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THE CADETS & THE JACKS/Complete Releases 1955-57: This twofer is a gasser. The two groups profiled here are actually one group and their back story is loaded with the kind of record business chicanery that was nothing more than business as usual in the 50s. A doo wop crew that often sounded like they were making music appropriate to The Flintstones, no matter how you cut the cake, the great cut "Stranded in the Jungle" is worth the price of admission by itself. The other 50 tracks aren't chopped liver either. No matter which guise they were working under, even when backing up other artists presented here to make this the last word on this group, this collection will make it clear to you why the old timers talk about how much fun the record business used to be. This is certainly something old that must be made new again. Solid stuff throughout.

DEXTER GRODON/12 Classic Albums 1947-62: With the personal problems he was having at the time, it's amazing that Gordon was able to turn out 12 wonderful albums over a 15 year period as a leader while doing a lot of side work at the same time. Playing and writing at a solid clip, the towering sax man was a hard bopper that lived the life as well as he played it. Not really having a consistent label home until 1961, this gives you a wild and wooly taste of Gordon as he was the consummate 50s jazzbo long prior to his veneration and vindication. There's certainly several instances of it being so, but you really aren't going to find much stuff that's more daddio than this---and it's certainly authentic daddio. Hot stuff throughout.

SONNY CLARK/Complete Albums Collection 1957-1962: Another in a series of 50s jazz daddios that died too soon, it feels like if it wasn't for the cover shot of his "Cool Struttin'" album, he might be totally forgotten today. Deserving to be more than a footnote in jazz history, pianist Clark was virtually the house piano man for Blue Note during his stay there which managed to see these 8 albums with him as a leader. A solid bebopper to the core, you didn't have to tell Clark that it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. This cat could even swing Kurt Weill. A wealth of music and playing that should not be forgotten, this hefty collection which unfortunately is the last word on Clark as a leader, is a great place to dig in and get started. There's nothing here but a load of jazz that's unique and wonderful.

SHANA TUCKER/Shine: A debut artist that calls her sound ‘chamber soul', Tucker has a fine voice and a passion for cello which here, add up to an newbie unafraid to color outside the lines but she does it with unerring instincts that hit the mark each time out. Equally adept as singing, writing and playing, she's been drinking the special sauce instead of the Kool-Aid and seems like an artist the comes out of the box like a bat out of hell with angelic talent that won't be stopped or denied. Quite a dandy opening shot leaving you ready and wanting for more. Hot stuff.

BONNIE RAITT/Angel from Montgomery: A 1976 radio concert from the talented lass that was surrounded by talented songwriters and players but seemed to be destined to being a cult act. A dandy memento for those who felt vindicated by her eventual 1989 triumph, you can hear live what her talented producers at the time couldn't and couldn't capture in the studio. The deck here is loaded with classics but this was done as a work in progress as opposed to a greatest hits victory lap. Such is what happens when playing with time and tide. The audio might not have the best definition but you can certainly hear how Raitt rates fearlessly kicking out those white, hot mama blues slinging that guitar with the best of them.

MOLLY RYAN/Let's Fly Away: Once again the fans have spoken as this was funded in part via Kickstarter. Even though Dick Hyman gets the only musician shout out on the front cover, this swinging New York thrush has stacked the deck with a load of great players whose resumes speak for themselves making this a full bodied jazz vocal date with a taste for the past. The newest song is almost 60 years old. The gang is all having a great time whether vamping on Sinatra swing or Hot Club antics. Each cut is a winner and jazz vocal fans are in for a first class treat here. Check it out as the legend grows.

JOE MAGNARELLI/Three on Two: Proof that a serious record can also be fun, the trumpet man lines up what is fast becoming the Posi-Tone All Stars to back up and give flight to his vision. It all works wonderfully. There's a lot of daddio jazz going on here and plenty for the hip, as opposed to the hipster, to sink their teeth into. Young or old, once you tune your ears into this set, you're whole day will be uplifted. Check it out.

BOBBY SHEW/Live 1983: Does it always happen this way or does it just seem that way? Shew was sitting in with the University of Florida Jazz Band as so many jazzbos do with so many university bands, the tapes were rolling, were forgotten and when found over 30 years later virtually in a pile of junk, the listeners were blown away by the hip, hot trumpet happenings on board and have released it as a reminder and a fund raiser. If you dig modern big band, this stuff is really swinging hard and there's no dust on it from any quadrant. A tasty slice of the real deal, this also sets the stage for a reunion concert next February. Be there or be square? Hot stuff like this just makes you wonder...

Volume 38/Number 260
July 18, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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