Record Label
and Music Spotlight
 

FALL 2019

  

 

 


















 

MWE3.COM MUSIC NEWS & NOTES
The FALL 2019 RECORD LABEL SPOTLIGHT



POP & ROCK



AZURETONE RECORDS – There’s every reason to get the blues after hearing Pay The Price, the 2019 CD by Ray Fuller And The Bluesrockers. The 14-track CD features mostly original tracks from Ray, who adds in some spellbinding blues-rock riffs on his electric guitar. Also appearing on the CD are Tutu Jumper (drums), Doc Malone (harmonica) and Manny Manuel (bass). Tracks covered include classics by Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Hank Ballard, John Lee Hooker and more. On the scene since starting his band way back in 1974, Ray Fuller is hardly a newcomer to the American blues-rock scene, having opened shows for legends like Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy and more. You can really hear the depth of experience on all the memorable, powerhouse tracks on Pay The Price. Blues-rock fans will gladly ‘pay the price’ and then enjoy the blues-rock sounds on this modern day classic from Ray Fuller And The Bluesrockers. www.rayfuller.com

BIG BOO RECORDS – Recently renowned for working with David Bowie on demos that would turn out to be songs on the late great rocker’s final album Blackstar, multi-instrumentalist Jack Spann moves ahead on his third solo album 2019’s Propaganda Man. There’s plenty of soulful pop, country-rock and good old straight-ahead rock on Jack’s latest to make it of interest to music fans. Two years in the making, the album focuses on addressing what Jack calls “thorny social conundrums”, notably on the 7+ minute and lyrically topical “Marry The Flag With The Cross”. “Shut The Door” is the best song Harry Nilsson never wrote, while “Good Night Lullaby” is a majestic, Bowie-esque instrumental track to end the album. Recorded at Jack’s Tree House studios in Upstate New York, the 12-track album features several musicians including Cecil Robbington (drums) and Gary Tanin, who adds in additional keyboards and his co-production skills. As usual, Jack excels as vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist, which tastefully drapes his memorable tracks. Throughout the album, there are plenty of multi-tracked vocals and interesting studio effects, which adds more fuel to the album fire. Repeated listens reveals just how masterful Jack is as a recording artist. For those keeping track, the CD is tastefully, if sparsely packaged, while the lyrics for Propaganda Man are featured on Jack’s web site. www.jackspann.com

EARWIG MUSIC COMPANY – There’s plenty of smokin’ blues action on the 2017 CD by Les Copeland. Still making the rounds among American blues fans, the 18-cut One More Foot In The Quicksand starts off slowly but picks up steam and moves from acoustic blues to a more rock based sound. Several covers evoke the spirits of blues legends Big Bill Broonzy, Sleepy John Estes, Albert King, Freddie King and Ray Charles. Les plays a mean guitar, both acoustic, electric and slide guitars throughout the album, which also features key contributions from Cameron Ward (electric bass), Scott Grant (drums) with harmonica on a track by Michael Frank. As cool as the song covers are, Les also redeems himself as a fine songwriter as well. Regarding the entertaining groove of One More Foot In The Quicksand, Les Copeland brings a lot to 21st century blues-rock. www.lescopeland.com

ANNA EINARSSON MUSIC – Sweden has a great reputation for eclectic music that often creates new genres by merging other musical directions. A good example of modern, eclectic music is Life In Pieces, the 2019 CD by artist / composer Anna Einarsson. Credited to her band Anna Einarsson Ensemble, the eleven track album features an all original mix of vocal music by Anna, all sung in English, who gets support from her band mates Anne Niepold (accordion), Stefan Wingefors (piano) and Svante Söderqvist (double bass). The music is acoustic in nature and Anna’s vocals are haunting and captivating. There’s no lyric sheet but calling the music on Life In Pieces atmospheric would be an understatement. More neoclassical and avant-garde, especially compared with pop and jazz, there are nevertheless plenty of musical signposts throughout the album. On some tracks, the accordion sound and pounding piano reminds one of the musical existentialism of the late great Swedish composer Lars Hollmer, especially on track six, “Come Play With Me”, a track which features Anna’s excellent, wordless scat vocals and a driving acoustic piano sound that is very reminiscent of the late Hollmer. There’s plenty of musical intrigue and beguiling sonic bliss on Anna Einarsson’s Life In Pieces. www.annaeinarsson.com

GREEN FLASH MUSIC The colorful and exciting sound of Brazilian music seems to be a perennial favorite not only with jazzers but also World Music fans into sublime, guitar-centric music. A good example of the elegance and music magic of contemporary 21st century Brazilian music is Sorte!, a short but sweet, six-track, 29 minute CD featuring music by John Finbury and lyrics and vocals of singer Thalma De Freitas. Well known in her native Brazil as an actress and vocalist, Ms. Freitas is a natural in the style of 1960's favorite Astrud Gilberto—the great voice on many of Jobim’s classic early tracks. Writing and performing for over 40 years, John Finbury is a gifted American keyboardist and composer, that is said to have shocked the Latin music scene with his 2016 album Imáginario. As he tells mwe3.com "The reason I may have "shocked" the Latin music community, or rather "emerge from obscurity" is because my song "A Chama Verde” from my album Imaginário was nominated in 2016 for a Latin Grammy for “Song Of the Year.” From the following interview, reflecting on the unique World Beat approach on his three recent albums, John tells mwe3.com, "I think my compositional style is consistently ‘me’ in all three records. I like lush chords, key indeterminacy, chord substitutions, uneven bar lengths, time and key changes, vamps, and of course, moody ballads. I know that I am on the right track with my compositions when the mood is strong." Speaking about the notion of an American from Boston writing music in the Brazilian Bossa Nova music domain, John also explains, "American composers have been working in Brazilian genres for a long time. Burt Bacharach certainly knew how to adapt Brazilian music in his songs. I tend to listen to my own chestnuts and explore new music by listening to the work of the musicians with whom I am working." A fine band backs up John's music and Thalma's vocals on Sorte! including guitarist Chico Pinheiro, bass ace John Patitucci and the legendary Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira. Lyrics in both English and Brazilian accompany the red-hot looking CD packaging. Recorded in NYC and produced by Emilio D. Miler, Sorte! is one of the most intriguing Brazilian World Beat albums of 2019. www.greenflashmusic.com

