LISA HILTON/More Than Another Day: Hilton pares it down here to a smoking trio date but what it really is is a tour de force for her piano chops to really walk the walk. The behind the glass talent she brought on board this time around show that no one has ever spent so much to keep things so simple, and all that dough is all on the tape. The kind of classic sound/feeling date that first got you into jazz piano trio sets, this might appear simple but that doesn't stop it form being as tasty as it gets. Hot stuff.
(Ruby Slippers 1025)
BURNT PINES: The subtle opening riff made me think this was going to explode into some Boston bombast but these folk/popsters only know from Boston by going to music school there. The band did a modern era meet cute by coming across each other's work on music platforms, but it's clear the sparks that struck through the bytes were real ones. Making it seem like the 60s are still alive and well, folkie style, they firmly hit the nail on the head in the style of the era's greats but are firmly today about it all. Well done.
RONI BEN HUR & PERCIO SAPIA QUARTET/Samba do Arraial: If you could play the phone book, guitarist Ben Hur is one of those players that you would be glad to hear play the phone book so there's no need to ask if the world needs another Jobim album. Recorded last December in Brazil with only one benefactor rather than a&r by Kickstarter, this indigenous Brazilian jazz set is a mind blower all the way down to the last effect that sounds like birds singing. Not nearly the Hollywood version of samba, whether Joe Carioca or gringo, you can't help falling under the spell of this set. Totally hot.
BEN LANG/Modern Man EP: This left leaning country boy followed Janis' trajectory from Texas to California but he sounds nothing like her. A vet of the alt.country sound, he rings true and authentic on this short set that finds him as insurgent in his own way as Merle Haggard was in his own way. There's really something going on here.
(Moo Moo 4)
GUILLAUME NOUAUX & the Stride Piano Kings: Talk about a drummer that knows how to give everybody some, this cat rounded up a bunch of his fave whore house piano preservationists and steers the good times from the back of the riser. With a real cross section of ivory tickers on board, including some you already know and love from Arbors recordings, this is the most fun you can have in a whore house without having to deal with smoke, stale beer and STDs. The tunes, the playing, the players---it all adds up to a grand package.
IRIS TRIO/Homage and Inspiration: When they played their first concert together, there were some heavy hitters in the audience that led to a bunch of well placed introductions and good fortune has followed since for this trio that can bridge old and new realms of classical music with their playing. While they can play like delicate flowers when the music calls for it, there's nothing that stops this chamber bunch from sounding like a full on orchestra when the sound and fury is called for. Playing with a purity of passion on this set that crosses the ages, this bunch plays with something that goes deeper than wanting applause and grant money. They are totally the real deal and know how to reach jaded listeners as well as newbies and classical tourists equally. Well done throughout.
(Coviello Classics 92002)
DAVID DETWEILER/Astoria Suite: This sax man knows his daddio and his love of New York was realized by a trip back to Florida. Going with a chordless trio format like the classic daddios that emblazoned the template before him, this is solid blowing what am. If you dig honk without skronk, this is the place.
ECHO BOOMERS: If you're a modern crime fan, with all the hedge funds having a hand in bringing this to the screen in this pandemic year, you couldn't be blamed if you were thinking this was some sack of shit that would have gone straight to video anyway. Wrong, buddy, the money was put to good use here. A bunch of Robin Hood's for the Trump era that steal from the rich and keep it for themselves, because of their student loans (!), the violence, drug use and set ups are all right on the money at making sure the suburbs will never seem the same. A zesty, modern action romp, this is a fine antidote for shaking off those Zoom meeting blues.
Volume 45/Number 27
November 27, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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