LEWIS PORTER/Beauty & Mystery: An unabashed jazz scholar fearlessly lets his egghead side show as this recital like date that finds him in the company of other leaders lending a hand, it has Sunday afternoon written all over it---in a good way. Feeling both composed and improvised, leading the way with his piano, this is the real tasty side of art jazz that leaves progressive dissonance at the door. Check it out.
ELLIOT MASON & Crea8tion: Before Now and After: A solid bone man that draws praise from solid bone men that know goes impressionistically creative on his latest in which he personally celebrates the expansion of his family. A solid bet for real left leaners, this isn't about playing pretty for the people. And as it celebrates new birth, sometimes it really sounds like the delivery room.
KATE McGARRY/The Subject Tonight is Love: After a solid round of praise going back many years, McGarry shifts gears to make sure the she and her listeners don't get bored with another round of her hitting all the right notes. Fronting a trio in a cabaret feeling date with some wily song choices, it's got all the love and heartbreak of classic cabaret but it also has McGarry's special sauce making this something new and different---but worthy of yet another round of praise for the vet vocalist.
DAN SIEGEL/Origins: A delightful set of vets and pros on parade, LA jazz division, as they all rally around the piano man that delivers a next wave smooth jazz set that never feels phoned in and always has all the right moves in all the right places. A little more placid that you might expect from smooth jazz, it's perfect for sinking into and letting it all wash over you. Solid stuff that shows how pros knows. A winner throughout.
KEVIN SUN/Trio: A sax man with a passion for innovative jazz follows a minimalist route here while still tracing the history of jazz of sorts. The sax is front and center in this sax trio and he never seems to fall into noodling along. A solid listening date, this is one of those deceptively feeling background music dates that grabs your full attention before too long.
HIROAKI HONSHUKU'S RACHA FORA/Happy Fire-New Kind of Jazz: Still showing his love for Miles, still showing his love for finding creativity where you'd least expect it and still going for broke on multi faceted mash ups, Honshuku's third outing with this ensemble gives you the jolt you had when discovering the world sides of McLaughlin and Zappa, among others, but the jolt you feel is all his own. A skilled writer, player and interpreter, his music knows no walls and almost knows no bounds. A tasty, wild and restless release that totally has it all on the ball, as you would expect from a one time George Russell sidekick.
KAZE/Atody Man: As Satoko Fujii turns 60, she's releasing a bunch of cds celebrating all her sides. This set finds her kicking it out with her Kaze crew with 8 years of telepathic playing under their belts. For real left leaners that like it so minimalist that it's almost a collection of sounds, this is for the deep thinker that likes to show off their deepness.
SATOKO FUJII/Solo: A solo piano date to celebrate her 60th birthday, Fujii changes things up by keeping it free jazz but with an almost linearity. Still not a cup of tea for Oscar Peterson fans, this is deeply thought out playing that hits the right notes for left leaning and progressive tastes.
JAMES HALL/Lattice: An innovative jazz date that comes across sounding like a progressive chamber jazz recital, sitting down jazz has a new friend in this date. With a lot of texture and feeling running through the skillful playing by Hall and crew, this is a nice treat for jazzbos looking for something new that holds to tradition as well.
LESLIE PINTCHIK/You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl: Being an indie artist, every new visit from jazz pianist Pintchik is a special treat since you don't know when the next one will come around and all of her visits are welcome. This time around, she digs down and finds her inner Vince Guaraldi in a set that's spirited, clever and always on point. Fun stuff that shows just how much fun jazz can be when it really wants to be, this is a date jazz piano fans should not miss. Tasty throughout, this is a front and center jewel in her estimatable crown.
Volume 41/Number 92
January 31, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record
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