JAMOT MUSIC – A highly entertaining album of soulful R&B and Chicago-style blues, A Dose Of The Blues is the 2019 CD by vocalist, trombonist and singer Big James. There are several cover songs on the eleven-track release with the majority of songs concentrating on a range of Big James originals. With James, who goes by the name oneSELF in the credits, as a star vocal attraction, A Dose Of The Blues also features the blazing electric guitar solos of Mike “Money” Wheeler, along with Brian Lupo (rhythm guitars), Roosevelt “Mad Hatter” Purifoy (keys), a pair of drummers and a hot horn section with James handling the vocals and trombone solos. The classic R&B sound of the 1960s is in evidence as is a more up-to-date Chicago blues sound that will simply amaze fans of the genre. Influenced by classic R&B soul singers like Otis Redding, Arthur Conley, Sam & Dave and James Brown, to name just a few, tracks here like “Giving Me The Blues” and “Can't Get Enough Of Your Love”, with its pure STAX meets Motown sounds like something you might have heard on the AM radio in 1966. Asked about his influences, James says, "James Brown definitely! I'm more influenced by OV Wright, Little Milton & Tyrone Davis!" An album to play and replay, A Dose Of The Blues carries the classic R&B sound alive and well into the future. www.oneselfmusic.com

MCI RECORDS – L.A. based Sayed Sabrina released Thou Art That in 2019 and the results are a hard-hitting album of rock solid music. A mix of blues, rock, funk, soul and alternative rock with a jazzy overtone, the 12-track CD is a perfect showcase for Sabrina’s hearty blues-tinged vocals, songs and piano work. Backing up her vocals and songs are some great players including veteran studio musicians, guitarists, bass players, drummers, string players and horn players. The CD is superbly packaged with eye-popping color pics and complete lyrics. Sabrina grew up in L.A. and was part of the punk rock scene, as well having done gigs on the same bill as B.B. King, Dr. John and Leon Russell. Drawing on her wide-ranging background Thou Art That is very much rooted in blues, soul, funk and rock music. Describing her diverse influences Sabrina says, “I’m more like a singer that knows what it’s like to have the blues. I like emotionally driven music.” With the release of Thou Art That, Sabrina Sayed is clearly a fine singer singer-songwriter to sit up and take notice of. www.sayedsabrina.com

MOON LETTERS MUSIC – Based in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington, Moon Letters is a relatively new, five-piece progressive rock band that released its debut album in 2019. Featuring the vocals of Michael Trew, the ten-track, 51 minute CD starts off with a very cool instrumental track, although the album moves away from the instro genre to a more traditional, vocal-based prog sound fueled by Trew’s elegant vocals and a band that simply sizzles in a studio setting. Inspired by the style of Genesis front man Peter Gabriel, Michael Trew also adds in his flute sound. There are plenty of unique melodic ideas, and they quickly incorporate that with a dynamic studio performance and intense band interplay. What is interesting is that nearly 50 years after YES, Tull and Genesis set the world on fire with their first generation prog sound, bands like Moon Letters are reintroducing the sound to a whole new audience of young ears that weren’t even born yet. One can hardly wait for this gifted band to further mature and strike out in some completely new original directions that will ultimately help them establish their own sound and vision, but till that time, Moon Letters is surely a band worth hearing. www.moonletters.com

PALO SANTO RECORDS – Based out of Leicester, England, Diesel Park West has released a number of fine rock albums since their 1990 debut and, with the 2019 CD release of Let It Melt they have released their finest album yet. There are plenty of influences such as Mott The Hoople style mid 1970s glam rock, Stones-like power blues and even guitar-crunching tracks that would appeal to ZZ Top fans. Three of the early members are still on board here, including John Butler (vocals), Rich Barton (guitars, vocals) and Geoff Beavan (bass) and on Let It Melt, they’re joined by Rob Morris (drums), who actually joined DPW fifteen years ago. A gifted singer in the spirit of Mick Jagger, John Butler kicks up quite a fuss and the tracks here are perfect vehicles that really hold your interest. Singer John Butler adds, “This album is simply made up of new songs that we like to play and more to the point, that we like to listen to.” The drive and swagger of Diesel Park West truly comes to a very impressive center on Let It Melt. Somewhere between Let It Bleed and Let It Be? You be the judge and in between enjoy the tuneful power rock in play on Let It Melt. www.dieselparkwest.com

PLOWBOY RECORDS – NYC back in the late 1970s was a pretty heady place. Clubs like CBGB’s were hoppin’ and poppin’ to the sounds of the punk-rock invasion of the post-Beatles decade and guitar ace Richard Lloyd was right in the middle of things, lending his ace fret-board skills to the band Television as well as playing and recording with numerous rockers and bands, including Matthew Sweet and John Doe. On his 2018 solo album The Countdown, Richard proves he’s lost none of his rock and roll guitar sound and swagger. With ten-tracks clocking in at just over 39 minutes, The Countdown is a back-to-the-basics, rock & roll winner packed with a solid musical punch, filled with lots of hooks and Richard’s solid guitar work. Backing up Richard in the studio are esteemed Nashville session men including Dave Roe (bass), Steve Ebe (drums) and Joe Bidewell—the latter playing with Richard as far back as 1980. The front and back cover art features Richard’s own paintings. Richard Lloyd’s long-awaited comeback album, The Countdown is an entertaining, no-frills delight that skillfully mixes elements of guitar-centric garage-rock, soulful pop and electrifying power pop hooks. For a good indication of where he’s coming from on The Countdown, check out the scintillating power-punk rock sound of the blazing, CD-closing, title track. Fans of Richard Lloyd’s early works with Television and beyond will flip for his latest rock tour-de-force. www.richardlloyd.com

POTTER’S DAUGHTER MUSIC – Jon Anderson of YES has said some nice things about the band known as Potter’s Daughter and for the most part, they’re spot on. Featuring the music of singer-songwriter and keyboardist Dyanne Potter Voegtlin, the 12-track CD mixes a sublime blend of instrumental jazz-fusion and New Age flavored pop featuring Dyanne’s vocals. Her piano keyboard work is excellent and she receives solid backing from some top players such as Amit Chatterjee (guitars, synths, percussion), Lincoln Goines (bass), Randy Crafton (drums) and Ian C. Voegtlin (rhythm guitar). With such a hot band on the album, you soon discern these songs are in good hands. Mixing her background as both a classical pianist and a pop singer-songwriter, The Blind Side is filled with expressive vocal and instrumental music that will clearly have wide crossover appeal among rock and fusion listeners. Potter’s Daughter takes a variety of musical forms into some intriguing new directions on The Blind Side. www.pottersdaughterband.com

