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ANAIS RENO/Lovesome Thing: Excuse us for not being familiar with the lovely Ms. Reno. Already a major award winner and still in her teens, you really wouldn't expect someone born in this century to have such a command of the tent pole works of Duke Ellington and his pals. With ‘sidekick' Emmet Cohen relieving her from having to worry about the music, she could show the mass market teen queens a thing or two about what real talent means. A thoroughly delightful jazz vocal album with all involved cooking with the gas on high.
(Harbinger 3701)

ALPHA RHYTHM KINGS/Sharp Dressed Men: These finger popping daddios made the last record in the old Fantasy Studio and it seems like it was the right place for them to strut their Louis Prima vibes in fine style. A jumping good time of an album, it ain't pomo and it ain't nostalgia, it's just some hot players doling their thing, their way. You don't have to be a sap for old time stuff to get the most mileage here. Well done.

RYAN DEVLIN/Thoughts on the Matter: A young sax to the max player serves up some tasty straight ahead jazz inspired by loss and grief showing his importance of playing through it all. Hard hitting and swinging throughout, this set is a nice ear opener powered by chops that are well done. A real taste treat.
(Timucua 8)

QUICK QUARTET/Low Rent Space: What happens when you try to make fusion out of Ohio? You get inhabited by the ghost of Tatum. The cost of living gives you time to experiment and woodshed. You kick out the jams. Stripping down fusion and giving it much more angularity than you might expect to emerge from Ohio, these cats are charting new courses and playing with a determination that won't be held back. What a good place to plop down a lab.

LARRY CORYELL/Last Swing with Ireland: The last time Coryell went in the studio is captured here with some laid back work outs on some standards and a pair of improvs---all played with the sum total of a live well lived with a guitar. Much of it sounds and feels like an after hours set where the players are doing for the smiles they give each other rather than any other purpose. A fitting farewell to a guitar innovator that kept it real right to the end.
(Angel Air 641)

JIMMIE BRATCHER/I'm Hungry: A religious white boy with the blues from Kansas City cranks it up to present his dual passions, the other being food, in an epicurean set that let's the good times roll. Going around the horn in bluesy presentations, this eclectic red hot mix will get all of your juices flowing. Fun stuff specially prepared for good time.
(Ain't Skeert)

LISA JEANETTE/Jellyfish on the Moon: At first sounding like someone that learned her lessons well from early Joni Mitchell sides, when you open your ears you hear there's really something different going on here. Much more down to earth and magically making the mundane sound exotic, this nu folkie can easily set new standards if left to do things her own way. A real original that has an abstruse way of looking a things that comes out right in the end. Solid stuff from an up and coming winner.

SCOTT WOLLSCHLEGER-KARL LARSON/Dark Days: A set of pieces composed over the last 13 years, the pianist tackles the composer's intensely personal works solo giving you a right brain/left brain experience. A real high water mark of contemporary classical work, this is quite deep and totally engaging. For eggheads but not at all for eggheads only, this really is real grown up listening.
(New Focus 287)

TIMMY BROWN/Good Life: Amiable folkie/country set from an American Idol escapee that'll probably go farther without their imprimatur. Contemporary country with traditional trappings, it's commercial through and through but it is a dandy palette cleanser. Classic car radio stuff.

CURTIS ANDREWS/Speaking Hands: A world jazz drummer as influenced by heavy metal as by Max Roach, Andrews really pulls out the stops here giving you a tour of the jazz world by bringing home loads of world jazz. An eclectic cat that wants to do or than play pretty for the people but not have them leave before he's done, Andrews has so many tricks up his sleeve it's a wonder they all don' t fall out on the floor at some point. A great wild ride.

Volume 45/Number 153
April 2, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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