IN + OUT
HAMMOND EGGS/Back in the Pan: These three cats are thinking hard about organ trio work, but they are thinking about it in terms of making it funky for the future. Not your grand dad's organ trio, they pump, they swing, they don't stand still and they also add a bunch of fusion in the personages of Randy Brecker and Bob Mintzer making this a solid change of pace. Solidly played throughout, this is a smoking date for modern ears to dig. A winner throughout.
PETER BRENDLER/Outside the Line: For a bass player looking to move jazz sounds forward into uncharted territory, "Walk On the Wild side" is a good jumping off point to bring listeners into the tent with something familiar but still outré after 40 years and let them wander the rooms from there. A high octane modern jazz set, Brandler and crew play as one even when heading off in different directions. The set lives up to the title, and progressive and fearless ears will be well rewarded by a rising, improvising jazzbo that just doesn't take no for an answer. Well done.
CATHY LEMONS/Black Crow: We all know the Texas to San Francisco thing worked out musically for Janis Joplin and it seems to be working well for Lemons, hopefully with a better non-musical ending as well. A soulful, white girl that's the easy counter part to white boys with the blues, Lemons hits greater glories with each new release and this is no exception. A dandy dose of hot stuff that just doesn't quit, Lemons isn't about affectation and iconography, she's the real deal and doesn't have to twist her vocal chords into knots to prove it. Smoking, velvet soul blues that's right in the pocket throughout, Lemons impresses throughout with this mighty release. A winner throughout.
BENGT WASHBURN/Bengt Over in Europe: Washburn comes across with a down trodden workaday delivery looking at the absurdities of life that can only be seen from a skewed eye. Tackling life like a regular Joe Doakes, he has a cool knack for making banality and the mundane hilarious as they have to be endured. Totally funny stuff that comes right down the middle.
JACKIE KASHIAN/This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux: Kashian gets extra points for being an overweight, middle aged mom type that is aware enough to make Harry Potter references right in the title that any non-teen will have to look up. Transplanted to LA from Wisconsin, she brings the heartland bombast to the shallow for wild laughs throughout. If you get fooled into thinking she's just another middle American housewife type, you don't know the everyday housewife---or else said woman might be scarier than we think. There's a lot of laughs in flyover country and this is the living, breathing proof. Hot stuff.
CHAD DANIELS/Natural Selection: The Conan regular opens his latest with a joke about wife beating hitting you with it on the switch back and this Minnesota lad is off and running on another set of comedy that seems to be coming from you from only angle but hits to sideways when you aren't ready for it. Continuing to be a funny cat that knows how to cut right to the chase, Daniels keeps the laughs coming to rapid fire fashion without any misses. Check it out.
TEXAS MESS/various: A solid label round up of new talent from Texas, it's loaded with names that you wouldn't associate with Texas living and laughs that show Ron White has a load of laughs coming up in his wake that trade on everyting but his persona. While some of the cats and kitties on this set might still be young and a touch wet behind the ears, you know at some point this bunch will graduate to a killer half hour under their belts and then...? Available only on cassette in limited edition, the extra effort might be a put off but the comedians on board make the extra effort worth it. This is a killer round up.
LENA BLOCH/Feathery: She brought her sax from Russia to Brooklyn to be influenced by Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz and Lennie Tristano turning in some interesting results. Obviously attracted to classic cool school playing, Bloch don't come across as an oldies fetishist as it's clear she brought the recipe for her own special sauce as well. With a lot of daddio passages to provide the authenticity, you can appreciate this whether hipster or moldy fig, each coming away with something they can call their own. At the end of the day, Bloch serves up some killer playing in this modern, modern jazz session. Well done.
Volume 38/Number 151
March 31, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record
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