ROUND SKY MUSIC – The multi-talented Paul Avgerinos made waves in the music world with his Grammy win for his 2016 Grace album and in 2019 he’s back with another brilliant, yet totally different album. On the 2019 CD release of Devotion Paul dives deeply in the realm of time-honored Sanskrit mantras. Thanks to The Beatles, many music fans know the power of Indian music and Paul’s Devotion album is the perfect introduction to ancient mantras praising deities such as Lord Ganesha, Hanuman, Krisha and Shiva. Paul puts the chants into rock and even dance music mode and he gets amazing backup from Yoga all-stars Krishna Das, Donna De Lory, Jai Uttal, Wah!, Aureliaslight, Emma Kiara and others. The CD booklet is colorful and filled with unique insights into these mantras, many of which go back thousands of years. Not only does Paul produce and engineer the ten-track, 63-minute album, but he also supplies his lead and background vocals as well as his guitars, bass, keys, drums and programming to the mix. The vocals from the above mentioned artists gives the album a heavenly shine. Paul describes Devotion as a “Joyful, energetic and spiritual album that will make you want to dance!” It’s not meditative New Age in the classic sense, yet perhaps these mantras, done with much love and care on this alblum, were in fact the original New Age music. Devotion is yet another pleasant musical surprise the multi-talented Paul Avgerinos. www.roundskymusic.com

TARPAN RECORDS – Jazz vocal music rarely gets better than singer Jennifer Saran. The Hong Kong based singer songwriter turned heads around with her 2017 album Wake Up and she returns in 2019 with a short but sweet five-track CD EP called Smoky Nights. Smoky Nights features the production of Narada Michael Walden, who also co-wrote the music here while also adding his drumming and keyboard skills. Like her previous albums, the sound is on Smoky Nights is on timeless jazz-pop and the results are quite arresting. Inspired by legendary jazz vocalists like Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, the music and album sound here is greatly enhanced by Narada’s sumptuous production as well as key contributions from a range of musicians. Some music fans may consider Jennifer Saran an easy listening artist, yet for those in the know, Smoky Nights is a first class jazz-pop vocal experience all the way. www.jennifersaran.com

VAPOR RECORDS – Released on Neil Young’s Vapor Records imprint, Love & Inspiration marks the debut album from long time Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina. Fans of Neil Young & Crazy Horse will recall the time when we first heard Ralph’s drumming on the 1969 classic Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Having played with Neil on just about every Neil Young & Crazy Horse related album, Ralph’s album is very much steeped in Neil’s breezy, orchestrated country-rock style and he proves his worth as both composer and vocalist, leaving the drumming to Tom Lackner. Other musicians appearing include guitarists John Sklair, Bob Thiele and Mark Pont with other fine players, including keyboard legend Barry Goldberg, adding in some colorful sounds. As a vocalist Ralph sounds quite like Neil Young as well as sounding at times like the late great Dennis Wilson, co-founder and drummer of The Beach Boys, especially on the more orchestral sounding tracks. The CD booklet is filled with pictures of Ralph and all the players on hand. A case of better late than never, the 2019 CD release of Love & Inspiration shines a different light on the multitalented music of Crazy Horse legend Ralph Molina. www.ralphmolina.net

VIVTONE RECORDS – Recorded in California and New Jersey, DNA is the debut album by singing sensations The Vivino Sisters. Daughters of jazz-rock sax maven Jerry Vivino, the eleven-cut album features a number of musicians including Jerry (sax, flute, clarinet) and Jerry’s esteemed brother Jimmy Vivino (guitar, banjo), Mitch Forman (keys, arrangements) and other top musicians. The Vivino Sisters—Donna Vivino, Natalia Vivino & Antonia Vivino—each have show-biz pulsing through their DNA - is there a better word to describe the Vivino magic? The sisters have an extensive background in music from NYC on Broadway and theatrical productions and these musical gifts rise to the surface on DNA. The album starts off with an elegant version of “Castle On A Cloud”, from Les Misérables and mixes in a range of covers and originals composed by the sisters—notably written by middle sister Natalia. Among the original highlights is a track called “Three Days”, written by Maury Yeston of Titanic fame. Fans of the Great American Songbook will note some of these tracks - “Goody Goody” from 1936 and “I Want To Be Happy” - along with more contemporary covers of songs by Randy Newman and the Madonna song “Live To Tell”. The original songs are worthwhile too making the album a fine choice for fans of new pop and Broadway. The Vivino Sisters strike pop gold with their debut album DNA. www.vivinosisters.com

WHO SAID MUSIC – Born in Canada and based in the Pacific Northwest state of Oregon, Melissa Ruth released Meteor is 2019. For fans of Americana and blues music, the eleven cut CD is a keeper. Written, arranged and produced by Melissa, Meteor delves into a range of sounds that expertly merges electric blues-rock, country-rock capped off with a driving rock ‘n’ roll edge, and in doing so she comes up with a winner of an album. A very cool discovery with a smoky, bluesy voice and Keith Richards inspired rhythm guitar style, Melissa gets solid support from her band—sounding on fire throughout the 11-cut CD. Backing up Melissa’s songs, rhythm guitars and voice, Meteor features Johnny Leal (lead guitar), Rick DeVol (bass) and Simon Lucas (drums). There’s a supercharged air of tight, bluesy rock in play on just about every track on Meteor and the driving beat is a perfect setting for Melissa’s deep, dark lyrics, which are also printed in the CD booklet. Melissa cites Bob Dylan as a prime influence on her music and a similar high quality approach of song writing is reflected in her songs on Meteor. www.melissaruthmusic.com


INSTRUMENTAL

APHESIS MUSIC – His name may be hard to pronounce yet Greek born / NYC based musician Glafkos Kontemeniotis has made an album of quite easy on the ears jazz. Featuring eleven tracks, Yugen is a fine showcase for Glafkos and his band, including fine players like Joel Frahm (sax), Marcus McLaurine (bass), Dave Meade (drums) and other players who guest. Informative liner notes are penned by Alexander Gagatis, who also adds vibes on four tracks. Perhaps the accessibility of the music can be partly attributed to the tastefully recorded acoustic piano sound of Glafkos, who expertly merges jazz, traditional music and classical styles into a free form, straight ahead jazz formula. A fine choice for fans of the CD format, the album not only sounds good but also features fine packaging along with the in-depth liner notes. A well-produced straight-ahead set of instrumentals with a definite New York kind of vibe, contemporary jazz doesn’t get a whole lot better than Yugen, by pianist / composer Glafkos Kontemeniotis. www.glafkosjazz.com

