RICK MARGITZA/Sacred Hearts: Taking the long way around, it's been 15 years since this former Miles sax man has released a new set. He might have gone Miles out of his way to get here but he's been saving up his wind wisely for the occasion. A solid set that that doesn't go beyond the pale but has a smoking energy running through it that takes you new places on old routes. A perfect example of how when you've got it, you've got it.
ANDY JAMES/Tu Amor: With what looks like the beginning of a crack house band of first call jazzbos behind her, the sultry jazz thrush hits a load of standards out of the park with an easy going samba vibe underpinning it. Changing things up nicely but largely sticking to the middle of the road, she has the skills to be a new member of your starting line up. A real cooking date where everyone sounds glad to be there.
BENITO GONZALEZ/Sing To the World: The piano man serves up a fifth date of originals with a smoking crew behind him that he can more than keep up with. Fearlessly leading the way with some leading edge jazz, this bunch sounds like they are really into kicking out the jams on these jams. High octane throughout.
(Rainy Days 13)
BILL KWAN/No Ordinary Love: Matt Pierson comes off the bench to guide this vocalist through the music of Sade and make it more than what could have easily been a gift shop record. With some jazzbos that know the ropes in tow, these takes give these well known tracks a new look and feel bridging the nearly 40 years since they first hit the scene a revamping that flows with the times.
DAN WILSON/Vessels of Wood 7 Earth: Christian McBride helms the producer's chair for this guitarist bringing in some righteous cats to make some righteous sounds. A solid picker that can hold his own on high energy originals as well as classics you know by heart, this is a guitar man with something new to say. A moving and grooving date that opens the ears nicely and wide.
(Brother Mister 4001)
ADRIAN YOUNGE & ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: The duo behind the assemblage on this date knows their old school soul jazz and who to pull out of retirement to help them bring the nu in their vision to the fore. Co-writing with each of the fabled featured players on board, this is a stellar opportunity for the old school to show how they remain the pillars of the community. A sure bet for anyone that's trying to keep it real compared to what?, the atmosphere, the energy and the vibe just blow the roof off the sucker. Hot stuff.
(Jazz is Dead 1)
ADRIAN YOUNGE & ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD/Roy Ayers: Ayers, who was a featured player on their duo's omnibus debut release, gets his own disc for his own vibes this time out. Starting to come on like a modernized Philly International, the duo makes a firm move at creating their own atmosphere on this second outing. Ayers gets the respect and a chance to show the youngbloods a thing or two as he gets to learn a thing or two as well. This is one mighty soul jazz groove and a righteous jam throughout.
(Jazz is Dead 2)
WILL BERNARD/Ancient Grains: Is it an guitar trio or an organ trio? Well, the long standing peerless guitarist is the leader on the date so let's go with that. Really feeling his oats on this set of mostly originals, he shows how effortless he can make it sound to be a first call cat for decades. It can't be as easy as it sounds. A smoking guitar date that's right in the leading edge pocket that he has mined so well. This is one of those discs you put on repeat and just let it play. Hot stuff.
JD ALLEN/Queen City: Confronting the pandemic Sonny Rollins style, you almost think you're under the bridge with the sax man as he delivers a solo date that's mostly originals where it's just him, his ax and you. Most people will wind up treating this as a recital and Allen rewards those listeners by not holding back. This is some real intimacy that's hard to ignore.
HARVIE S TRIO/Going for It: In which we get the chance to roll the clock back 40 years to when these hell raisers were young hell raisers just starting to step out into their own spotlights. A live date in which this trio does some angular work outs on a flock of standards, some stuff really is timeless and this is an example of same. Bristling with young energy that defies time and tide, they sound current enough here to avoid making this a trip down memory lane.
Volume 45/Number 244
July 2, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record
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