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BLACK ROOM/Official Motion Picture Soundtrack: DM pro Savant doesn't let being hired to do the score for a low budget, indie erotic horror/thriller stand in his way of being the best. Even without seeing the pic, you can hands down call it that Savant is the nu John Williams. It's safe to say cleffer fans haven't had a charge like this in quite some time where they'll feel like buying this record for the music as opposed to solely for the souvenir value it represents. This is the start of one helluva canon. Well done if it was nothing more that an intriguing prog date. This is so much more.

ED PALERMO BIG BAND/Great Un-American Songbook v. 1 & v.2: Well here's a well played double discer that'll have you almost completely puzzled. Some jazzbos rock up an Anglo heavy set card that finds itself resting somewhere between Carla Bley and Ian Whitcomb. Finding a way to make even making King Crimson have swing, Palermo and pals might just be playing for the fun of it and hoping that others will catch the drift and want in on the joke. A delightful set of madness for those that know how to be up for it.

CATHY SEGAL-GARCIA/In2ition: We're always up for a righteous, pure music date and LA's jazz vocal institution delivers. A set of vocal/piano duets with a different top flight local piano player on almost each track bringing their own special sauce to the proceedings, this double discer that plays like a personal recital at a house concert enchants throughout. With chops way too deep to ever be mistaken for an art chick, this is your golden ticket to enjoy a boite/cabaret performance without the smoky, late room, the bad neighborhood and having to take the baby sitter home when you finally get home. Killer stuff throughout.

DESERT CULTURE/They're Not Gone: The Velvet Underground gone Caltexico? Yep. High octane shoe gaze powered by stories pulled from the leaders family tree, this is the kind of stuff that gives voice to the young and voiceless while they need someone to articulate for them as they find their own footing in the world.

DAVID L. HARRIS/Blues I Felt: Swinging the blues into jazz from Baton Rouge to Nawlins, this trombonist has taken it from there to world stages on the strength of originals and originality. A tasty self taught player, he shows the sparks that fly then instinct meets intellect and chops figure heavy into the mix. A solid modern jazz set that keeps an ear open to show respect for tradition, this is one of those sets that owns your ears right out of the gate. Well done.

JAZZHAUZE: The fulfillment of what would have happened if Miles Davis met leading deep house cats, Mr. Hauze pretty much covers the water front here with his EVI on his own giving out an acid deep house set that sounds and feels very much in tune with today's audiences that think they want to like jazz but don't really understand it. A solid voyage into the future, moldy figs need not apply but nu ears will be welcome.

TIM BASTMEYER'S ALL STAR BLUES BAND: These award winning Canadians learned to play so well they neglected to learn about nuance. They think they are a bunch of white boys with the blues, and they know some country blues moves, but they are a killer organic, back porch bunch with an easy loping blue highway country sound that was made for tooling down the back roads at less than 55 on the those beautiful days you don't want to end. Killer stuff any easy rolling folkie will love.

AMANDA MONACO/Glitter: A swinging, straight ahead guitarist enlists Matt Wilson and Gary Versace as her (drumless) rhythm section knowing these cats know how to push the envelope without ripping it apart. With her long time sax player in tow, the four of them redefine making a joyful noise and a progressive lite good time is had by all. Best played after hours when the blood is still flowing but the evening is winding down, it keeps the party going just long enough. Well played stuff by pros that could have done this in one take. Check it out.

VINTAGE ITALIA/various: Unless you're a real Mustache Pete, the only group you've probably ever heard of on this collection is the ringer, Pink Martini. Mostly culled from work recorded a million years ago despite the recent copyright dates in the credits, while our young ‘uns were gong nuts to Elvis, these were the sounds Italians were blowing off steam to in their post war setting. The kind of timeless, well constructed set that makes Putumayo a brand you can trust implicitly when you want to do some sonic exploring without knowing the terrain, this is such authentic Italian classic pop that you can almost feel the grapes squishing between your toes. Time out for some sophistication; it's really on tap here.

JACQUI NAYLOR & ART KHU/Q & A: West coast jazz vocal treasure Naylor cuts it to the bone this time around doing a duet set with the multi instrumentalist spark plug of her working band. The simpatico between the two is obvious as they kick it out on great American song book faves that she makes her own no matter how well worn they are. A solid treat for jazz vocal fans that want to hear how it sounds when all the right choices are made. Hot stuff.

MOJO STARS/Under the Influence: Western Canada's pre-eminent white boys with the blues rock it up one more time to light up the night and provide power to keep those generators going through long, cold nights. Sounding like the well tested road warriors they are, this is real music for people that just want to do some fist pumping and kick out the jams as air guitars rage. Fun stuff from pros that know the moves but pepper then with that something extra.

MARK DUDA/Month of Sunday's: 80s punk revivalist takes you back to the happening New York streets of the 80s with his sound, attitude and fellow travelers. Hitting his stride with his finger on the pulse of when punk was at a crossroads of bubbling up from the underground, he turns it into the new pop with anthemic, party platters that echo big hair and longnecks. Fun stuff whether you were there the first time around or not.

Volume 40/Number 142
March 23, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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