BLUJAZZ - Guitarist Paul Silbergleit keeps the time-honored instrumental jazz tradition alive and well with his 2019 album January. On the eleven track January, the Milwaukee Wisconsin based guitarist is joined by some fine players including Todd Howell (drums), Eric Schoor (tenor sax) and Clay Schaub (bass). With an impressive performance background, Paul is also a music instructor and his impeccable credentials have resulted in a range of instruction DVDs and books. Paul’s 2019 CD on Blujazz, January is superbly recorded and is a modern day, straight-ahead, mainstream jazz classic tailor-made for fans of guitar heroes such as Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell and other legendary music icons. For January, Paul has composed a number of original tracks, including two by group bass player Clay Schaub. There are also two covers including the CD closer “The Summer Knows” by Michel Legrand and “If I Should Lose You”, the standard covered by countless jazz artists and vocalists. A fine addition to the Blujazz catalog, January is a fine introduction to the masterful jazz guitar sound of Paul Silbergleit. www.paulsilbergleit.com / www.blujazz.com

CAPITOL SOUND RECORDS – A worthwhile album to unwind with for some cool smooth jazz and New Age instrumentals, Let Go is a fine introduction to the music of Germany-based musician / composer Christoph Berghorn. Christoph describes his first purely instrumental album as being “music from the soul, for the soul”. There’s many different genres featured throughout the impressive 22 track album including smooth jazz, meditative new Age, neoclassical, electronica and light, easy-listening mood music. Christoph gets some amazing sounds from his Yamaha S90 ES piano / synthesizer. Several guest artists appear adding cello, sax, flugel horn and percussion, giving the album extra textures. Key to the album sound and compositional depth is the mainly piano-based keyboard sound of Christoph. Also known in his native Germany for his musical arrangements on children’s albums, poetry recitation releases and his pop-rock and jazz fusion albums, Let Go proves to be a most impressive New Age instrumental album full of pleasant sonic details. www.christoph-berghorn.com

CBM RECORDS – Going way back to the 1970s, the French music scene was already steeped in the world of progressive jazz-rock and fusion. Bands like ZAO, Coincidence and Shylock transformed their instrumental progressive fusion into a worldwide phenomenon. Carrying that torch forward, multi-instrumentalist, guitarist / keyboardist / vocalist Clément Belio takes the progressive rock and fusion sound into some deep, uncharted waters on his 2019 album called Patience. Taking it beyond the traditional fusion and progressive genres, Clément blends in elements of modern metal and even hip-hop, which tastefully merges with the jazzy and epic classical, progressive and orchestral sounds. Balancing out the instrumental tracks, the ten-track Patience also spotlight several vocal tracks, sung by Clément in both English and French—the multi-tracked vocals floating over the progressive orchestral sounds. What is most impressive is that Clément produced, composed, arranged, recorded and mixed the entire album – the lone exception being a cover of “La Danse Macabre” written by classical legend Saint-Saens. That said, there are several guest musicians on Patience, including keyboardist Francois-Xavier de Turenne, vocalist Carla Fernandez and violinist Camille Schwartz. The artwork and packaging of the CD is excellent and the CD booklet features superb photos and lyrics for the vocal tracks. Clément Belio’s Patience is a colorful example of state-of-the-art, progressive rock fusion in the early 21st century. www.clementbelio.com

8BALL CITY RECORDS – Israel-born / NYC based keyboardist, producer and composer Eitan Kenner released his 2019 album 8Ball City (the same name as his label) under his stage name, Kenner. Recorded in NYC and Israel, the 12-track, 33 minute CD is a perfect reflection of Eitan’s wildly inventive instrumental music, which is very much influenced by 1970s prog-rock and jazz-rock fusion music—from U.K. trendsetters Gentle Giant to ‘70s fusion superstars Return To Forever. For 8Ball City, Eitan has assembled a gifted band, including three drummers, a pair of electric guitarists and many more musicians. As for his highly structured compositions, they are further magnified by Eitan’s expertise on a range of keyboard instruments including piano, Rhodes, Hammond C3 and a range of synths. Although a do-it-yourself project, 8Ball City Benefits from colorful cover art with Eitan’s own liner notes, well-rounded compositions as well as excellent studio sound. www.kennermusic.com

PABLO EMBON MUSIC – A one man jazz-rock band if there every was one, Pablo Embon puts it all together on his 2019 album called Reminiscent Moods. The 12-track album was recorded by Pablo in Israel. Originally from Argentina, Pablo has released 16 albums and his new one may be his best yet. Upbeat instrumental mainstream and smooth jazz with heavier fusion edges, Reminiscent Moods is a fine showcase for Pablo’s guitar, keyboard and arranging skills. The drum sounds are a bit light but his keyboard and guitar playing is totally first rate. Pablo cites Pat Metheny and early music from jazz-fusion legends Return To Forever among his influences and clearly music fans will enjoy the diverse instrumental grooves on Reminiscent Moods. www.pablo-embon.com

FULL BLAST RECORDINGS– In between working with King Crimson, Tony Levin got together with drummer icon Danny Gottlieb and joined forces with guitarist Mike Pachelli for the recording of his 2019 album called High Standards. A play on words, the high here comes from the trio recording a series of well-known jazz standards including favorites like “Put On A Happy Face”, “Sweet Georgia Brown”, “Whistle While You Work”, “Skylark” and others. Add in a Pachelli original called “Yardbird Blues”, also featuring blues guitarist Keb’ Mo’, and you come away with an album that will appeal to jazz buffs and guitar fans too. Mike Pachelli is one of the most versatile jazzers on the 21st century guitar scene and Tony Levin and Danny Gottlieb hardly need any introductions. Mike’s credentials are quite established and for those keeping score, High Standards is the guitarist’s 18th solo album. Harking back to the sound and style of great guitar legends like Les Paul and Wes Montgomery, on High Standards Mike Pachelli takes his guitar sound to a higher level. www.mikepachelli.com

HALL STUDIOS Back in 2016, multi-instrumentalist Geoff Hall released Understanding The Signs and in 2019 he returns on record with While It Lasts. Geoff’s earlier release had no guitar on it, instead that album featured a mix of orchestral sounding keyboard music. In a musical twist of fate, Geoff gets back to his guitar roots on While It Lasts. The nine-track, 36-minute album features Geoff’s acoustic guitar front and center with added winds, strings, piano and brass backing tracks. While It Lasts has a clear influence from the Windham Hill sound of the late 1980s and 1990s, especially influences from iconic acoustic guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Alex de Grassi and Franco Morone. Although Geoff is well versed in electric guitar styles too, with its focus on alternate tunings, While It Lasts is an appealing sounding album of mesmerizing, acoustic-based guitar sounds and styles. The strings enhance the sound too, especially on track 3, “Resolved”, and another album highlight called “Pheidippides”, with its haunting mellotron brass sounds. Filled with scenic and pastoral vibes, While It Lasts also underscores Geoff’s keen interest in film scores. Mastering engineer David Glaser who worked on Understanding The Signs, also gives While It Lasts a worthy CD sound. A standout release in a vast field of gifted guitar players making fine albums, While It Lasts is a most enjoyable album by a well-rounded guitarist and composer bringing his own unique sonic vision to the wide world of music. www.GeoffHallComposer.com

