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D'MAR & GILL/Take It Like That: If you don't think traditional blues can be made modern without really giving up a step, you haven't heard this duo when they set down to the task. Like mixing some Sonny & Brownie with some Butterfield, this duo almost has a raw, folky sound that shows down home is where they are comfortable and where they want to be. Easy rolling with a sure footed gait, entertainment comes first with this crew and they deliver the goods in a way that you don't even know you've been ‘entertained'. You can have real blues without having picked cotton.

EDDIE COTTON/One at a Time: Southern soul and blues didn't need any improving on and here's the proof that all you need is someone that brings passion to the fore and the genre can be timeless. Sounding like something that never got released because Rick Hall and Willie Mitchell got into a fight over something, this is the real stuff from the true vine. A night out back down home, everything by everyone here is a blaze and of course, the results are smoking. Hot stuff to light up the old town tonight!

PABLO ZIEGLER & QUIQUE SINESI/Desparate Dance: Piazolla's right hand man does it again showing why he should be the only one to wear the mantle of being successor to the originator and master. Nu tango taken to the next level yet again, Zeigler's work here is so sprightly and engaging that he separates out the film noir aspects of tango and you don't even miss them. A tasty, lively set that will open your ears to the genre all over again, give the man all the appropriate awards this set should garner and let's all go home. Killer stuff.

ODED TZUR/Like a Great River: A bunch of Jewish kids with their Greek ringer pal like jazz and Indian music the way white suburban kids like the blues. With mastery of their various saxes at hand, they make the armchair traveler feel like he's on a magic carpet and John McLaughlin proud. Skillfully blending elements that please and tease the ear with some envelope pushing in the mix as well, this left leaning date doesn't have any dusty, enthomusicological vibe to it as this is living, breathing goodness. Shakti was far enough back that you wont have to feel guilty for plugging into something new like this. Check it out.

DAWAN MUHAMMAD/Gatekeepers Blues: An appreciation of post bop vibes from the 50s and 60s, this set is loaded with young bloods stepping up and taking their place in line. When it's not on the youngbloods backs, the vet jazzbos do their thing like the pros they are. Not truly an homage set, this set just takes you back to the time and place where reverential seeds were planted in jazz soil. Tasty stuff throughout that was made for sitting down swinging.

LARA & THE BLUZ DAWGS/Howlin': When did white people get so much blues? This new outing by this crew fronted by a lady that doesn't even try to sound like Koko Taylor or Janis Joplin with a rocking show band fronted by her husband delivers a rockabilly take on the blues that was just plain meant to be a party soundtrack. Tasty stuff made for roadhouses that have to abide by local zoning laws, this is a wily smashing set of suburban, boomer blues that really goes the distance. A great gateway drug to introduce the young ‘uns to the blues, the journey to meet the devil at the cross roads might well begin with this first, small step. Check it out.

GUY DAVIS/Kokomo Kidd: With the acting chops this cat has running through his veins is it any wonder he can sell anything and make it look easy? A modern, down home acoustic blues set as inspired by his parents as it is Pete Seeger as it is the storytelling tradition, this is a sucker, Sunday punch that'll have you on your back before you know what hit you. And you won't even know you were hit. With Professor Louie and various members of the Crowmatix providing the architecture in the background, this is a great reminder that there's more to contemporary Woodstock music than the ghost of the Arkansas kid. This has got to be the best back porch record of this year. Killer stuff.

FABIO MITTINO-BERT LAMS/Long Ago: Leave it to Robert Fripp to be the fulcrum that provides the pivot between Segovia and Russian philosophy. This deeply chopped guitar duo interprets the melodies Gurdjieff heard and had his side kick DeHartman interpret over 100 years ago. Encompassing world, new age and contemporary instrumental elements, this set is a wonderful piece of art that deserves more active admiration than hanging it on a wall and looking at it. Something that would have been proudly presented on Masterworks or Red Seal at an earlier time, pure, classical sounding guitar is alive and well for all to step up and enjoy. An utterly engaging work that feels like it ends way too soon. Well done.

ROGER DAVIDSON/Universal Sacred Music for Chorus: After spending all these years convincing us he's a happy go lucky piano man that enjoys Brazilian jazz, we find out Davidson is an ordained minister that does more than tickle the ivories at coffee houses. Really throwing back the curtain on his spiritual side, Davidson checks in with a religious choral work that's has the sound and feel of Bernstein at his most serious when he was tackling similar subjects. A deep work that was obviously meant to be lasting, when you are looking for some spiritual music that doesn't come from the Casio keyboard of a suburban divorcee on a mission, this is the stuff you need to step up to. A fine, refined work throughout.

CLARENCE "THE BLUES MAN" TURNER/Caster Blaster: If you could turn the clock back 40 years, this multi instrumentalist would have been a tent pole act on Alligator. A guitar slinger that knows how to peel off blistering riffs backing contemporary lyrics that hit the nail on the head, Turner is the kind of do it all cat that is worthy of the awards and attention he's been racking up. Boomers, this is an express, e-ticket back to the good old days of late night college coffee houses and endless good vibes. Strap in for a rollicking good time that'll never end when you put it on repeat.

Volume 38/Number 302
August 28, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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