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VANDIVER/Under One Roof: Oh yeah, here's a long time acoustic/jazz guitarist that knows what it is to have just the right touch. At it long enough to capture the vibe of those revered acoustic records from decades ago, this is how mellow sounds without the yucky overtones. No matter which tangent he leads you down, it all comes out right in the end. A really tasty set for the non new ager that wants something wonderful to kick back with.

MICHAEL DINALLO/Crooked Road Songs: An eclectic cat from Boston that makes you think he loves the south one minute, Dick Dale the next, off beat psychobilly the minute after that and more as the minutes go on. Loaded with the kind of off beat charm that makes you a believer right away, this award winning 30 year vet has had lots of time and tide to perfect this set of moves. Go down the road with him and you won't be feeling bad, for sure. Check it out.

GARY WILSON/Let's Go to Outer Space: I really thought when left fielder Wilson got his long overdue due last year, it would be a one and done. Wrong. His majesty of weirdness gets another shot and he makes the most of it. For those of you that never got enough of Funny Zappa, this is where this stuff begins. For left fielders only, this is as out there as it can get and still be taken seriously as listenable material. You can either use this to clear a room or bring together like minded left fielders for the best night of the week. Perhaps genre and niche but it's playing at the top of the stack.

LAURA AINSWORTH/New Vintage: Ainsworth's father played with Sam Butera so this retro revival thing is in her blood legit and sometimes it just doesn't pay to fight what you are. With another lounge revival swinging our way, she's right at the forefront of the revival, unearthing worthy songs that haven't been recorded in the last 50 years, which culls her from the rest of the diva pack that think it all begins and ends with Cole Porter. Loesser, Mercer, let's bring them all back. Streaming like a comet out of Texas this gal is all gal and proud of it to the tips of her opera length gloves. A must for jazzbo vocal fans.

LENNY BRUCE/Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Mind: This audio documentary is a pretty grand place for anyone to experience what the hub bub was all about to start their search. Mixing classic bits with observations from those around him, there's a lot of voices and observations that will never be heard again. And, when the bits themselves unfold, it underscores that this was funny before all else. Certainly, Bruce was a bag breaker for the times, but like looking back at Marilyn Monroe, what was all the outrage about? It's hard to understand it all out of the tenor of it's times. Top this, A&E. A well done presentation.

BLUE MITCHELL/Complete Albums Collection 1958-1963: An incredibly influential cat that died at 49 40 years ago, history hasn't been that kind to Mitchell in the memory department. Showcasing 8 smoking Riverside albums that had him leading and rubbing elbows with just about everybody, the trumpet player was in a class with the best of the rest at the time. A hard bopper to the end, Mitchell made music for the aficionado and the finger popper equally. This tasty collection gives you the template he would follow for the rest of his life, leaving killer sounds in his wake. Hot stuff throughout.

GRANT GREEN/Classic Albums Collection: There's a big, gaping maw out there that can take the best talent, chew it up and spit it out well before it's time. The 8 hard bopping Blue Note guitar jazz albums on board here were all recorded in a two year period---and this doesn't count the zillion alums he was a sideman for Blue Note on during that period. A smoking cat that wound up losing out on a lot of opportunities because he played by ear, he made a mark at Blue Note and CTI but one that didn't shine bright enough until samplers discovered him well after he died. Having his works rediscovered again recently only shows that his stuff was the real deal and not filler. A player that should be remembered as a front line player, this set shows you can't have too much of a good thing. A must for everyone that missed him the first time around.

JEAN CAFFEINE/Sadie Saturday Nite: The out growth of a one woman memoir of punk's past by one who was there, did that and got the razor ripped t-shirt, this is a journey through the past many will relate to, even if they were only punks in their dreams. Obviously the tip of the iceberg in nu nostalgia by one who found that once you start digging, the memories do come back giving credence to the fact that you were there and can remember it.

MIKROJAZZ/Neue Expressionistische Musik: If you tell us Jack deJohnette is in the mix, you don't have to ask us twice to pay attention. This is actually a recidivist set for the master drummer as two Germans come together to chart the future of off beat jazz by mining the church basement sounds of the past, many of which were powered by deJohnette. Listening jazz for eggheads that haven't lost their last vestiges of soul, this multi mash up set opens the ears and oft times curls the toe nails. Wild and wooly stuff for the adventurous ears.

ILU KEKE/Transmission en la Erita Meta: Take some religious drums aged over 60 years and the family that played them in the remote areas of Cuba and you have the basis of an ethnomusicologist's dream. Composed of mostly field recordings, this is the spirit of what drove the Nonesuch Explorer series. If this semi documentary is pinging you the right way so far, by all means check it out.

KENT MILLER QUARTET/Minor Step: Here's a cat and crew that know how to swing. An energetic romp through the land of good sounds that sound good, the pace is frenetic and the vibe is smoking. A bunch that knows their stuff, this is the kind of hot stuff you need to get the blood flowing. Well done.

TWINKLE/Just Dance: How come so many don't realize that the most effective kids records are the ones that don't talk down to them even while appealing to them on their own level? Twinkle might remove the molly and sexualization from the EDM, but other than that, this is grown up record for kids that just want to kick it out and dance. A real nice party on a platter for the kids, you can give this set a parental seal of approval without letting the young ‘uns in on your secret. Solidly enough produced that you won't mind hearing this a million times in the car as you helicopter your over scheduled kids from hither to yon.

ABELITA MATEUS/Vivenda: And here's the proof you can take the girl out of Brazil but you can't take Brazil out of the girl. Recording in New York with a bunch of Brazil aces so authentic you can even hear the raco raco in the background, this is smoking Brazilian jazz that doesn't need a hit single or English lyrics to power it. On the money throughout, Brazilians fans have a hot debut to champion here. Let's see how long it takes Scott Adams to be all over this goodie.

SOUTH PARK/Complete Twentieth Season: Who'd have thought these four little bastards would still be going strong 20 years later? With so much real world material to nourish them, how could you not think the two master minds behind them wouldn't keep the fires burning? Changing with the times and technology, that's the only real change here. The focus behind it all keeps getting sharper showing Stone and Parker still love these characters even if life has taken them well beyond the stoner/beach bum phase that started this whole revolution. Expect to have your sides ache, your drink come out your nose and all the rest of the things that happen when you are in the presence of great comedy. There's only ten episodes, but they manage to say so much. Hot stuff, as always.

Volume 40/Number 284
August 12, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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