IN AND OUT RECORDS – Part jazzy, part bluesy, Cobb’s Pocket is the 2019 CD release by NYC based recording artist Hendrik Meurkens. Backed up by a fine band, including Peter Bernstein (guitar), Mike LeDonne (organ) and Jimmy Cobb (drums), the all-instrumental CD is the perfect showcase of Hendrik’s harmonica work, which is the key instrument showcased on the eight cut, 50 minute album. Post-bop jazz at its finest, Cobb’s Pocket features Hendrik and company romping through an album of cover tracks, including originals by Herbie Hancock, Slide Hampton, Henry Mancini, Sam Jones and Jimmy Van Heusen. The title track, track four “Slidin” and the CD closer “A Slow One” was written by Hendrik. The sound of the album showcases the steady interaction between the harmonica, electric guitar, organ and drums, which is a rarely heard combination of instruments. Jimmy Cobb is a jazz drumming legend that played with Wes Montgomery and in the spirit of Wes, Cobb’s Pocket is “in the pocket jazz” at its finest. www.hendrikmeurkens.com

KAKAFON RECORDS A good example of a sonic merger between 21st century instrumental jazz-fusion and ethnic Scandinavian folk music can be heard in its full glory on Zobop, an eight cut, 41 minute music masterpiece from Swedish guitarist Henrik Cederblom. One of many favorable outcomes of the late 20th century rock era, the Swedish fascination with traditional folk music dates back to the late 1960s, and the early works of progressive rock musicians including the late, keyboadist / composer Bo Hansson and Bo’s guitarist Kenny Håkansson, the latter going on to explore the true depths of merging Swedish folk and rock music on numerous albums from the past 50 years. With its fine attunement to both melody and jazz improv, Henrik’s 2019 album Zobop will clearly appeal to jazz and folk-jazz listeners. Speaking about making a connection between Scandinavian folk music melodies and jazz-rock instrumentals, Henrik tells mwe3.com, "Actually, I discovered both Håkansson and Schaffer later, so my main influences for me when I grew up was Hendrix, Zappa, Beck, Blackmore, Clapton, probably the similar inspiration as Kenny and Janne, haha… and I think the melodies in my music are connected to a lot of the stuff that they have done. Somehow, some little folkloric Swedish touch. I don't think Swedish music is underrated… Swedish musicians and songwriters have had a huge influence if you consider how small the country is." On Zobop, Henrik excels on electric guitars, lap steel and beats and he gets solid support from his band, including Viktor Turegård (electric bass), Tapha Ndiongue (drums), Sten Källman (sax, percurssion) and Finn Björnulfson (percussion on "Zobop"). One interesting thing here is, even incorporating the folk-based melodies, the fusion music on Zobop was composed by Henrik except for one traditional song covered here. Henrik cites modern day guitar influencers like Bill Frisell and Afrobeat drumming legend Tony Allen, but there’s a definite sense of originality thoughout the entire Zobop album. www.cederblom.com / www.kakafon.com

LABORIE JAZZ – Two brothers, François Moutin (upright bass) and Louis Moutin (drums) form the axis of Moutin Factory Quintet. Very impressionistic jazz, their 2019 album Mythical River combines a range of tastefully recorded jazz sounds further benefited by the added input from Paul Lay (keys), Manu Codjia (guitar) and Christophe Monniot (sax). Having worked in France with a number of artists, including Michel Legrand, Francois spent valuable time working in NYC, giving the sound of the MFQ album a kind of New York style flavor. An all-instrumental merger of jazz with a soulful, blues-based Euro-flavored music, Mythical River was inspired by their travels in the US along the Mississippi River and New York’s Lincoln Center. The band clicks and Manu’s fiery, though not dominating, electric guitar gives the group sound a kind of 21st century fusion jazz sensibility. Moutin Factory Quintet takes their jazz-based instrumental sound to a higher level on Mythical River. www.moutin.com

MOONJUNE RECORDS – A good example of experimental music made and recorded when two gifted musicians get together, Tor & Vale is a sonic meeting of the minds between UK guitarist Mark Wingfield and multi-instrumentalist Gary Husband—the latter being best known as a jazz-fusion drummer that has worked with a range of bands and artists, including the late great rock icon Jack Bruce. A mix of both composed and improvised pieces, the focal point of the 8 track, 76 minute Tor & Vale album is the sonic interplay between Wingfield’s stinging electric guitar sound and Gary’s harmonic additions on acoustic piano. A triple threat musician, Gary Husband is one of the most underrated recording artists in England and his 2019 recording with guitarist Mark Wingfield may be low key in scope but it’s nevertheless a beguiling, hypnotic spin from start to finish. Fans of Mark’s Cinema Obscura album from 2013, as well as his incredible albums with experimental guitarist Kevin Kastning will find Tor & Vale an equally astounding listening experience. www.moonjune.com

OWL MOUNTAIN MUSIC - Based in San Mateo, California, acoustic guitarist Steve Eulberg released his ninth solo recording in August 2019. The 13-track, 44 minute CD, called Between The Tracks is a fine offering of relaxing, modern solo guitar magic that serves up a wide range of jazzy and bluesy acoustic instrumentals. On the inside of the tastefully packaged digi-pak artwork you can see a picture of Steve with his nylon string guitar. Guitars featured on Between The Tracks include a Huss & Dalton DS and a Cordoba Fusion 14 Maple. Steve’s track by track anecdotes are accompanied by his detailed liner notes, which describe early guitar influences such as Mason Williams, well known jazzy, guitar-centric artists including Earl Klugh and Antonio Carlos Jobim, as well as finger-style, guitar-centric pop artists like John Denver and Jim Croce. In his notes, Steve cites the late great Pete Huttlinger, Tommy Emmanuel, Phil Keaggy, ragtime steel guitar ace Rev. Gary Davis and Leo Kottke. There’s also a classical influence and Steve cites reflective music from classical composer Debussy, while the lone cover here is “Guitar Etude No.3”, an instrumental track written by pop singer Dan Fogelberg. You can hear just about every type of solo guitar style, from folk and blues to jazz and even ragtime on Steve Eulberg’s superbly recorded 2019 solo album Between The Tracks. www.SteveEulberg.com

