DAVID FRIESEN/My Faith My Life: Anyone up for a two disc tour de force from a contemporary master playing at the penultimate part of his game with so much yet to explore? One disc solo bass and one disc solo piano, Friesen makes a statement like never before as this instrumental music sails way past category showing what it really means to play your heart out. Simply masterful stuff from a master making you hear things you never thought you could hear from one man and one ax. Killer stuff that'll leave you breathless.
PIET VERBIST QUARTET/Suite Reunion: Originally formed as an outlet for the things he was writing that didn't fit into the various formats for all the other groups he was working with contemporaneously, this nu ECM cool school instrumental set lights the way to the creative future for musos unafraid to take chances in that distinct Euro way, not a surprise since Verbist is from Belgium. Angular without sharp edges poking you, this is real listening music that knows how to chart it's own course.
THOMAS MARRIOTT/Romance Language: Showing once again that his trumpet has one of the clearest, cleanest tones extant, Marriott fearlessly changes course again showing yet another facet to his interests and chops. A reminder of just how nice this can sound when played far from the maddening crowd, Marriott and producer Joe Locke raise their flag and ask ‘who needs majors?' if you want to make music that needs to be heard without notes from consultants that can't play. A lushly gorgeous set that's hard to beat for depth and chops.
JAY THOOMAS with the Oliver Groenewald Newnet/I Always Knew: Thomas is a throwback to the extent that he is an admirer of the art of the arranger, he gives Groenwald equal billing and room to do whatever it takes to make the trumpeter look good. An obvious fan of jazz's great instrumental balladeers, this set takes it back to the day in spirit and delivers the goods in unequaled fashion. Real jazz for real jazzbo ears!
ADA BIRD WOLFE/Birdie: Making her debut a little later in life that she originally planned, it gives Wolfe that depth to sound like a classic thrush rather than some pomo kitty trying to sound like a mama that's been around. Saucy, sassy and loaded with performance that have you wondering if it's art or artifice, Wolfe is a solid jazz gal sure to send you home with a smile on your face and the feeling that she trying to seduce only you. Winning stuff from a real student of the art that's more than fully ready to give back. Well done.
MARIEL AUSTIN/Runner in the Rain: A rising young big band talent that has the awards and birth certificate to prove it, she sounds like one of those fully formed artists that springs forth fully formed. A solidly winning date, she lets you know early and often that she has the chops to take it anywhere she wants to and this opening salvo is a sure bet to open the ears in her direction. Well done.
DEXTER ALLEN/Live From Ground Zero Blues Club: A real down home blues/soul man up and delivers the goods on the natch throughout. A pure show date that blows up a mighty storm, this is the sound of a night out well spent with a cat that'll play the blues for you. Hot stuff.
(Pass the Pick)
JIM ALLCHIN/Prime Blues: This white boy with the blues goes show off on his fifth album as be calls in a real A team to back him and up and he uses math to algorithm up some fresh modern blues that works. With all the right pieces popping in all the right places, this is a real enjoyable set that shows his career change is complete.
SONAR/Live at Moods: There's a real revolution going on here as ECM meets King Crimson meets the Rare Noise bunch. The underground has an underground of it's own for goodness sake. Giving prog instrumental work a slightly sinister edge. If you like it deep and know what you're getting into from the brand names on board, you can't go wrong.
(7D Media 1812)
500 MILES TO MEMPHIS/Blessed Be the Damned: Punk rock with Appalachian folk and roots in the mix, along with a dose of pomo, this bunch blows their sound wide open as this sounds nothing like the last 4 entries. Aggression is always in fashion and the malcontent vets brought in as ringers here know how to turn it up to 11. A real modern, wall of sound assault that just doesn't quit and knows how to overwhelm.
JEAN-FRANCOIS CHARLES/Electroclarinet: If you're not into experimental music and don't appreciate cats like Stockhausen, then you just won't know what to do with this cat that has the resume to back up the claims and the chops. Now, if your idea of party music is "Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny" this processed clarinet set will be right up your alley.
PALE MARA: These pomo folkies really capture the spirit of "Music From Big Pink", ragged vibes, sincerity and all. If you're in your early 20s and really want to experience what tunes on the back porch sound and feel like, this set is speaking your language.
Volume 42/Number 12
November 12, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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