Outstanding album releases by stellar Chicago artists, available now.
Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular!
That exclamation point is no throwaway. The dynamic pianist and Claudettes co-founder brings rockabilly verve to our hometown blues, and challenges an A-list of guest players to keep pace.
The singer-songwriter’s clean, clear, straight-ahead folk doesn’t just recall an earlier, age; she also taps into the foundational role of folk singer-activist by devoting all CD proceeds through mid-October to the Biden-Harris campaign.
The J. Davis Trio
Fire and Math
The self-proclaimed “garage jazz” ensemble may be otherwise math-challenged (this “trio” boasts eight members), but “Fire and Math” locks into irresistible grooves, including hip-hop and funk—and the playing is absolutely airtight.
The saxophonist displays tremendous bebop bravado on an album of largely new material that she wrote during a bout of ill health. The performances reveal her roaring back to ravishing top form.
You Must Believe In Spring
Just when we need it most, the sonic equivalent to comfort food: an album of cherished twentieth-century standards featuring a full, lush orchestra and jazz diva Falbo’s gorgeous, golden instrument.
Robert Rodi is an author, spoken-word performer and musician who has served as Newcity’s Music Editor since 2014. He’s written more than a dozen books, including the travel memoir “Seven Seasons In Siena.” His jazz quintet recently completed a two-year residency at Uncommon Ground, and he regularly hosts a jazz singers’ jam at Lizard’s Liquid Lounge. His literary and music criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Huffington Post and many other national and regional publications.