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BILLIE DAVIES/Hand in Hand in the Hand of the Moon: Nawlins fave progressive jazz drumming woman gets inspired by the paintings of a Belgian artist and records during the full moon. It doesn't say it was paid for by an arts council so even if this minimalist outing isn't your cup of tea, give her the proper props for sticking to her guns and shepherding her vision as per her integrity and calibrations.

SAM GLEAVES/Ain't We Brothers: A young banjo picker that comes by his indigenous roots organically delivers one of those great surprise debuts that just makes you say ‘yeah'. With a wealth of experienced folkies lending a hand whether hanging around for one track or the whole album, this gem from the heart of rural Virginia is as back porch as it gets and a welcome oasis from too much non-country noise. Right in the pocket throughout, this kid is one to something big. Hot stuff from the heart of high lonesome.

ROY McGRATH QUARTET/Martha: A bunch of cats from various backgrounds from around the country converged on Evanston to get their degrees at Northwestern. Recorded right in Evanston as well, accessible left leaning jazz is in good hands with this crew. A solidly tasty set that opens the ears nicely, both leader and crew are already making important contributions to the canon and prove to be well on their way as evidenced here. Check it out.

JOSEPH DALEY/Tuba Trio Chronicles: Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. The low brass specialist who has brought the impeccably needed bottom to scads of New York jazz recordings is now tired of making everyone else look good and wants to do what he wants to do the way he wants to do it. Paying tribute to his mentor, Sam Rivers, with a set of originals that follow the spirit, well, this isn't for everybody. The trio's chops are undeniable but if you don't take your progressive jazz sitting down on a Sunday afternoon, don't say I didn't warn you. Now nod your head appreciatively and enjoy this cup of tea if it was meant for you.

BEN MILLBURN/Strange Love & Consequence: Indie rock inspired by Tom Petty big sounding rock that serves up college rock for advanced high school kids. There's enough oldies rock moves here to fill anyone's sweet tooth for such.

PLUS SIZED DAN with Marshall Ruffin: Take some Muscle Shoals, some gospel, some rock, some jazzy soul and stir it all together. The result is a moody nu south set that addresses soul in the now the way soul in the then did, vibe wise. Interesting stuff that feels like it had it's genesis in civil rights jazz, this nu hippie collective knows how to rub elbows and play well with others.

SHUJAAT HUSAIN KHAN & KATAYOUN GOURARZI/Ruby: You can't deny this pair of middle easterners know how to crank out the opium den music, but this fifth outing of theirs exploring the canon of Rumi is too deep to be just opium den music. They know their stuff and how to present it and this is what your girl friend is really listening to when you aren't around blasting indie rock at her.

THE GIRAFFES/Usury: In which we find Brooklyn now officially being the new Seattle as a new label springs up to be a full service label offering alt.everything from the borough. Kicking off the movement with a crew that's been slugging it out for 20 years, they sound like one of the bands that decided to start a band after buying a Velvet Underground album. They've played and heard a few other things along the way but VU pushed them to pull the trigger. The kind of stuff you want to hear if you hate your parents.

RAY MARTINEZ/Legacy: While Martinez may be a cat you don't know, you certainly know his sound. Adding the salsa and special sauce to everyone from Tito Puente to Paul Simon (and of course, everyone in between), his bass based Latin jazz solo set is muy caliente throughout. Even a track he calls "Storm" sounds like sunshine and sunny festivities. All gringos are welcome to this party and chairs are optional. Simply smoking.

RHONDA VINCENT/Christmastime: Seems like bluegrass and Christmas have a natural affinity. When you add Vincent to the mix, particularly when she needs something to feel up about after the passing of her father, the reliable vet steps up and delivers the goods. With a few of her own originals that don't have that tacked on feeling, this is a lovely addition to the home and hearth vibe you want to feel around the holidays. Of course, some of her country superstar pals drop by as well and the result is a charmer that could easily become a holiday staple. Killer stuff.

Volume 38/Number 359
October 24, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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