Chicago 13 by Chicago

Chicago 13 is the eleventh studio album by the American band Chicago, released August 13, 1979, on the Columbia Records label. The other two albums of the 13 were a live album (Chicago At Carnegie Hall) and a greatest hits album (Chicago IX).  This is the first Chicago album to bear no significant hit singles. All band members would contribute to the songwriting (one of only two albums where this is the case, with the other being Chicago VII).  I still loved this album, especially the tracks Street Player, Must Have Been Crazy, Run Away and so much more.  This album was well written, recorded, produced and performed.  The song Street Player was also released as a twelve-inch single that was played in nightclubs at that time.  If you are a collector of Chicago albums like I am, you will want to add this one to your library.

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A Soft Message To You by The Napa Valley Duo

For my 985th review and my second one for this artist, I present the album A Soft Message To You, an upcoming album by The Napa Valley Duo which consists of Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson on cello and Terry Winn on the piano to be released on November 9, 2018, from the IAC Records label.  I found this album to be very relaxing, a great album to listen to when you want to relieve stress at the end of the day or in my case when your pain level is up and need something to take your mind off the pain with this soothing mixtures of classical and jazz with such tracks as Quiet Now, Gerwshin Prelude No. 17, Sleepless Night, Beau Soir, L. 6, Chimera, A Tender Time, and so much more.  This album was well performed, arranged, recorded and available for purchase from Amazon, Itunes, CD Baby and other outlets in CD and digital download format.

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An American In Paris by Napa Valley Duo

An American In Paris is a recent album by Napa Valley Duo which consists of Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson on cello and Terry Winn on piano as they took classic pieces and made them their own with such tracks as the title track An American In Paris, Hotel, Romanza, their arrangement of the classic Who song See Me Hear Me, along with the song I Will Fight And Never Slack along with compositions with  Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson such as Preparing For The Day, Meritage Estate, A Soft Message To You and much more.  They even took a couple television themes and made it their own, The Star Trek Theme and I Love Lucy theme songs.  This album was well recorded, written, arranged and performed.  This album is available in CD, Vinyl, and digital downloads from CD Baby, IAC records and other outlets.

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Live At Moods by Sonar

Live At Moods is the upcoming album by Sonar which has quickly gained the international reputation for their uncompromising sound along with fusing a rigorous minimal concept with the power of a rock band which were recorded live at Moods Jazz Club in Zürich, Switzerland, on May 24th, 2018.  This band consists of members Stephan Thelen and Bernhard Wagner on guitar, Christian Kuntner on electric bass and Manuel Pasquinelli on drums.  This six-track album that will be released November 16, 2018, on the 7D Media Records labels contains such tracks as Two Fold Covering, Red Shift, For Lost Sailors and much more.  This album was well written, recorded, produced (by David Torn), and performed and is available for purchase from Amazon, Bandcamp, and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.

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Signs And Wonders by Birdsong At Morning

Signs and Wonders is the September 28, 2018 release by Lowell, Massachusetts band Birdsong At Morning, led by singer/songwriter Alan Williams, along with fellow band members Darleen Wilson on guitar and Greg Porter on bass and a host of new and old collaborators, they spin elegant tapestries of sound, words, and music on the Genitian Records label.   This CD/Blu Ray compilation consists of 10 original compositions, and a mesmerizing take on Supertramp’s The Logical Song, all with accompanying videos along with such tracks as Waterfall, Won’t Let It Go, Smiles Of A Summer Night, Study In Blue and much more.  This mixture of rock and pop with a little bit of a jazz sound was well written, recorded and performed.  You can listen to this album on Spotify and then purchase this release from CD Baby, Itunes, and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.

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The Philcos Self Titled Album

My 941st review takes me back to the sound of Asleep With The Wheel and Leon Redbone with this great self-titled album by The Philcos consisting of Mike Cronic on acoustic guitar and lead vocal, my buddy from the WannaBeatles Bryan Cumming on clarinet, melodica and harmony vocal and Sam Frazee on upright bass and harmony vocal.  I enjoyed their arrangement of such songs as Pistol Packin’ Mama, the Tennessee Ford song Sixteen Tons, Ain’t Misbehavin’ which I am a fan of Leon Redbones version, Stranger On The Shore and so much more.  They took these songs and made it their own.  It was well recorded and performed.  I recommend this album that loves the old country sound.  This album is available from CD Baby and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.

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C h ill a nd by Shindigs

C h ill a nd is the August 17, 2018 album from South Korean songwriter and lo-fi dream pop magician Beejay under the group name Shindigs, inspired by Beejay’s experiences living in both Asia and San Diego (where he currently resides), the album is entirely self-recorded and showcases both incredible musicianship and superb songwriting.  This ten track album that has a sound of soft rock with a bit of a jazz sound features such tracks as Julian, Don’t Mind, Healthy Snaks, Fair Weathered Days, Flower Plants and much more.  This album was well written, recorded, performed and produced and can be found from Amazon, Bandcamp and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.

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Something’s Not Right by Peter Kleinhans

For my 914th review, I am proud to present the debut album by New York City-based racehorse-trainer-turned-musician Peter Kleinhans called Something’s Not Right released February 23, 2018, on his own label which features himself on vocals and guitar.  Listening to this album I hear a mixture of Country, Jazz, Blues and Pop with such tracks as 3,000,000 years, To Hell And Back, the title track Something’s Not Right, Sky Blue, ‘Til the Music Stops and much more.  I was impressed with his voice and his guitar work as well as how the album was written, recorded, and performed.  Please take a listen to this album on Spotify and if you like it, you can purchase this album from Amazon, Itunes, CD Baby and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.

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Take Two by Noa Levy

For my 905th review, I present Take Two, an EP of Jazz standards recorded by Noa Levy, an Isreali born and San Francisco based vocalist released August 17. 2018 on the Belle Records label.  She has a great jazz voice but the arrangements and recording of this album, I did not care for.  Among the tracks on this album are Don’t Rain On My Parade (made famous by Barbara Streisand), I’ve Got You Under My Skin (made famous by Frank Sinatra), Social Call, Someday My Prince, and Laura.  This is an album, I personally would not buy because I feel a better album could be done.  I feel with the right instrumental back up, better arrangements and a better recording studio, this might be an album worth buying.  I rarely write a negative review, but in this case, I have to be honest with what I am listening to and cannot recommend someone buy this album if I don’t feel that is album is worth spending your money on.

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No Answer by Dusan Jevtovic

For my 898th review, I present the June 10, 2017 release from Barcelona based guitarist/songwriter Dusan Jevtovic on the Moonjune Records label.  Dusan released the new album called No Answer, with Vasil Hadzimanov on piano, fender rhodes and mini moog, and Asaf Sirkis on drums and provides scorching jazz fusion rides and plenty of fleet fretboard work on such tracks as the title track No Answer, Lifetime (which is the rocking number) on this album, Prayer, El Oro (which has a taste of swing) and much more.  I was impressed with how well this album was written, performed, recorded and produced.  This release is available from Amazon, Itunes and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.

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