BICICLETAS POR LA PAZ
BICICLETAS POR LA PAZ/Musica for Puppets: Remember when the revolution wasn't going to be televised? Well, the Latinos want to get in on that action in the new century with this pan cultural Latin funk that is a self-professed circus show even if it houses some pretty protest lyrics. About the revolution? All those bike riders you see? They are part of the new revolution so get hip or be left behind. The new sound of the streets is a wild ride whether on ten speed or mountain bike. Ah hell, viva la revolution! Check it out.
BOLO: This is the kind of stuff you used to expect from labels like Six Degrees. Here's a trio that does Arabic flavored world jazz culled from Africa, Turkey and India, taking the traditional and kicking it into the future. Not reliant on electronics like the usual Six Degrees suspects, these cats keep it acoustic and organic proving, in a round about way, that folk music doesn't have to stay in the past or be overloaded with dust. A wonderful journey to the out of the ordinary, it's bouncy and trancy and inspired in part by Coltrane by non-manques. A fine set to open your world ears with.
FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT
JOHANNES WALLMANN/The Town Musicians: A well educated, truly international kind of cat stages kind of a jazz reunion here as he pulls a palette of players that encompass people from places he lived, students and other fellow travelers. The piano man leads this well suited crew through a sizzling session of sitting down jazz that was made to be enjoyed in clubs as opposed to university recitals that have been on the good doctor's dance card for the last few years in his disguise as an educator. Making music that meets on the corner of complex and accessible, this is the kind of sophisticated jazz that can turn any millennial 400 square foot apartment in to a bachelor pad---without 60s groovy touches that would make it cliché. Sassy stuff that's sure to please is on tap here throughout.
MY DEAD AIR/The Thief Who Knows My Name: A contemporary, atmospheric take on singer/songwriter stuff, this coming of age session veers away from the self pity that powers releases of this kind and shows the genre a welcome maturity. Originally a side project until Dan Ballard's band fell apart, he shows he has the chops and know how to go it alone, taking things beyond the pale and coming out on top in the end. A nice bet for those that like some meat on the bone to gnaw down on.
DONALD VEGA/With Respect to Monty: It's not something I've ever lost sleep over but it seems that with 50 years of solid work behind him, Monty Alexander has never been given the proper respect for his chops outside of those in the know and insiders that recognize hot stuff. Piano man Vega is doing his part to give props where props are due. With three unmitigated chopmeisters backing him up, this is one of those glorious sets that has such an easy sounding feeling to it that you feel like you could pull it off too---until you try and fall on your face. A wonderful addition to any piano jazz library, this should give all of those not in the know a reason to turn an ear toward Alexander and hear what they've been missing.
JEFF DENSON TRIO + LEE KONITZ: The first thing that hits you about the uniqueness of this set that that it feels like something you'd recommend to someone that wants to get into Monk but thinks his stuff is too dense. This is a sideways tribute set to Lennie Tristano who Konitz first played with 60 years ago. It's also a full circle kind of thing since Denson used to be in Konitz's crew but now it's the other way around. In any case, when you get four cats together that really know their stuff, the hard part is done before you get there. On the money throughout, this is meaty, full blooded listening jazz burnished by one too many late nights. Dazzling throughout, this is what the real jazzbo wants to hear.
SAMANTHA FISH/Wild Heart: Just like Kristin Wiig and Amy Schumer made low humor acceptable for girls, Fish is doing the same thing for rocking blues. Just a few years ago, she was accorded a BMA Best New Artist Debut award. Now, after crossing paths (but not swords) with Luther Dickinson, Fish finds hard core modern roots in amped up blues and brings the girl power. Not mining the standard white girl with the blues furrow, this Kansas City native is pushing the envelope in new directions that others will follow in time. Future blues? Could be. Whatever, it's certainly hot stuff in real time. Well done.
ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD/Don't Look Back: Wow. Tom Hambridge takes the crew down to Muscle Shoals and the hallowed ground inspires all to new heights. Music you have to be ready for because it comes from the future, this is next wave funk and roll that's nothing but high octane throughout. Powered by indisputable chops and more, if satellite radio has the equivalent of FM radio in it's blood, this stuff is going to top the charts of same. Super hot stuff for those ready to leave pop behind and really get down and gritty. Check it out.
SHANKAR TUCKER/Filament: A clarinet cat that was a serious music student concerned about his chops and admitting to being inspired by Shakti can't help but to eventually step up to the mic and turn out something unique and compelling. With a complete understanding of McLaughlin's east/west fusion, Tucker kicks it into high gear right out of the box using everything at his disposal adding rocket fuel to the genre and taking world jazz to some new and delightful places. A far cry from girl friend music and not derivative of things past, any serious, high minded listener that has room on his plate for a serious groove as well is going to flip for this set. Already a You Tube star with over 30 million hits, it's time to find out what the underground already knows as you are welcomed to the new paradigm. Hot stuff.
VENTANAS/Arrelumbre: If you're really down with world beat, it's always a treat when you find yourself down some new to you musical back alleys where there's something interesting and not corny going on in these ethnic paths. This set finds it's roots in Spain where it merges flamenco guitar with Sephardic Jewish songs. The two forms might have come from the same soil but they are very different and Ventanas makes the most of the tension that rocks the two forms as they fuse. Certainly an exciting musical island you'd be wise to take a trip to. Check it out.
Volume 38/Number 231
June 19, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record
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