FALKNER EVANS/Marbles: A throwback to when music was about music instead of artifice, Evans and his jazzy crew play like they've been doing this together forever---and they haven't. Pros on parade playing like they mean it, this is a wonderful instrumental date where things flow organically in their own sweet time. Dazzling listening jazz that never misses a beat, this is the sound of playing right on the money.
QUINSIN NACHOFF/Pivotal Arc: White people can have church basements too.
A wild set that merges malcontent and egghead music with a whiff of crime jazz via imaginary tangos, this jazzbo forgot to acknowledge anything has limits and proceeds to ignore any suggestion of them. Well wrought and professionally made, it's a fast ball down the middle for those compelled to color outside the lines.
KENNY WASHINGTON/What's the Hurry: The long admired jazz vocalist finally makes his long awaited debut giving new voice to a slew of songbook standards, all done in the company of some of the top jazzbos in the Bay area. Totally on the money for jazz vocal fans, this is a master class that leaves pedantry at the door and entertains in top form throughout. A winner.
(Lower 9th 2020)
GATO LIBRE/Koneko: Satoko Fujii subsumes herself into a group identity with trumpeter Natuski Tamura as the figurative leader while her accordion (?) playing is pretty front and center. A solid trio that feels like they are loading the deck with Zen vibes, this is one of Fujii's friendlier releases.
BENNY RUBIN JR QUARTET/Know Say or See: A melodic sax man from Detroit that plays like a native New Yorker, Rubin's second set is jazz all the way but he shows he's got a case of the blues as well. A woke release, even as an instrumental, he's got a righteous sound for the times we're in.
(Benny Jr. Music)
SUE ANNE GERSHENZON/You Must Believe in Spring: A musical theater vet who turned to jazz just over a decade ago surrounds herself with some of your fave downtown cats playing like they wouldn't mind a shot at Broadway themselves and the results are a winner. Bringing her theatrical skills to songbook classics from various sources, she knows how to make them all her own and gift wrap them just for you. Dazzlingly right in the pocket.
RICK BERTHOD/Peripheral Visions: Here's why you should like this melodic shredder. A Vegas mainstay, he doesn't sound anything like the myriad Sammy Joey lounge losers that play at the so bad it's good level. He's just a first class guitar slinger who finds all the fireworks he needs in the frets and is here for the party as much as you are---he just happens to be the life of it. Can't miss stuff for guitar fans.
BROKE FUSE + Friends/Why Should I be Blue?: A multi instrumentalist known as Toronto's harmonica man, he decided not to be a one man band anymore just as Coved hit and derailed his touring plans. Meanwhile, that doesn't stop him from being a first class back porch organic folkie with an edge that should make any campus coffeehouse habitué feel right at home. With a smooth vibe and well honed chops that have been in the battlefield a long time, this white boy with the blues is happy to take you on a tour of his back pages so you can all reach the finish line together. One of those dandy diamond in the rough sets.
MARTIN PERRET'S L'ANDERER/Junctures: Angular little set of avant garde jazz that is more Steve Reich inspired that wheels rolling off the track inspired. Wearing it's German heritage proudly on it's sleeve, this is more like the sound of buildings going up rather than buildings coming down.
BACK TO PARADISE-A Tulsa Tribute to Okie Music/various: Really, unless you are a real fan of regional music, do you know anything about Tulsa music other than Leon or J.J.? This set is as much a tribute to regional music as it is to the studio where a ton of it was recorded by world class cats from all over the planet. Top local cats recorded in the now over 4 days, often sounding like tributes to the originals, remind all how glorious it all was with everything from J.J. to Charlie Wilson under that roof, raising the roof. Forget about the demigogs that have defiled the earth in those parts, this is a fine tribute to the real gods that walked that earth.
Volume 44/Number 255
July 10, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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