zandt leavened with Nelson Algren's literary look at the far side, some people will love this and some people will think it was made to clear out rooms when you want the party to break up. For the people that get it, this set is a monster; raw, rough and rugged, specifically made for people that want their music with some real meat. This is hard core, nu hard country made by a cat that invented navigation systems for uncharted waters.
RUSTY WRIGHT BAND/Wonder Man: Oh yeah. Here's a hard core roadhouse rocker with show band moves that knows how to keep the party going all night long. Whether rocking the riffs, the horns, lyrics or any nook or cranny in his music that catches your fancy, Wright ought to give master classes to emo rockers on how to make music people want to buy. This is mind blowing stuff that reminds you why you wanted to rock out in the first place featuring a sound that‘ll get you out to the club and have you leaving with a cd in your hand. Top shelf all the way!
NICOLE/Raizes-Roots: Rather than find the jazz in Jewish prayers or doing klezmer versions of Christmas carols, Nicole takes songs that go back to Jewish movies as far back as the 30s and sends them to Brazil having them mostly come back as pretty authentic sounding sambas, particularly if you can't speak or understand Yiddish. Recorded in New York with real cats like Pablo Aslan keeping things in line, this set gives multi-culti a new vector that you can even imagine being heralded in Brooklyn. Check it out, particularly if you want to try out a samba hora.
REBECCA DuMAINE with the Dave Miller Trio/Consequence of You: The jazz vocal gal that feels partial to songs that have a theatrical feel serves up a bunch of under the radar classics that haven't been beaten to death. With her pop at the keyboard, the familial genes are in synch at crafting a jazz good time, suitable for familial listening. With a nice set card of oldies deserving of being dusted off, it's certainly ok to indulge in everything old being new again. Nice stuff.
Volume 38/Number 183
May 2, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record
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