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THE WONDER REVOLUTION/Magic World: Hippies from Wichita, Kansas take off for other worlds and parts unknown that thankfully have nothing to do with "Lord of the Rings" or other nerd rest stops. Sounding like pre-Woodstock hippie stuff, either there's something the water in Kansas or this bunch has more fun combing the bargain bins at Salvation Army than most people do--at least since the lounge revival of the late 90s. First class head music for people who think hippies like Donovan are too caustic.

SAM SADIGURSKY/Follow the Stick: The super sax sideman changes it up here by putting clarinet front and center, an instrument he's only come to in the last few years. Following his father's muse and learning his own lessons well, he hits it out of the park on this modern, sitting down jazz date that flows nicely. Setting aside his arts council tendencies of the past, he travels his own version of the mainstream making jazz with his pals that you don't have to be a hipster to enjoy. Solid stuff from a cat that knows which way the wind is blowing.

GENTLEMAN'S DUB CLUB/Big Smoke: Modern UK reggae that sounds right for a nu generation of fans. The concerns are of a different sort, often reflecting how things have changed over the last 40 years along with the audience and the ears. Everything is still eire with this crew at the wheel and the party continues to go on---particularly if the spiffs show up for the party. Solid stuff.

EBONY JO-ANN/Please Save Your Love for Me: You'd have to be familiar with New York theater to have at least a passing knowledge of Jo-Ann, but all that's about to change for the rest of us on the left side of the Hudson. Conquering roles like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, among many others, this performer is no stranger to hitting the right notes----and Sam Jackson took the time to give the high sign to this indie release as testimony. A first class soul/blues vocal date throughout, Jo-Ann finds to south in New York crafting her own sonic hybrid that puts her toe to toe with the greats. Simply killer stuff.

MORRY SOCHAT & THE SPECIAL 20S/Dig In: Hands down, this is the best band to come along in the wake of the Blues Brothers that doesn't try to be Blues Brothers. Wonderfully off beat and smoking at the same time, this bunch of Chicago based cats are a bunch of roof raisers that know the importance of entertainers being entertaining and delivers the goods by the truck load. Call them jump blues, a show band or what have you, just don't forget the adjectives that mean excellence inserted first. Killer stuff from a killer crew.

RACHA FORA/Racha S'miles: Music is the universal language? Jazz is the universal language? How about Miles is the universal language? A few years ago we had an Indian Miles Davis cross pollination that was pretty special. How about this time around we have a Brazilian interpretation of Miles by a Japanese flute player that's also pretty special? A student of George Russell with the sense to bring Dave Liebman along for this ride, leader Hiroaki Honshuku does a great job of nailing a nu Miles tangent well after you've thought you've heard it all. A nu cut road on a well worn path, this set is a winner throughout.

EUGENE MARLOW'S HERITAGE ENSEMBLE/Changes: An appropriate title since Marlow is at his least ethnic here and has Bobby Sanabria on board to bring the Latin as well. Showing humor and a full range of jazzbo tricks, this sprightly set that even includes a sly tribute to "Peanuts" will open jazzbo ears that might have passed Marlow and crew over in the past. Well done throughout showing just how much of a jazzy cat Marlow was all along.

SLOBBER PUP/Pole Axe: Over the top skronk noize that was John Belushi's 1980 vision of New York jazz. Improv from a loft that's really near the gates of hell, it's busy stuff to say the least.

STOLEN HEARTS/Dirty Southern Soul: Dandy southern roots rockers that might never have picked cotton but did put in their time laboring in the blues vineyards before coming together as a duo serve up a debut that befits their skills and chops. Having more in common with Marshall Tucker than Muddy Waters, this is first class roots rock aimed squarely at roadhouses in strip malls where the audience has to pay baby sitters. Actually, pretty easy going stuff that has a blatant, natural charm that works well. Fun stuff that shows the times they are a changing'. Check it out.

SCHNEIDER VALLET SCHMIDLIN ORGAN TRIO/Live at the Bird's Eye: There's nothing manqué about this Swiss/Franco organ trio that enjoys the good old days but knows how to be in the moment without rocking the boat. Sweet stuff that would have been right at home slugging it out back in the day with the rest of the top notch stuff, B3 fans simply have a special, new treat on tap here. These cats are greasy and smoking throughout in fine style.

Volume 38/Number 345
October 10, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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