TAYLOR SCOTT BAND/All We Have: One of Denver's primo rockers that never met a mash up he didn't like loads the deck with the vibes and chops he's absorbed along the way, stirs in some well chopped ringers and let's the fur fly in the jam band style he's rubbed elbows with. An after hours kind of rocker, he knows the moves and has a way with potential anthems. Check it out.
MICHAEL DAVIDSON-DAN FORTIN/Clock Radio: Critical components of the highly interwoven nucleus of the Toronto jazz scene, here they just show up with vibes and bass in hand turning in a very 50's feeling date with a modern edge. Spreading the joy of simplicity, you really don't need a lot going on to have a lot going on as they so elegantly prove here. It sets a very unique mood as it does it's magic. Check it out.
CATHY SEGAL-GARCIA/Dreamsville: Koonse and Nelson show up together again on yet another intimate jazz date. This time in service of a vocalist that adds her own special sauce to chestnuts, this is a dandy trio date where the vocals are front and center but the backing gets to shine as well. Solid stuff for fans of the art that really want to enjoy a still rising practitioner that keeps bringing it each new time out.
(Dash Hoffman 1023)
MIKE LEE/Song for All of Us: A sassy, post bop sax man that knows how to keep it coming and when to pull back, shows off his chops and holds his own with the impressive company he has in his Outlook contacts list. With a propulsion that has this skirting the edges of being whitey's take on free jazz, this is a must for those after hours feelings when mellowing out isn't quite ready to be the frame of reference. Tasty work throughout.
CAROLYN FITZHUGH/Living in Peace: You used to have to go to clip joints to hear a thrush and her crew kick it out like this. Luckily for us, she decided she's no longer good enough for government work and made the choice to follow her original passion. With the kind of chops that let's her put Gil Scott-Heron and James Taylor next to each other and make it all sound on the natch, her and her A listers make the kind of record majors used to make and still should. Way too accomplished for an indie release, don't let them tell you that music is over with. Smoking throughout.
GARY WILSON/King of Endicott: The vocals here remind me so much of "We're Only in it for the Money" that I almost feel like I'm having flashbacks. Taking himself back to his back pages for a romp through the land of generations of creative weirdness, he hits all the right outlier buttons here filling the sweet tooth of anyone that has the need to color outside the lines every so often. Beyond pomo, Wilson is more than just weird for weird sake. Outside the lines indeed.
KENNY ‘BEEDY EYES' SMITH & the House Bumpers/Drop the Hammer: Wildly raw and ragged modern blues from a cat who lived in Muddy Waters' basement while his pop pounded the skins for the master. Billy Flynn might show up on sitar, but this ain't no set of white boy blues. Purely from the west side with ghetto roots intact even if a trip to the cotton fields isn't, the moving finger of time has moved on and even when traditional harp is blowing, this is modern stuff throughout. Certainly jarring to moldy figs, this is a map of the future. A wonderful, wild ride.
(Big Eye 5)
ARNOLD MITCHEM/Drive: Modern white boy blues/rock from a cat that has experiences to back up his claims in the songs. A scalpel right to the heart, he fearlessly opens veins and lets the blood flow where it will. Approaching Leonard
Cohen territory from a different direction, he makes the same connect to your psyche.
COUNT BASIE/Classic Roulette Collection 1958-1959: 8 albums in two years! Did Morris Levy ever turn the tape recorder off? Such a strong talent he could thrive just as well under Moishe as he did under John Hammond and Norman Granz, these sides prove that when you've got it, you've got it---and you're always up for one more once. Moishe might not have let him layout as much as the others did, but that's where you win as the listener. You would think his Verve sides were the bomb, but this set is full of his best selling works powered by the A listers that were with him through all the glory years. Timeless throughout, this is some of the greatest jazz and instrumental music ever all done by an assemblage of pros that could never reconvene no matter who they show up as. Killer stuff that'll never go out of date.
McCOY TYNER/Impulse Albums Collection: An especially nifty entry in Enlightenment's canon, this set has previously unreleased Impulse material with Coltrane in tow. Running the breath of Tyner's first tour of duty with Impulse, he's a hard riving piano jazzbo holding on valiantly in the wake of the British Invasion that steamrollered over everything. Full of clean melodic lines and backing by a load of A listers of the day, this is smoking dose of straight ahead jazz that still demands your attention many years later. Hot stuff.
OSCAR PETERSON/Classic Verve Albums Collection: Peterson was the first clash between me and the jazz police. When I was first getting my jazz ears wet, it seemed like Peterson was in Chicago so much that I thought he was a local. Well, the jazz police though I was a young putz because I liked something so jolly and accessible. Whose the putz now? A spiritual scion of the great whore house piano men ( I did so know which end was up), he could to more leading a trio than most others could do leading an orchestra. Culling from 15 years worth of recordings for Verve, we'd all have to agree that these are classics. In fine company throughout, it sounds as good now as it did back when the earth was cooling. By all means, put this set on your list.
JIMMY SMITH/Classic Verve Albums Collection: The man that wrote the plan for B3, it seems like he made a zillion albums for Verve. How can you cull it down to just 8 to call classic---they all were. Some of his best sellers are here so maybe that's the reason. Except when kicking it out with a live trio, he's surrounded by killer jazzbos, several of which you wouldn't expect---and a grand time is had by all. Really, everything you could want is going on here---even going so far as to tip his toe in soundtrack music. It's dizzy, it's crazy and it's grand stuff throughout. Bring on some more!
Volume 43/Number 127
February 26, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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