JAMES CARTER ORGAN TRIO/At the Crossroads: He's a sax man all they way but this is the third outing for his Detroit flavored organ trio that could keep the blue lights burning in the basement of RenCen any time. A new breed of modern funk, you can't feel the grease dripping off it, Carter and pals play like a good time is the only thing on their mind. Leading with a fusillade of sound, Carter is on point whether heating it up or slowing it down. A wild ride is on tap here for sure. Check it out.
KENNY & LEAH/All About Love: Ah, the Soderbloms are back for round three, showing they are the closest thing we have to Jackie & Roy these days and showing that polished pros absolutely killing it on the standards is a wonderful thing. Sounding every inch like something that could have leapt from the troika of Tommy LiPuma/Al Schmitt/Claus Ogerman, this is one grand sounding adult jazz/pop date that delivers all you could want and more. Sterling and lush, this is the real deal throughout. Well done.
McCRARY SISTERS/Our Journey: It's too easy to mistake this for some well meaning gospel date until you get a look at the sister's musical pedigree, their pals and co-horts, the talent that showed up here, and oh, yeah, how they sound. Well, there is that gospel thing in their sound, but this isn't a straight up ‘praise Jesus" thing. Far from it. Way more of a southern soul set than anything, these sisters certainly do raise and rouse the spirit and you'd be smart to let them work their magic on you because this date is nothing but a raft of great surprises. Open your ears, enjoy the vibe and let this set work it's magic on you.
SLIDE TO FREEDOM/20,000 Miles: This is the kind of record that people who love it will make the mistake of trying to turn their friends onto. It won't work, this is the kind of record you have to discover on your own. You will either love it or say WTF? A bunch of serious musos with world traveled chops convened in Memphis to do things like a quasi raga version of "Spooky". That's right, WTF? Except that if you like pan cultural fusions that shouldn't work but do, you'll love this and thinks it squarely hit's the target. Certainly a throwback to drug fueled hippie experiments of the 60s, the difference is that this was done by established pros that had to watch the clock. You like it polished but from left field? This is right up your alley. I can't stop playing it.
POPA CHUBBY/Back to New York City: Back with another dose of atomic blues rock that really carves out a sub-genre all it's own, this massive growler stirs it up like all of your fave ravers all at once. Mixing head bang with blues rock, topping off what he's been up to for the last 20 years, Chubby doesn't need any machine behind him to deliver the goods. A massive dose of real rock for real people, this is strong outsider stuff that hit's a bulleye of it's own doing. Killer stuff for when you really want to amp it up.
STEINWAY & SONS
JEFFREY BIEGEL/A Steinway Christmas Album: This is the record those guys you see playing at the mall around the holidays think they can make. Biegel, just by himself, makes enough sound to sound like a whole band leaving no sonic holes unplugged. Giving a grand work out on a wide range of Christmas/holiday songs from across the generations and styles, he knows how to make it all come together in a holiday classic you'll want to roll out first each time the nip first comes to the air. Delightfully simple, deceptively simple, this is the kind of record that can single handedly fuel a bunch of new holiday traditions. Killer stuff.
FAB TRIO/History of Jazz in Reverse: Heavy duty art/jazz session that's just right for the cerebral jazzbo with some familiar chops playing here. Very much an example of what comes out when you want to make an ECM record without the ECM vibe, it's almost like this was made for moldy figs who want to rock out---but not too much.
ANDREW CYRILLE & HAITIAN FASCINATION/Route de Freres: What do we know about Haitian music? Nothing other than Boukmans Experyance make a great voodoo record 20 years ago that never seemed to be matched. Well, Cyrille goes back to the land of his ancestors for a date that isn't vudu but is this wonderful thing that goes deeper than tourist music as it takes you someplace else. One of those world beat back alleys you need to take a trip down, it's hard to reconcile that such bouncy, wild sounds can emanate from such a depressed place. Different island music that's a gasser throughout.
Volume 34/Number 333
October 1, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record