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Vinyl Side of Midnight Playlist 12/21/2008

This is the playlist for this week’s Vinyl Side of Midnight, which can be heard on 89.7 FM WLNZ in the Greater Lansing area, or you can tune in internationally on the web on www.wlnz.org – hosted by Mike Stratton, Sunday nights, 9pm- midnight, Eastern Standard Time

12/21/08

2008 Part Two: Runners Up

Last week was the ‘Honorable Mentions’ of Outstanding CDs of 2008. This week we listen to a pile of really great recordings leading up to my favorite recordings of the year.
As this is our annual Christmas Bonanza, we’ll also feature visits from Cathie Blumer and Maggie Lyons!

organissimo – Groovadelphia; Big O Records
**** Another funky slab of grease and groove by Lansing’s own power trio. Hit #1 on the college station charts, and deservedly so. A blast to catch live.

Rick Roe – MINOR SHUFFLE; Unknown Records
**** Rick Roe plays a set of originals and covers, without a single Monk tune to be found.

McCoy Tyner – Guitars; Half Note
**** An all star rhythm section of DeJohnette & Ron Carter, and a passel full of guitarists (and one banjoist) of note.

Francisco Mela – Cirio; Half Note
**** An energetic set recorded live at the Blue Note. Cuban drummer Francisco leads a tight band of ringers (Loueke, Moran, Granadier & Mark Turner) through a bucket of (mainly) original compositions. Think Art Blakey strained through an uptown sieve.

Milton Nascimento and Jobim Trio – Novas Bossas; Blue Note
**** Wonderful blend of Nascimento and the Jobim aesthetic.

Aaron Parks – Invisible Cinema – Blue Note
**** A beautiful piece of parlor pieces that is reminiscent of Bill Evans, ECM & ethereal influences. Based on Park’s piano and composing, he’s aided by some edgy drumming by Eric Harland and the Abercrombie like guitar of Mike Moreno.

The Dixon-Rhyne Project – Reinvention; Owl Studios
**** Damn, makes me wish organissimo had a sax player. What’s Diego doin’? Use #1 (Repub Club), #2 (Mel’s Groove).

Anat Cohen – Notes From The Village; Anzic Records
**** I really like this woman’s tone. The band is good, too.

Dave Holland Sextet – Pass It On; Dare 2 Records
**** Not a masterpiece like “What Goes On” or the double live CD, but still very good. Gone are Billy Kilson, Steve Nelson, Chris Potter. But Robin Eubanks is still here and Antonio Hart and Mulgrew Miller & Eric Harland.

Tough Guys – Generations; International Center For The Arts
**** A very decent blowing session with a bunch of veterans, from Marcus Belgrave to Jimmy Cobb, Ronnie Matthews, ANDREW SPEIGHT! It’s a romp.

Lizz Wright – The Orchard (Verve)
**** Very strong, bluesy CD by Ms. Wright.

Kenny Garrett – Sketches of MD – Mack Avenue
**** Recorded live at the Iridium, and featuring the great Pharoah Sanders, this is a bit of a mixed bag. Tracks 1 & 2 (The Ring & Intro To Africa) are five star affairs. The next two tracks would get three stars. The last track gets one. Add it together and divide by five, and my rating above is generous. But the first two tracks are SOOO good. Like, historically good. His album Remember The Wall is still better.

Saxophone Summit – Seraphic Light – Telarc
**** Ravi Coltrane, Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano in front of an ace rhythm team (Billy Hart and Cecil McBee!), throw in Phil Markowitz and Randy Brecker, you are in for some serious smoke. And Light. Dedicated to Mike Brecker.

Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band – Season Of Changes; Verve
**** What lingers with this album is a recurring thematic motif that seems to appear in variations in more than one song – recited by Kurt Rosenwinkel’s guitar. Very haunting. Spiritually based work?

Vijay Iyer – Tragicomic – Sunnyside
**** Another strong document of Iyer’s roiling pianistics, topped by the Coltrane influenced altoist, Rudesh Rhahanthappa. Great band, interesting compositions.

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