JAMES MARTIN/Keep Movin‘: This sax ace, a former student of Trombone Shorty, is as Nawlins as you can get. With roots running deep in the territory, his playing reflects a funky panoply of it all. Bitten by the music bug at an early age, he kept getting in where he could fit in forcing him to master several instruments. All that gets set aside for a load of local funk that just doesn't quit. Unless you are an inveterate credit reader, this is one of those cats where you know his sound but not his name as he's already provided a lot of bounces to a lot of ounces you already know. Full of snazz and sass, this high octane groover hits the mark repeatedly at all tempos. Well done.
QUINN STERNBERG/Mind Beach: Nawlins by way of Indiana and IU, this rising bass ace makes jazz you can enjoy any way giving a modern take on straight ahead sounds not really tied to any location or genre. An advocate of Duke Ellington's dicta that there's only two kinds of music, and Sternberg knows only the good, jazzbo ears will enjoy this easy going treat. Solid stuff with everyone on board playing like they really want to be there and under his leadership.
NIKOLA BANKOV/Bright Future: Being only 20 years old, Bankov missed getting a ride on Miles' boat by a decade and experiencing "Bitches Brew" etc by a mere 30 years, but this world wise young lion didn't miss soaking it all up. A wild cacophony of jazz meeting electronics, it never sounds like self satisfied art and it never sounds like a mess. This could easily be a lost 70s Miles session. That might not be what a young man looking to define himself wants to hear but look at all those classical cats that made their bones hundreds of years ago with ‘variations on a theme by...'. If you're going to learn, you might as well learn from the best. Killer stuff from a tyro that's here to stay.
JIM ROBITAILLE GROUP/View From Within: A long time fellow traveler of Dave Liebman, this jazz guitarist shows the simpatico that has developed over the years between the two and nobody here is shy about showing what they can do and where they can take things. Forward thinking, stopping short of being experimental or outré, this crew jams along mightily showing no dust on them no matter how long they've been at it. A solid modern session that shows how it's really done.
(Whaling City Sound 118)
SISTER LUCILLE/Alive: Fusing funk and soul from various quadrants, the end result gives me a modern take on a Stax attack--and that's a good thing. Modern electric blues at it's core, these young vets with varied and impressive resumes deliver the goods in a wonderful way. Solid writing smartly sung is what this is all about. Hot stuff.
(Endless Blues 132019)
TESLA QUARTET/Joy & Desolation: Formed a decade ago as students, their commitment to excellence has paid off for them in a big way in a short time. Opening this masterful recording with a Mozart appetizer before launching into some modern and contemporary works with equal grace and style, this is a blessed hour that takes you away from everything you'd rather avoid and leaves you in a much better place. When a chamber group can make you feel like you are listening to a full orchestra, you have to admit there's some real magic taking place. A perfect recording for everyone from the classical tourist to the jaded highbrow.
(Orchid Classics 100106)
Volume 43/Number 349
October 15, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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