@@@ Charles Lloyd & The Marvels: Lady Gabor (Blue Note, 2021) All of today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. This is a midtempo laidback groover driven by flute and backed by chill guitar, some tom driven drumming and big washes of sound. To my ear they’ve taken some of the Henry Threadgill larger ensemble and removed all the quirky jank from it to make it go over better with the flavored coffee crowd. This is most definitely jazz music for people with jobs who shower regularly and believe we have a good society going. I appreciate the flute playing but it’s just too much like a big bowl of vanilla pudding — I would love some crunch and a little bit of not vanilla pudding. Am I dick for writing what I like and what I don’t like, only time will tell?
@@@ Cory Hanson: Pale Horse Rider (Drag City, 2021) A pre release track from hipster label Drag City. The tune is mostly rooted in mid to late ’70s Neil Young faded piano rock business but adds a bit of epicness and just a wee bit of New Age feels into it. It’s not plain, it’s adorned. So much here depends on the singer and Hanson’s voice is quite mellow and engaging — lacking the fragility of Young’s voice that has driven his legend for decades. I’m finding the arrangement a bit tilted towards comforting sounds and it could benefit from a little of not that for contrast. It jams out in its final bits and there is a lot of good stuff here but I’ve made my feelings clear.
@@@ Nubiyan Twist: Buckle Up (Strut, 2021) I’ve never quite absorbed the greatness of African jazz even from luminaries like Tony Allen but I’m open to it. Unfortunately this will not be the breakthrough for me as the sounds here draw on late ’70s fusion and a bit of ’80s r&b stylings. I am most decidedly not a fusion dude. The performances are tight as you would expect from the vast majority of African outfits, but the singer here doesn’t work for me. Obviously this is my opinion and others might feel quite differently.