SATOKO FUJII TOKYO TRIO/Moon on the Lake: With her first standard piano trio in a decade, Fujii surrounds herself with a pair of young bloods who might arrange themselves in the standard format but in true Fujii style, they don't play in the standard way. Toning her avant garde ways down a bit, this might be the moon on the lake but it remains as wild as the wind. A real left turn for the hard core left fielder.
CARRIE FERGUSON/Grumpytime Club: Very pleasant folkie with such an easy going way of delivering messages to the kids that you almost wouldn't know she's a kiddie act unless someone poked you in the ribs and let you know. A very comfortable kiddie set that goes a long way in heralding the nu era in kid music.
CURTIS STEWART/Of Power: Civil rights jazz through a lens of classical music and solo violin. Ringing out a sense of struggle from his bow, Stewart encapsulates mournfulness and hope at the same time doing it through a disparate set of sounds that make this a recital that's one for the books. Interesting stuff for inquiring minds.
(Outside In/Bright Shiny Things 155)
ALMOG SHARVIT/Get Up or Cry: Well, it's jazz but it gives me a distinct feel of what would happen if Frank Zappa took Jean Luc Ponty with him to Nawlins after Mardi Gras just so they could soak up the music, ambience and food. A set that gives you a visual feeling of people walking around and shaking their bowler hats, this set is into so many things that if one minute doesn't tickle your fancy, stick around and it'll change like Chicago weather and get you then. It's totally eclectic and more importantly, totally accessible.
CRAIG CARDIFF/All This Time Running: With his Cat Stevens like voice, this representative of the nu underground with his 100 million streams really knows how to light a fire. His first new music in 6 years, the prolific Canadian folkie has really sharpened his pencil during the pandemic and delivers his most target hitting set in his 25 years of doing this. A solid folk effort that left all the clichés at the door.
(True North 754)
ROGER BROWN/Five Dollars in Change: A high impact Texas songwriter that's been knocking hits out of the park for others for 40 years and only records infrequently wanted to make a one for me record without having to answer to anyone.. Go ahead make the comparisons to Guy Clark in form and substance. He can send us a one for me anytime, especially since we don't need to hear commercial stuff all the time and appreciate those righteous one for me's.
FRANCOIS BOURASSA/L'impact du Silence: A seminal Canadian piano man gets his Keith Jarrett on and delivers this arty, impressionistic jazz set that focuses on the white space as much as it does the notes Often classical in it's feel and scope, it's a high tone set just right for egghead listening.
MARY HOTT/Devil in the Hills--Coal Country Reckoning: Celebrating the end of the Mine Wars of 100 years ago, this ain't your Folkways historical document. With Don Dixon at the helm, what should have been a dry treatise is a living, breathing indictment about the hardships and cruelty of life in and around the mines. Hey, white people get to make protest music too. A good for you record that's good for you in more than one way. Check it out.
FRANCESO AMENTA/Midtown Walk: A warm sounding sax man with solid tone serves one up, straight ahead down the middle, for an easy going good time. With some world traveling under his belt, he finds the easy going vibe where ever he hung his hat and brings it all back here. Solid stuff in which he does all the work so you don't have to, this is classic after work sound for when you find yourself staring at 56 channels with nothing on and you want to give your mind a break. Sweet.
REVEREND SHAWN AMOS/Cause of It All: If blues purists are getting tired of white boys with the blues, Amos serves up a Sonny & Brownie flavored tribute to Chess complete with the wailing Muddy and Willie let loose with at the Aristocrat. A bunch of blues metaphors might have been mixed here but this young blood finds a way to roll it all into one mighty real deal.
ROB LUTES/Come Around: Here's an organic/back porch set that's just going to blow your mind. A Canadian award winner surrounding himself with a bunch of other Canadian award winners draws praise from Chris Smither. This ain't no circle jerk, this is a hitter showing how to hit it out of the park. A big badass surprise to anyone that hasn't come across him yet, this is the kind of stuff that made you a music fan in the first place. On the money throughout.
(Lucky Bear 11550)
NNENNA FREELON/Time Traveler: After a decade away, the hands down award winner is back with a set that refashions old tunes through the lens of the grief and loss she's gone through while she's been away from us. You want a sample? Dionne Warwick never took Bacharach/David to church like this! Especially on a signature song. A strong statement throughout about loss that doesn't hit the listener as a downer, this is a certified solid artist come roaring back to the top and doing it from the heart. Hot stuff.
Volume 45/Number 175
April 24, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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