ROCKADILLO RECORDS – Finland’s Rockadillo continues releasing excellent albums and at the top of the list is the 2019 CD by Finnish vibraphonist Arttu Takalo called The Man In The Shadows. Instrumental jazz that borders on soundtrack music and even rock, the eleven track, 35 minute album features Arttu performing a number of instruments, including electronic vibes, xylophone, piano, synths, drums and percussion. A range of players - dubbed the L’allliance Takolo - assist, filling up the sound spectrum, including Niko Kumpuvaara (accordion), Ville Herrala (double bass) and Ville Pynssi (drums) with added input by Mongo Aaltonen (percussion) and album co-producer Speedy Saarinen on guitar and banjo. Fans of Finnish jazz and fusion remember Arttu as a founding member of the band XL, and while there’s not as much guitar work here as on the XL albums, there’s plenty of atmospheric instrumental fusion magic in play on The Man In The Shadows to make it of interest to music fans worldwide. www.rockadillo.fi

SONGTRAKS – Australian multi-instrumentalist and composer Franky Valentyn is making waves in the progressive music world with Life As We Know It released on SongTraks by The Franky Valentyn Project. Very much a do-it-yourself project, the 12-track, 43 minute album is mostly available on CD-r and download but that shouldn’t necessarily stop you from hearing it and enjoying it. With his deft keyboard skills and touches of humor and musical humility, Franky is being compared to Rick Wakeman and, true to form, there’s definite touch of old England in the sound of the tracks. There’s even a kind of Hank Marvin tribute track but it’s very different from the other songs here. Guitarist Stephen Layton guests as does Robert Forbes on theremin and vocalist Wendy Angel on couple tracks. The soundtrack edge is also hard not to notice. The CD sound is very good thanks to the expert sonic touch of Australia’s great prog-rock guitar ace Ben Craven. All told Life As We Know It is a great introduction to the sound of The Franky Valentyn Project. www.facebook.com/SongTraks

RICK SPARKS MUSIC – No sooner had composer / keyboardist Rick Sparks released his Half Moon Bay album in 2018, that he released his latest masterpiece Hushabye in 2019. Rick’s eleven-track Hushabye follows Half Moon Bay with a splendid, new assortment of relaxing, meditative instrumentals incorporating a sound that has made him a favorite among modern day New Age music listeners. It’s no secret that Rick is a huge fan of American music icon Brian Wilson and, in fact the song “Hushabye” was actually written in 1959 by song writing hero Doc Pomus and recorded by The Beach Boys in 1964. Different Hushabye I know while, there isn’t a song called “Hushabye” on Rick’s new album. The artist explains, “Brian always said he used three-part vocal harmonies because to his ear it sounded like angels. I took that to heart by using angelic-sounding wordless voices singing multipart harmonies.” Using electronic keyboards to create ethereal soundscapes highlighted by what sounds like angels singing in the background, Rick’s Hushabye album was specifically created as an album that he describes as “soothing music that both adults and children could relax to.” For his sixth solo album Rick has composed nine new tracks as well as including instrumental arrangements of the song “Love Can Make You Happy”, a song from 1969 by the 1960s group Mercy and a new rendition of the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me.” Listened to during the day as a way to help recharge your karmic batteries and as a late night sound reliever, Hushabye draws you in with its palate of soothing and peaceful instrumental New Age sounds. www.ricksparksmusic.net

SPHERIC MUSIC – Germany based Spheric Music remains on the cutting edge of Teutonic electronica – both then and now - starting with a new for 2019 album by synth wizard Robert Schroeder. Fans of the legendary Berlin school of electronic music will recall Robert’s 1979 debut, the Harmonic Ascendant release on the Klaus Schulze owned IC label. Now in 2019, 40 years later, Robert Schroeder is back again with a newly recorded album called Fata Morgana. An album filled with imaginative synth-soundscapes, the album is truly a cosmic journey, filled with instrumental electronic music magic. Outfitted with synth choirs, sequential percussion, electric guitars and otherworldly vocal effects, the seven track album runs 65+ minutes. Overall, Fata Morgana is a timely reminder of Robert Schroeder’s long standing career in the world of instrumental electronic music. Speaking of Spheric Music, the long-time Spheric Music label head, Lambert Ringlage is quite an established artist in his own right. Releasing his own brand of electronic music albums since 1988, Lambert has dusted off his 1995 Dimensions Of Dreams album and has remastered and reissued it in 2019 with a newly recorded bonus track. In the spirit of the legendary German electronica masters like Froese, Schultz and Schroeder, the Dimensions Of Dreams album sounds better than ever and is a fitting companion to the label’s 2019 Robert Schroeder album. If synth music is called for, check out the many fine CDs on Spheric Music. www.sphericmusic.de

SPOTTED PECCARY MUSIC – With its subject matter inspired by Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, the 2019 CD release of Meditation In Green is a superb introduction to the music of Colorado-based synthesist Kelly David. In the spirit of other albums on the Spotted Peccary label, Meditation In Green is very much steeped in minimalist and ambient instrumental music with ethereal, dreamy textures. Inspired by both synth legends like Wendy Carlos and Keith Emerson, Meditation In Green is different in some ways although Wendy’s early 1970s double album Sonic Seasonings album is a good reference point, albeit brought up to date. Even though he has released several other albums, Washington D.C. native Kelly David will attract many new fans thanks to Spotted Peccary’s high level of sonic excellence. Through the magic of the relatively recent online recording process, several guest artists in different locations, including Hanoi-based musician Vu Nhat Tan, who adds in recorded samples of Vietnamese instruments on various tracks. Very cool music, filled with otherworldly sounds and nocturnal imagery, Meditation In Green is a must hear album for minimalist New Age synth listeners. www.SpottedPeccary.com

