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ROMAIN COLLIN/Press Enter: Inspired by Wayne Shorter insulting him in a subtle way, Collin took the bull by the balls and set about making his third solo set a reality while taking a break from being key piano sideman to the jazzbo elite. Inspired by the creativity flowing all around him, often blunted by the purveyors stays at major labels, Collin takes off the gloves for a lightly progressive date that fuses jazz and rock sensibilities with side elements that touches it all. Out of the ordinary, but not just for the sake of it, forward thinking jazz ears will enjoy this journey thought the not scary future. Solid work.

THE HARROW/Silhouettes: And all Nico had to work with was a harmonium and John Cale. Post punk electronics from Brooklyn fuel this outing from Nico's spiritual grand daughter who links up pleasure and pain in a lush sonic pillow that keeps you disoriented from the spark of the particular moment. What hath "Venus in Furs" wrought and will Vanessa Irena fare better than granny did?

KRISP/Sonic Monarch: Nostalgia for millenials as this crew mines that vibe that existed between Joy Division and New Order and already finds their music in Coach commercials. Post punk electro movement (not exactly dance) music that those who are too cool for school can do The Robot to without feeling like they are doing the white guy dance and looking stupid.

MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING/Mauch Chunk: In which our fave, on point sonic hell raisers pay tribute to a Pennsylvania ghost town, they bring the off kilter daddio as usual, but this time they pipe a lot of it through AACM, so appropriate on the 50th anni of same. As always, nu jazz for nu ears, these masters of the mash up deliver the goods in fine styles you wouldn't expect coming together as they do. No moldy figs here so no problems with AACM flavored daddio sambas either. Quite the wild ride throughout.

MICHAEL STANLEY/Compact: A dandy retrospective that goes back to the beginning of Stanley's recording career, loaded with high spots but ignoring his Epic sides that he doesn't own. No matter. From the blue album forward, it was clear this heartland rocker was going to beat the system once he became part of it. A nice combination of arena rock and back porch rocking, Stanley serves up the high spots concisely and with just the right amount of heat.

MICHAEL STANLEY/And Then...: Going back 43 years only in reteaming with Bill Szymczyk, Stanley retraces his heartland AOR rock steps for a disenfranchised audience but he doesn't do it in nostalgic fashion. A smart, contemporary rock set from a cat who figured it out early on, he's the one legacy rocker that you wouldn't go to the bathroom on when he does his new songs in concert. Whoever has come and gone in the ensuing years, Stanley still has the chops and smarts to be the preferred rocker between the Hudson River and the Sierra Mountains. Well done and a fine welcome back from a cat that never really left.

DULCIE TAYLOR & FRIENDS/Wind Over Stone: It was inevitable that Taylor's last record would get award winning recognition, and that recognition fuels her here. Rocking more, getting political and personal, this is as much a wake up call is it is first class singer/songwriter stuff. The kind of radical departure from the past that doesn't shake off long time fans, Taylor spreads her wings setting out a penumbra that has plenty of room for new fans who will be true believers. Simply a killer set from a voice that has more to offer than we originally thought. Hot stuff.

NATIONAL BRASS ENSEMBLE/Gabrielli: This record is sponsored by Oberlin College. We're pretty sure this isn't what Beavis had in mind when he was talking about college music. A classical album like they used to make them, this aggregation of the best brass players from around the country got together to pay tribute to a 50 year old Grammy winning set that set the bar for this kind of music and playing. A stately, majestic set that feels like it came from another time and place, it's one of those sets that puts the class back in classical, much more concerned with purity than fashion. The kind of record that can make anyone feel like a grown up, this is what grandpa was getting into those Sunday afternoons before there was cable and all access pass. It's not exaggerating to call this a masterwork.

OZERE/Anyplace: Led by a rebellious, classical trained muso who might as well have had Asian parents busting her chops, finds her vibe in free spirited jams that fuse the muse from various popular sources that are always welcome. Funded by Canadian arts council music that doesn't crush leader Jessica Deutsch's spirit, this Pentangle meets chamber music set isn't for granola eating old time folkies. I mean those moldy figs can and will get into it, but this is nu folk music for young, vibrant tastes who lean toward the organic when grocery shopping anyway. Often displaying a delightful and sprightly blend of world beat meets back porch, this is a lovely sonic oasis in what the Pope would call a noisy world. Check it out.

FIONA BOYES/Box & Dice: You would have to have been Ray Charles not to see it coming but we predicted great things for Boyes on the heels of her first album and she hasn't disappointed yet. Her latest finds our fave blues guitar slinging gal from down under kicking it out in newer and rawer fashion continuing to shake it up and keep you on board. The only thing this has in common with past recordings is that it continues it's award winning ways. A double barreled blast of Delta soul aimed right at your brain, this is a must for roots fans of all stripes but particularly those who like a raw nerve, close to the bone experience that'll rock your soul. Killer stuff throughout.

Volume 38/Number 327
September 22, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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