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JOHN DAVERSA/Kaleidoscope Eyes-Music of the Beatles: An educator that uses the freedom the security of his day job gives to give back to the minds he's shaping, the trumpeter takes it to the streets here as he brings his big band to a live setting to deliver another Beatles album that is anything but another Beatles album. Jazz and Beatles is nothing new to behold but the special sauce liberally slathered on here is what makes the difference. Not merely nu stuff for nu ears, Daversa almost single handedly brings a history of jazz to the modern era exploding and reassembling a handful of Fab Four classics. This is a major high point for sitting down jazz. Check it out.

MIGHTY ORQ/Love in a Hurricane: A blues rock shredder that seems to have never met any type of guitar he didn't like, Orq brings almost an industrial edge to his blues and has master that howl that comes from deep in a pained soul. Music to guzzle whisky by, this is bar room music but not for light times when the beer is flowing freely. Heavy duty throughout.

JON LINDSAY/Cities & Schools: Vet North Carolina power popper Lindsay fuses experimental pop with sunshine pop and big, contemporary hooks for listeners that want to hear more than beats assembled committee. Great summer music for the young and carefree.

JORDAN PATTERSON BAND/Back on Track Recording Project: Taking 20 years between albums, this former elbow rubber to 90s stars decides he's had enough with being a concert promoter and wants to get back to his blues rocking roots. A fine and solid bar band set, this is music for people that aren't interested in victory lap tours and just want to hear something that'll make them rock. A well crafted journeyman kind of set, this sounds like what he might have sounded like in the arenas he was yet to play if he hadn't become disenchanted with life on the road.

CCM JAZZ ORCHESTRA/In Search of Garaj Mahal: Here's a chance to hear Fareed Haque as you've probably never heard him. Starting out like a joke set up, a big band leader approaches Haque and says, hey, how about....yadda, yadda, yadda, and then a big band version of Haque's music gets recorded and toured. With a sound that typically falls between world, jazz and jam band, the good leader knew the music inside out and could bring as much to it as Haque does. With Haque in the mix, the sound is opened up giving it yet another vector to reach wide ranging ears. A killer set throughout, if you miss Zappa's orchestral moves, this is a grand place to pick up the thread and run with it. Well done throughout.

HORACE BRAY/Dreamstate: When everybody on the date is a graduate of the Lab Band, that's all the recommendation I need. The leader and his crew were all classmates at North Texas and they deliver a jazz guitar driven set that rides the progressive tip nicely and never rolls off the rails. A new set of pros minted by a set of old pros, this auspicious debut gets right in line with a lot of your fave electric guitar sets delivering the touch and tone that gets you every time. Everyone on board here is off to a great start. Well done.

MATT VON RODERICK/Hero's Journey: Here's a mash up of a different sort. Former tyro award winning jazz trumpeter with a well vetted resume brings his jazz trumpet to mingle with rap, shoegaze and Martian electronics for a suburban street party that forward thinking young tastes will have an easier time understanding that I do. Far from being pots and pans music, it is cutting edge and takes a certain mind set to comprehend. Left leaning tastes should check it out.

KALO/Dear John: In which we find a white girl wit the blues taking it to the next level of the game proving that some times you just have to sit back and enjoy the back story. An Israeli lass who has finished her military stint picks up where she left off with a Jimi Hendrix cassette sending her and her electric guitar off into some zone where west side Chicago resurfaced on Mars. Multi cultied to the max, Kalo sounds more like a passed off riot grrrl than a white girl with the blues but maybe there's a crossover where it all comes together. A cutting edge piece of the nu genre.

MAGGIE HERRON/Between the Music and the Moon: The Hawaiian jazz award winner might put it right up front in her liner notes that making records isn't a way to get rich these days, the listener has to be glad she spared no expense in rounding up a crew including Grant Geissman, Bill Cunliffe, Bob Sheppard and others to realize the vision that tourists get to share on a regular basis with her regular gigs on the island. Smoky, sultry and coming across like a classic jazz dame on this set of originals that fit the mold, Herron has a special talent for finding the sweet spot that divides emoting from chewing up the setting. Clearly a jazz vocal date that brings the passion and caring right from the heart, this is the kind of set jazz vocal fans have been looking for. Well done.

CHASE WALKER BAND/Not Quite Legal: Since this guy isn't 20 years old yet and doesn't have Taylor Swift's kind of machine behind him, you can't blame him for not finding his voice yet. You can laud him for being right on enough to gobble up awards and accolades every which way he looks and realize that if you sit back and enjoy and encourage him now, it will be paying dividends for years as he finds out how to add his own special sauce to the mix. A magnet for soaking up classic rock and blues moves, with a little instruction from a cat like Jim Gaines and leaving Walker's instincts in tact, Walker will move from being a killer tyro to being a category killer. This set does a fine job of standing on it's own two feet as it is.

MARKEY BLUE/The Blues are Knockin': It's good to see this indie blues duo make the most of the nu opportunities the present throws in your path to try and make a living as a working muso. First off, this set proves the debut was no fluke. This set of all originals raises the bar on a lot of levels. Second, it's good to see their tunes are getting them TV placements because their stuff is a great antidote to the drippy crap insular music supes are over using. Using Memphis and Muscle Shoals as jumping off points without looking over their shoulders, this dup hit sit out of the park with the kind of stuff Stax would be doing today if there was continuity of ownership all these years. A wonderful blast of fresh air, this is show blues from the top shelf. Killer stuff.

Volume 39/Number 191
May 10, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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