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PAUL MARINARO/One Night in Chicago: A willing throwback to the time when supper clubs weren't jive repositories and jazz clubs swung all night with an anything can go vibe, Marinaro might swing the oldies but he's no Sinatra/Bennett manqué and he's not one of those Sammy Joey jive lounge lizards that thinks he's hip because he's snorting some bad coke between sets. Marinaro is the kind of act that puts the class in class act, probably never sang into his hair brush in the mirror and is simply such a startling dose of the real deal that he's almost too good to be true. No tribute, no nostalgia, just a smoking performance by someone with the balls to keep the art of male jazz vocal strong as he gives it a second wind. Killer stuff.

ERNIE KRIVDA/Requiem for a Jazz Lady: Jazz has a funny way of coming around corners. The sax man isn't paying tribute to Billie or Abbey or anyone like that. A gal that hung around the jazz scene in Cleveland when he was just starting out was recently brought to his attention again and her murder spurred him to pay tribute to the growth of jazz in Cleveland. With the kind of honking that would have fed classic Tom Waits' soul, Krivda and his crew put a tasty Cleveland spin on big apple sax jazz and give us a great new flavor. High octane and darkly urban underbelly in tone, this is the kind of jazzbo honking that will be eaten up by real muso fans that don't care a whit about fad or fashion and just want it cut from the true vine. Smokingly hot.

BRENDA EARLE STOKES/Right About Now: Believing Gidwell's dicta, Stokes has certainly put in her 10,000 hours on the road to mastery and she didn't waste a drop of gas along the way. Laying stereotypes and preconceived notions to waste, the singing/writing piano jazzbo finds a way to cut a new path that doesn't give rise to a new genre but turns the piano thrush genre on it's head. Sharp as a stiletto at all corners, Stokes opens the ears mightily at all levels of the game and pays off like a fixed slot machine. Killer stuff from an artist that will not be held back by anything.

LENNY SENDERSKY-TONY ROMANO/Intersection: This isn't a radical record but it is the kind of thing that has to exist in it's own time zone. Even with other players bringing up the rear, the sax/guitar duo have the kind of simpatico and vibe that keeps them front and center where they deliver their soaring sound of freedom borne in improv but taking wing that upends all clichés. Proudly original throughout, this is a must hear sitting down date for people that don't need to be glued to their chairs. A winner throughout.

MICHAEL MONROE GOODMAN/The Flag, The Bible & Bill Monroe: Nashville planes off the rough edges. Stuff like outlaw and honky tonk put it back but the wave, whatever you call it, tends to gets swamped by the tsunami re-rearing it's head and reclaiming it's territory. Goodman, god bless him is making his stand on his own from Kentucky as opposed to Tennessee. Standing on the corner where Bakersfield, outlaw, honky tonk and Montgomery come together, Goodman adds some sly country take on pomo humor to the mix and delivers an out of the mainstream classic that ought to dammed well bubble up on it's own. Simply rocked up killer country like the kind we used to like.

ALBA'S EDGE/Run to Fly: When you put one of the current MVPs of British folk in the producers chair of a pair of Scottish sibs that play Celtic Latin jazz with some of their pals you get-----something that sounds strangely like 1980s Windham Hill dates that didn't have Mike Marshall on them as they explored Celt/world music. And that's a good place to be. Multi-culti indie music takes a giant leap forward here, even while tipping the hat to the past, as this is one of those joyous sets that takes you so many places you want to keep going back again and again. Well done.

DENISE DONATELLI/Find a Heart: Grammy's jazz lady in waiting teams up with Geoff Keezer again. He rounds up a stellar posse that sounds like they miss all the studio work that let them cut loose and play with that kind of pent up vigor. Putting a nu spin to the classic New York jazzbo sound, everybody here is hitting on all eight as they almost reinvent the sound. With a mix of tunes and writers you wouldn't expect to work on paper, this set is a full show unto itself that socks those who say the album is dead right in the mouth. Killer stuff that just might prove that three's the charm come Grammy time again.

OTTMAR LIEBERT + LUNA NEGRA/Waiting n Swan: In anybody else's hands, this would have been a jive ass gift shop record. Not so with one of the fathers of modern new age guitar at the wheel. Claiming to have grown up on Bob Marley, Liebert strums some righteous riddims on 9 Marley tracks and adding a few of his own re-reggaeized tunes to the mix to leave his finger prints next to Marley's. This set falls into place quickly and naturally letting reggae and new age fans find a corner hopefully with a coffee shop to accommodate them as everything become irie. A delightful bag breaker that works well throughout.

CAROL WELSMAN/Alone Together: Betcha the worst thing to happen to Welsman's career was Savoy getting their hands on her and shouting huzzahs as they tried to paint her as their own Diana Krall instead of letting her be her. In the 20 years I've been listening to her, Welsman has yet to deliver and album that was filler or needed to be apologized or made excuses for. No exception to that form this time around. Always a jazz singer, this is Welsman's jazziest outing in her canon. She's got the pros backing her up, the song list is impeccable and she heads off jaded ears from saying ‘they don't make ‘em the way they used to'. Killer stuff not capable of disappointing at all.

ANGST: 1983. Tobe Hooper was still waiting to get paid and Hollywood hadn't yet set January aside as national slasher picture month. The German's didn't care. They went all out to raise and set the bar in a genre that most people wouldn't think had classic pics. Loaded with primo talent every step of the way from actors to cleffers this pic is based on the life of the German version of Gein/Gacy/Dahmer and he was just as fearsome. Loaded with extras that any gore hound will lap up, this is the perfect cinema gift for anyone on your list with blood lust. Heh-heh, it's killer stuff.

Volume 39/Number 6
November 6, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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