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TESTA ROSA/III: Fans of garage rock and it's lineage through indie pop will know what this set is all about. A high water mark for the genre, it's a sure bet that will be hallowed nostalgia for those in high school today that are more obsessed with music than coding.

DAVE WELD & the Imperial Flames/Slip into a Dream: Talk about a white boy with the blues! Leaving Chicago for New Mexico before moving back to Chicago to hang with Hound Dog Taylor, this is only Weld's second album after plying his trade for nearly 30 tears on his own after stints with Taylor and L'il Ed. Loaded with the kind of uncut vigor and vibe that made bar owners Phil and Leonard Chess start a record label when they saw how their club attraction, Muddy Waters, could keep patrons riveted and buying beer all night, Weld and company deliver post war, electric blues the way they were meant to be delivered. Real blues, killer stuff, tell me where he's buying his vitamins. Check it out.

CAROLINE DAVIS QUARTET/Doors-Chicago Storylines: Unafraid to wear her arts council money on her sleeve, Davis combines the better elements of an audio book with a documentary and creates a words and music picture of the later period Chicago jazz scene which might not have been a great way to make a living but certainly was vibrant. A history lesson with no dust on it, both the musical passages and the reflections of time passages come together nicely creating a dandy living history of Chicago jazz from the 80s forward.

LORRAINE LECKIE & PAVEL CINGL/Raven Smiled: Not your usual big apple Goth/art chick manqué, Leckie probably didn't eat Nico records for breakfast and is genuinely left of center on her own. You can easily imagine this echoing down the dorm hallways of slightly displeased young college gals at war with the plastic world while enjoying the benefits of daddy's Black Card, Leckie is on to something here that is sure to get her out of the usual ‘big in Europe' ghetto. Check it out.

BOOGAT/Neo-Reconquista: If this sinister sounding Spanish reggae sounds familiar to you, it's because you've been an avid viewer of "Homeland". If you don't know what he's talking about, the topics range from lost culture to lost love, but that doesn't stop you from enjoying the vibe and groove even if you talk speak the linguistic language. Hot stuff with just the right mixture of familiar/foreign to make armchair travelers into true believers. Check it out.

HOLY FOREST: Described as Diaspora music for the digital age, loads of African music as realized by loads of African stars and superstars rolls out here in seamless mash ups that open the ears for anyone looking to really have their ears opened. Wild, restless and boundary pushing, this smoking date comes at you from so many directions at once that before long you'll be delightfully dizzy not knowing or caring which end is up. Check it out.

DEUTER/Illumination Of the Heart: The times they are a changing'. Maybe it had to happen living in the hills outside Santa Fe. Not only does Deuter make more of a song type trajectory here but there are passages in his opening track that sound close to "Nature Boy". It's not close enough to yell ‘plagiarism' but close enough to make you have a ‘huh?' moment. After 60 recordings, Deuter still keeps it fresh and seems to take his mediation music to the next level of the game here. Moving into territory where world/instrumental fans can feel comfortable, you certainly want to put this on the Christmas list for your massage therapist if their music selection hasn't been freshened up for a while. Tasty stuff form the multi-instrumentalist that opens whole new doors for your ears.

RICH HALLEY 4/Eleven: One of our fave jazz sax improvisers is back again with a new set that still manages to keep it fresh and cohesive. Letting mental telepathy guide the players on their way, all are in touch and in tune with each other as the muscular vibe flows freely making you think this is springing from New York as opposed to Oregon. This is the stuff that'll get your blood flowing. Solid work throughout.

ENSEMBLE GALLILEI/From Whence We Came: Back before anybody really knew what new age was, this is the kind of world/Celt music that would have been lumped in with it. Kitchen sink music, but the kitchen sink is made by a designer, up market company. With players from around the world coming together and bringing their own baggage with them, this is no rag tag bunch of refugees playing for their own amusement Titanic steerage. A wondrous set of sounds that you won't be able to readily place and will ultimately surprise you with where they are from, this classical feeling instrumental date is just perfect for when you need something intimate and personal to restore your frayed nerves. Packaged as a twofer with the second disc being a blu ray audio of the session, this is first class grown up music for grown ups that don't feel like they have to compete with their children. Well done.

KATHY SANBORN/Lights of Laniakea: In which we find new age moving on to a nu age. Award winner Sanborn ties jazz/world/instrumental into a package with vocals where the lyrics are either wordless or Disney inspired rather than hippy dippy stuff that makes you wish the singer would shut up. With other award winners working with her here, this is an interesting kind of session that posits new age as nu adult pop and it all comes together delightfully. Although 180 degrees in the other direction, this is almost feels are revolutionary as bebop did to jazz. Gentle but certainly a wild ride.

SOPHISTICATED LADY QUARTET/Simpler Times: There's certainly something to be said about recording jazz for a classical label with jazz sensibilities. Modern with daddio overtones, this crew kicks out sensational chamber jazz that doesn't come with the baggage 50s recordings of this ilk carried when the record companies were trying to clean up junkies for new, rec room America. These cats come to play and show their debut was no fluke. Low key but with plenty of fire, this almost feels like egghead jazz but it warmly invites everyone in to the tent. Killer stuff.

Volume 38/Number 341
October 6, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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