TOH-KICHI/Baikamo: Reuniting with Tatsuya Yoshida for the first time in 15 years, Satoko Fujii gets firmly in touch with her art chick side as this piano drum duo show just how easy it is to be emboldened, unbridled hell raisers. A set of free jazz that's a wild ride for even Fujii, this is the gold standard for listeners that want their improv jazz taken to the max.
MICHELE D'AMOUR & the Love Dealers/Christmas in Blue: An original blues Xmas from the Pacific northwest is a disc full of surprises. With an easy rolling gait and a note perfect show band performance, these pros know what it takes to entertain no matter what the season. A fine addition to the holiday music shelf, this is just what people are asking for when they say they want something new and different.
ICELAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA/Concurrence: Often filled with the kind of icy precision you might preconceivedly expect from the way frozen way north, this set of contemporary classical by contemporary classical composers from Iceland is a solid listening experience for anyone that wants to be part of the advancement of the genre. Dramatic and cinemascopic, the composers on display here are well featured by this orchestra. A double disc presentation with the second disc being a charged up audio version of the program, progressive tastes will find this easy to love.
(Sono Luminus 92237)
BETTY FOX BAND/Peace in Pieces: We're always amazed at these willowy lasses that open their mouths and become wailers. Fox wisely packed her blue eyed soul off to Muscle Shoals where enough of the old timers were still around to give this the flavor she was seeking. Solid southern soul for white people that don't want too much grease in the mix because they are worried about their cholesterol, Fox writes them and sings them like someone just waiting for everyone else to catch up. Hot stuff throughout.
RUFFYUNZ: Stripper rock for gals still swinging on the pole even when their syatica is acting up made by cats that were there when they claimed to want to bang you like an animal. A set of sex rock by geezers that still have fond memories of the old in and out, it's just as anthemia as the old stuff, just not as loud---but plenty loud.
CHRIS HASKETT/Insufficient Necessities: The cover art has nothing to do with this cat's back story as guitarist for Henry Rollins and Bowie, nor does it have anything to do with the music although the art concept is cool. A mean shredder, Haskett indulges his funky side for white people here in a place where Zappa meets Eddie Hazel. Wild stuff for shrederoonies that want something to be their soundtrack to tearing it up.
GENTLE GIANT/Unburied Treasure: A 30 disc box set? Did the royalties from Derek Shulman's Atco signings finally dry up in the age of streaming? No matter, for fans of the Yes alternative, this set takes you firmly into the belly of the beast with a load of discs, a fat book, collectible extras and prog galore. Holy moley, this is an even fatter set than the Jan Akerman retrospective.
TED QUINLAN/Absolutely Dreaming: An award wining jazz guitarist that isn't trying to be Wes and leads his crew like they are lining up to bring home some more recognition, if this isn't a perfect example of some top shelf contemporary jazz, nothing is. Deceptively smooth, this isn't smooth jazz and it makes you pay too close attention to be mellow--it's just killer stuff. Anyone looking for some pure listening that doesn't need any frippery to make it's point can kick back and enjoy this to the fullest. Hot stuff throughout.
KATY HOBGOOD RAY/I Dream of Water: A solid set of the folk/blues/gospel side of southern soul, white people blues doesn't always have to be country music (sorry Merle). She might be dreaming of water but often through this set you feel like she's taking you down to the river. Feeling kind of like after hours jamming with the church gang, this has a feel those of us up north will find refreshingly different. Mainstream for some, a diversion for others, well done no matter what.
(Out of the Past Music 12)
SONAR/Tranceportation V. 1: The band's second collaboration with guitar experimenter David Torn feels like they were commissioned to do the soundtrack for the reboot of "Exorcist" With cute word play in the title, this experimental guitar crew isn't messing around with crazy sound scapes, this is real deal creativity with gravitas. Nu state of the art ambient, this is how head music is made today.
(Rare Noise 113)
TED HEARNE/Hazy Heart Pump: The fearless visionary rounds up two quartets to do justice to his contemporary classical visions. Music for uncharted pathways where new cut roads are needed and welcomed, this cat's vision is wide open and headed for the outer reaches.
(New Focus 241)
Volume 44/Number 15
November 15, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record
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