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AARON CLIFT EXPERIMENT/Outer Light, Inner Darkness: Youngsters from Austin turn their backs on Continental Club to make their nu version of prog loaded with the classic elements abetted by some classical and fusion flavors. These kids are tuned into the cosmic satellite channel broadcasting form the 70s which seems to be teaching them how to separate the wheat from the chaff and how to be in the classic prog pocket without being derivative. Hosting a distinctive sound and attitude that separates them from the pack and the old days, this bunch has the skills to pay the bills and spearhead a real prog revival.

CESAR OROZCO & Kamarata Jazz/No Limits for Tumbao: Fusion comes to Latin jazz but not in the way you might think. The added element here is the Latin version of swing which gives this updated pan Caribbean jazz outing it's special sauce. Whether kicking it from Venezuela or Cuba, the distinctive flavors meld into a new kind of audio stew with the chameleon property of being fine to have handy for either background or foreground listening. Tasty stuff sure to keep your ears tuned in.

ANTHONY DIXON/Up on the Roof: A jazz vocalist that's been working the shadow of the greats for decades steps out on his own showing that he's got more up his sleeve than being an ace back up man. He shows great invention in turning "Night in Tunisia" into a Arthur Conley vamp on "Spotlight" showcasing the history of jazz. With several jazz bloodstreams pumping through his veins, this showcase shows that lengthy resume doesn't mean you've got dust on you. Solid stuff for those that don't mind it when their jazz colors outside the lines.

BOB MALONE/Mojo Deluxe: Sparing no expense for his 8th solo set, John Fogerty's keyboard man shows what happens when a classically trained cat cuts loose and runs away to join the circus. Underpinned throughout by the kind of flawless chops he was raised on, this gruff voiced blues rocker has that special knack for hiding unabashed commercial chops in organic clothing. A sterling party record for when your body is telling you it's time to kick out the jams, I don't think you have to be a boomer to enjoy this. Let the good times roll with this at the wheel.

EAST WEST QUINTET/Anthem: Don't trust your first impression. It's easy to write this crew off as arts council/art jazzers but that's not what they are. It's jazz at the core with a lot of genre blending of sounds and styles thrown in along the way but rather than being precious for the sake of being precious, they are trying to find a voice for tomorrow and chart the course. Probably closer to no wave/loft jazz than free jazz, today's high school kid will probably think this is a jazz touchstone after graduating college and being able to get it. More forward thinking than left leaning, this is jazz of tomorrow for the open eared and adventurous.

CAROL DUBOC/Colored Glasses: The gal with the impeccable songwriting chops hooks up with some jazz pals with their own impeccable chops for a ‘one for me' set that doesn't aim for the top of the charts in a blatantly commercial way but by going through your heart. An atmospheric lite jazz date with the cats on board that invented the genre and steered it before ball less radio programmers turned the sound into a mirror image of them and killed it. Sort of a throwback to the days ears first turned to and enjoyed lite jazz, this is a welcome workout for all involved. Remember when adults still enjoyed discovering new music? H'yar tis one more time.

GUIDES/Abstract Mind: When the Velvet Underground met up with Sonic Youth, this is the crew they spawned in their wake. Noize rock for meth driven suburban kids, this is wonderful soundtrack for hating your parents who want you to straighten up and go to law school----when you really want to be an investment banker!

JOHN FEDCHOCK NEW YORK BIG BAND/Like It Is: Leading a crew of leaders in their own rights, the cat that came to be as a young man in the waning days of Woody Herman's career shows once again that big band was/is a passion of his that can't be shunt aside. A flat out, good time swinging date, whether breathing new life into classics or acquitting himself righteously on his own originals, Fedchock is a good time Charlie that doesn't have the blues. Depressed? This record will do more for you than a prozac/haldol cocktail. Well done throughout.

REBECCA MORELAND/Human Experience: Certainly a new wind is blowing through the Nashville skyline. Kacey Musgraves lyrics. Gay artist managers. All this sets the stage for this Texas transplant to kick open the doors and proudly proclaim that nothing matters except what you think. Is this what happens when you send them to Belmont rather than keep them down on the farm? Nu music for nu ears from a place where the actual country has been replaced by Wal-Mart parking lots. On top of all that, Moreland knows her stuff and speaks righteously to others her age.

RAGPICKER STRING BAND: Every so often, expert pickers come together and create up a riotous storm of fun when they find their common ground in old timey folk blues. The pyrotechnics from this crew are low key but they are cooking on high nonetheless. Whether you find your hokum needs filled by Gus Cannon or Jim Kweskin, this crew is on the money and organic as all hell. A great busman's holiday for all involved, this is the kind of music back porches and lazy afternoons were meant for. Well done.

Volume 38/Number 274
August 1, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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