SUPERTONES MUSIC Anytime The Supertones release a new album is a cause for celebration, not only among long time fans in their hometown NYC, but also for all fans of the world-wide Surf-Rock instrumental genre that the band specializes in. With guitarist / composer Tim Sullivan at the helm once again, the 2019 CD release of Unknown And Other Hits From Outer Space features 15 newly recorded tracks of instrumental surf-rock gold. Recorded at Brooklyn’s famed Cowboy Technical Services studio, the album spotlights Tim Sullivan on lead guitars, Seth Lipscher (rhythm guitars), Simon Chardiet (bass guitars) and Tommy Mattioli (drums). With production chores by Simon and Tommy, the album sounds excellent and features a number of musical surprises, not the least being instrumental covers of two classics penned by the late great rock legend David Bowie. A cover of Bowie’s “Starman” classic from 1972, is given the Supertones treatment and it’s a real highlight of Unknown And Other Hits From Outer Space. Another outer space signature song by Bowie, in fact his first big international hit, “Space Oddity” is also given the Supertones touch and is another dazzling sounding highlight. Also here is a cover of the title track from the 1965 movie For A Few Dollars More, originally written by Ennio Morricone. A mix of several cover tracks and a fresh batch of Supertones originals fills out the album in style. Decked out in stunning day-glow cover art, Unknown And Other Hits From Outer Space is a Supertones-style surf-rock instrumental blast, start to finish. cdbaby.com / facebook.com / youtube.com

TARANTINOSNYC MUSIC – Having released a fine full length CD called Surfin’ The Silver Screen, TarantinosNYC are back in 2019 with a 7 track CD EP called III. Check out the CD cover art and it’s kind of a spoof on the Led Zeppelin III album art but the music is solidly rooted in the American style of guitar instrumental surf-rock. The four piece, NYC based retro-instro band combines a pair of originals with credible guitar-centric instro covers of The Beach Boys (“Pet Sounds”), The Grass Roots (“Midnight Confession”), a convincing cover of the Link Wray classic “The Shadow Knows” as well as a track covered from the Jackie Brown soundtrack. Though it’s basically half an album, it is worth mentioning that the TarantinosNYC sound has improved on the seven track III and the album ends on a intriguing note with a Nancy Sinatra does James Bond style track featuring vocalist Elena Barakhovski with added violins and keyboards of Lois Dilivio. www.tarantinosnyc.com

3TIMES7 MUSIC – Blues-rock continues to be a vital music sound and style all over the world. A good example of 21st century electric blues-rock from the U.K., the 2019 CD release of Rain In Chicago is a solid album by England’s 3 Times 7. Interesting name for a band, the album is a splendid showcase of singer Jenny Lawrence and guitarist David Holdstock. The guitar sound of Rain In Chicago is totally on fire and Jenny’s vocals are equally red-hot. Inspired by the band’s visit to the Windy City and the delta blues capital of New Orleans, the 12-track CD features a number of other musicians, including Matt Ainsworth and a whole lot more. The CD is imaginatively packaged with humorous track-by-track notes. Rain In Chicago follows the band’s 2015 album Dirty Money. Hard-hitting blues rock with a belting vocalist and hard-hitting electric guitar sound, Rain In Chicago will knock-out blues-rock fans all over the world. www.3times7.co.uk

JARRED WALKER MUSIC – A fine pianist / composer from Ohio, Jarred Walker released Becoming Tomorrow in 2019. Inspired by New Age, jazzy classical music, Broadway soundtrack music, frisky instrumental pop and other like-minded genres, the piano sound is front and center, underscored by easy on the ears drums and percussion. Fans of jazz icon Vince Guaraldi and even latter day New Age guru George Winston will appreciate Jarred’s lighthearted approach to instrumental piano sounds. Much like the CD album cover art, there’s an optimistic vibe running throughout the ten-track, 35 minute album. Nothing too dramatic or intense, Becoming Tomorrow is an album of relaxing and whimsical acoustic piano music guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. www.jarredwalker.bandcamp.com

WAYNE WILKINSON MUSIC – Colorado-based guitarist / composer Wayne Wilkinson is making jazz fans happy with his 2019 album Proceed To Route. Having gigged all over the world, Wayne strikes jazz guitar gold with his new eleven cut album. Combining a range of originals and covers, Proceed To Route has something for both jazz fans and guitar buffs. For pop fans looking for a melodic approach, Wayne tackles the Paul McCartney / Wings era classic “My Love”, as a guitar instro and there's also uptempo covers of Jimmy Webb, Irving Berlin, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, all well situated among new tracks penned by Wayne. The band featured, backing up Wayne on his eighth indie label release is also worth mentioning, including Andy Burtschi (bass), Todd Williams (drums) and Thomas J. Dawson Jr., who, in addition to producing the album, adds in piano and strings on a pair of tracks here. Jazz guitar fans will be mightily impressed with Wayne Wilkinson’s Proceed To Route. www.waynewilkinson.com

WOODLARK MUSIC – New Age maestro Mike Woodlark is making inroads with his 2019 album called Mackland Avenue. Mysterious and meditative, the 12-track CD features Mike’s tasteful keyboard skills with the accent on his acoustic piano. Adding in synths, guitars, strings and percussion, on Mackland Avenue Mike combines memorable melodic inventions enhanced by the excellent sound of the recording. Several tracks feature Mike’s low-key vocals with the sound focusing on what is best described as a soft, folk-oriented New Age sound. Mike’s occasional vocals only serve to further highlight the relaxing nature of the album. There’s even a track here called “Hey Vincent”, which is Mike’s tribute to legendary painter Vincent Van Gogh. The CD sounds low-key and is rather mysterious looking, without any details of the album but after hearing it, Mackland Avenue is an album very much worth tracking down and listening to. Several guest artists appear, but Mackland Avenue is mostly an excellent close-up of Mike Woodlark’s magical New Age keyboard-based music. www.bandcamp.com

 


REISSUES
& RETROSPECTIVES


BGO RECORDS – Over in the U.K. BGO continues finding rare and obscure albums for reissue fans to enjoy. Among the labels’ 2019 reissues is a two 2 albums on 1 CD reissue of the first two albums from California based Latin funk-fusion band Caldera. First released on Lp by Capitol Records back in the late 1970s, Caldera (1976) and Sky Islands (1977) took instrumental jazz-rock fusion to the next highest level. At the core of the Caldera sound was guitarist Jorge Strunz, born in Costa Rica and keyboardist Eduardo Del Barrio from Argentina on keyboards. Fans of world-class fusion bands like Weather Report and Return To Forever flocked to hear them and, despite retiring the band at the end of the 1970s, there’s plenty of funky fusion fun to still be enjoyed thanks to BGO’s 75 minute double album collection. Combining new interview segments with Jorge Strunz and 2019 liner notes by musicologist Charles Waring, the reissue provides loads of insightful reminders of the band’s significance and importance during the 1970s heyday of the early jazz-rock fusion era. Also up and out on BGO in 2019 is a double CD reissue by Brill building legend Carole King. Although mostly a legend of the pop and rock world from the 1960s and ‘70s, by the time the early ‘80s rolled around, Ms. King was once again trying to revive her career with two albums on Atlantic Records. Reissued on a single disc 20 track CD, One To One (1982) and Speeding Time (1983) were easy on the ears very much of the times during the early post-Beatles pop era. Originally inspired by the great Brill Building song writing, King and the late great Gerry Goffin went on to work with major artists. BGO has done a great job on their 2 albums on 1 CD adding in complete discography information, lyrics for both albums, capped off by new liner notes by John Tobler. BGO has done a great with the back catalog of easy listening singing legend Andy Williams and their great work continues with four albums featured on a 2019 double disc set. Albums included are The Andy Williams Show (Andy’s 26th album first released in 1970), Love Story (1971), A Song For You (1971) and Alone Again Naturally (1972). One of the legendary pop interpreters, Williams may have been out of his prime following his reigning early 1960s days, yet even during the early 1970s his smooth as silk vocals sounded great. MOR pop fans will note the vast array of covers given the Andy Williams touch throughout the 49 track double CD set. Liner notes by Charles Waring brings to light the importance of these vital artifacts from the back catalog of the late great pop crooner Andy Williams. www.bgo-records.com

EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT – Soon enough it will be 40 years since the assassination of John Lennon. With 2020 hindsight, 2019 DVD release of Above Us Only Sky is the perfect a companion piece to the 2018 Imagine DVD. Somehow there was yet more footage that didn’t make it on to the first DVD. Not as involved as the Imagine which Eagle released together with the Gimme Some Truth documentary, this second and presumed final episode of the Imagine era, Above Us Only Sky makes an even more compelling and to the point filmic statement. Above just about everything here, is we all know that had John’s murder never occurred, most of this footage would never have stood a chance of coming out. Continuing his adventures with his wife Yoko Ono, there’s so many intimate moments that it’s almost beyond belief that John would have wanted so much of his private life filmed let alone released. He’s actually filmed on the toilet, reading a newspaper, probably pissing and smoking at the same time. Even with so much insights into the era of the Imagine album, so for DVD buffs, the best part is surely the filming of John & Yoko at the home studio on his palatial estate with superb performances by Phil Spector and especially George Harrison, who turns in some incredible guitar performances on a pair of tracks. Alan “Yes Is The Answer” White is here too along with Klaus Voorman, Nicky Hopkins, a coterie of journalists and photographers, and new interviews with L.A. PR legend Elliot Mintz, along with John's first son Julian Lennon who looks about 9. George Harrison seems quiet and introspective during what turned out to be the filming during the making of Imagine. Ring On indeed. From a documentary perspective, Lennon’s dominance in the studio and electric and acoustic guitar work is also spotlighted here in all its glory. One downside is that there’s no footage here of Moody Blues founder Mike Pinder, the musician that turned the Beatles onto the mellotron. Ever the sonic perfectionist that basically spawned the entire progressive rock movement of the second half of the 1960s, in addition to the 'Tron, Pinder played all the tambourine parts, in the studio as it appeared on all the classic 7 Moodies albums so, it makes sense that after finding that John’s melloton was beyond repair, in a strange yet fitting turn of events, played a great tambourine on “I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier”. But so glad to see in the movie-closing credits, Mike's name and that of Stackridge founder Andy Davis, who also played acoustic guitar on some Imagine tracks. There is also no filmed footage of John with 1950's sax legend King Curtis, but the DVD features some studio banter over a cool b&w photo of John and King that looks spectacular. The ultimate film of John's unique marriage to Yoko and his musical chemistry with these legendary musicians during the Imagine era and absolutely made for Beatles fans, Above Us Only Sky is essential viewing. www.johnlennon.com

RHINO ENTERTAINMENT / WARNER BROS. RECORDS – With the Compact Disc poised to revolutionize the entire music industry, jazz fans were also said to have been shocked when jazz legend, trumpet master / composer Miles Davis left his long time label Columbia and moved to Warner Bros. In October 1985, Miles started recording the album Rubberband in L.A. yet it was shelved and incompleted, in favor of recording what would become the Tutu album. Although there was a four song digital EP of the unreleased Rubberband album released in 2018, Rhino’s 2019 11 track, 65 minutes CD, double vinyl and download marks the first ever official release of the album. In a radical departure from his classic jazz sound, Rubberband is filled with funky soulful grooves while featuring a range of singers and vocal arrangers. The Rubberband album also benefits thanks to high caliber musicians including Randy Hall (guitars, vocals), Zane Giles (vocal and rhythm arrangements), Vince Wilburn, Jr. (percussion, arrangements), Adam Holzman (keys), Mike Stern (guitars), Bob Berg (sax), Arthur Haynes (bass, keys, programming) and many other players, all listed in the credits. Vocalists include Ledisi and Lalah Hathaway among others. Finally completed for historical reissue on Rhino by Zane Giles, Randy Hall and Miles’ nephew Vince Wilburn Jr, the CD sounds great and as it stands and sounds 35 years later, it’s a classic mid ‘80s period piece - a jazz-funk classic filled with Miles’ unique trumpet stylings and his one of a kind sound. In addition, the CD booklet features 2019 liner notes by George Cole, along with rare pics, topped off by a cool painting by Miles that adorns the album cover art. Fans of Miles Davis will dig the unreleased jazz grooves of Rubberband. www.milesdavis.com / www.rhino.com

SVART RECORDS – In 2018, Finland’s reissue label Svart Records compiled the 3 studio albums and various single tracks and rare early tracks by the 1970s progressive rock band Finnforest and the results are quite impressive. A 3 CD box set, chronicling the band started by brothers Jussi Tegelman (drums) and Pekka Tegelman (guitars), Alpha To Omega – The Complete Studio Recordings 1973-1980 is a veritable time capsule detailing the history one of Finland’s best 1970s instrumental jazz-rock fusion bands. Although inspired early on by great Finnish rock bands like Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti, the band Finnforest went from a rock centric early start to a sonically appealing, instrumental jazz-rock sound that transcended sonic borders and genres. The three Finnforest studio albums, presented on the Svart box includes the first, self-titled, all instrumental Finnforest album from 1975 (with rare, early rock vocal tracks recorded in 1973), Lahto Matkalle (1976 – complete with 2 rare single only instrumentals) and their final album, the instrumental classic Demonnights (1979 w/ three bonus tracks from 1980). The 3 CD Finnforest set on Svart is well packaged and features in-depth liner notes, all in English, and rare color and b&w pics. An excellent 3 CD box set, Alpha To Omega – The Complete Studio Recordings 1973-1980 presents a concise overview of the tasteful, instrumental jazz fusion music created by Finnforest. www.svartrecords.com

 

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