DAMON FOWLER/Whiskey Bayou Sessions: More than just a white boy with the blues, this dyed in the wool southern roots rocker was just the kind of act Tab Benoit had in mind when he started this label. A committed cat that's been climbing the ladder one step at a time in solid company throughout, you can small the funk and taste Nawlins in these grooves as he takes you around the block a time or two. You don't have to be an over age frat boy to know that fist pumping to this is more fun than taking statins. Well done throughout.
(Whiskey Bayou 4)
PHIL SCARFF/Ragas on Saxophone: We're always up for something different and here we have a sax man becoming an Indian music master in the mode of John McLaughlin and his ax, but certainly doing his way. Recorded indigenously with as many indigenous touches as possible while keeping it as close to total solo as possible, Scarff enters the realm within and handily takes his place along side the past jazzbos that showed how it was/is done. A real treat for the armchair traveler that thought he's heard it all.
(Galloping Goat 4423)
MARK WINKLER-CHERYL BENTYNE/Eastern Standard Time: How nice of this duo to take us on a busman's holiday with them last time out and not leaving us stranded. The bookend to their west coast cool set, this set focuses on what it might have been like to stumble into the kind of smart club common to New York in the late 50s when Danny Williams and his ilk held sway over the night life. Citing Blossom Dearie as a spiritual lodestar, the duo has the chops and history to leave their own stamp on this set making it all their own. An utterly charming winner of a date, jazz vocal fans can start making notes on their second half Grammy ballots now. Purely killer stuff.
(Café Pacific 4065)
GARY LINDSAY/Are We Still Dreaming: Yes, Virginia, there as still players out there that are putting art first. The Grammy nommed arranger corrals the South Florida Jazz Orchestra for a non stop set of pristine big band arrangements that are full blooded and lively making listening a delight. Certainly never to be mistaken for muzak, this instrumental set takes art to the next level of the game but is never work to listen to. An uncut set full of the real deal.
DENNIS JONES BAND/We3 Live: A veritable greatest hits set as this live date collects tracks from the previous albums, live is really the way to enjoy this crew. A blues rock power trio that really plays sharp, clear lines that cut to the chase, this is a sure bet for anyone that wants their rocking power trio to serve it with no mess. Genre fans are going to prothelize like crazy.
BRIGITTE PURDY/Still I Rise: A modern white girl with the blues that can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan ala Maria Muldaur 50 years ago, sultry and stomping letting nothing get in her way, she's got the soul of all the great ladies of soul that came before her and let's that flag fly. Tasty stuff that shows a peek at her tomorrow's chops which will let her cross over to whatever the mainstream is going to be. Hot stuff that late night hours were made for (or the other way around) A winner throughout.
BONNIE RAITT/Nobody's Girl: Still playing clubs in the throes of her monster 1989 comeback, Raitt was spitting fire and making it clear she wanted it. Already approaching the 20 year mark in her career at this time of this FM broadcast, the power and the glory were in evidence as she worked her way through an already career's worth of high points. One of the era's original white girls with the blues, she's a defining rollicking mama for the ages and it shows here in fine style.
(All Access 155)
PINEAPPLE THIEF/Dissolution: Some things don't go away, they just go into hiding--like the real down mouth shoe gaze making it's play here. And they used to say Leonard Cohen made music to gargle razor blades to...
CORNELL CARTER/One Love: A solid cat that brings the nu to nu northern soul, he's got his ear on tomorrow but respects the past as he learned a lot of good lessons from it. No naïf as he's a solid sidekick to Michael Walden, modern soul is moving right along here in a most fine fashion. Entertainment is job one here and it's accomplished without breaking a sweat or needing overtime. Well done.
WALTER STEFFENS/Two Cells in Sevilla: Admit it, you're provincial enough to be surprised that financial backing for a modern chamber opera would come from a foundation in Galveston, TX. And it's about Don Quixote, not Kris Kristofferson (that would have been Brownsville anyway). Egghead stuff? Not for the open minded that can give themselves over to enjoying a top notch performance. With every point well played, there's more of a populist and mass appeal than you might think here and you will know what they are talking about rather than try to understand it by deciphering your version of pigeon Italian. To think that "Hamilton" could be a gateway drug to a presentation like this.
Number 41/Number 259
July 17, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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