Chris Spector, Midwest Record

ARNAN RAZ/Chains of Stories (RABBIT RABBIT RABBIT): A sax led session where the focus is on sounds rather than grooves, these jazzbos tackle this vector nicely. With a nod to Teo Macero, even if this date was created without a lot of editing, it shows what can be done when you want to chart new directions and do it from the heart. A very interesting listening date that comes with it’s own set of merits. Solid work throughout.

SHAREL CASSITY & Elektra/Evolve (RELSHA): And the title says it all. The eclectic mix of jazzbos looking to stretch that show up keep this from being a downtown, busman’s holiday. Staying true to it’s roots in downtown and loft jazz, this tight, angular and muscular jazz outing merges echoes of the past and future into a glorious present that all can be proud of. Keeping it’s cutting edge in tact, this charts the future in fine form. A winner throughout.

ROB CLEARFIELD/Wherever You’re Starting From (WOOLGATHERING): A young piano improviser that almost plays with a magic touch shows how you can be original while having Coltrane and Brahms as musical heroes. With phalanges that seem to have minds of their own and eclectic tastes and interests informing it all, you have a tyro here that doesn’t know how to become repetitive impeding his own progress. A sitting down jazz date all the way, this is what you need if you want to be taken away by a jazzbo that doesn’t let labels become limitations.

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