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CHAIRMAN DANCES/Time Without Measure: Beavis would call it college music as these amped up shoe gazers sing about man's inhumanity to man in 10s trappings. Giving college kids the place to vent, this stuff will fly high under the radar as the voiceless use it to find their voices.

COWBOY MOUTH/The Name of the Band is: The vet Nawlins rockers tie up 25 years of working it out with a retrospective that shows you where they've been. Mixing the Nawlins vibe with a rocking pomo attitude, this is the voice of a nu generation that sees things through contemporary eyes and rocks it up all the while. Kind of like an REM for the rest of us.

SHONDES/Brighton: I don't think the group's name is a tribute to Ms. Rimes so much as it is an inside joke about the way these Jewish kids feel about themselves---or at least portray themselves. Nascent arena rockers in search of an arena, if rock is all attitude, this bunch has already made it. Straight up hard rock with power to spare, this is pretty much what they seventies sounded like when we were all in it together.

PAUL SERRATO with Hilliard Greene/Urban Fingerprints: Hiking it from his current home in Omaha to the lower east side where he can kick it out with an old pal, this intimate piano session really has the piano front and center almost making it feel like a solo recital at a house concert. Playing mostly Latin flavored originals, Serrato has a nice style that's brings a certain energy most listeners will relate to. Check it out.

PETER BRENDLER/Message in Motion: Having made his bones with his John Abercrombie duet, the bass ace pioneers a new jazz genre, free jazz for white people. Not as madly careening as classic civil rights jazz, Brendler's vision has it own moves and makes it own rules madly teasing the ears of honkies not all that in love with straight lines. Well conceived wild stuff for those looking for a wild ride.

NEAL MORSE BAND/Alive Again: Modern prog is a live and well and kicking as this double cd and DVD package recorded across the pond attests. With everyone in the band being a full on hitters in their own right, the licks fly furiously as the shredding goes to new heights giving the hard rocking guitar fan plenty to sink their teeth into. Really playing like they real mean it, this is the kind of stuff that makes me wish I was a teen with raging hormones once again. Hot & heavy throughout.

GAUDI/Ep: Mash up goes to a new place as a left leaning producer gets to run loose in the Rare Noise vault and splice all the tape he wants into whatever he wants it to be. Wild stuff so nutty it‘s coming out on white, 10 inch vinyl.

MERZBOW/HAINO/PANDI/An Untroublesome Defencelessness: Vet label experimenters are back for a third set with a third flavor for more envelop pushing sounds that don't seem as radical and scary as past outings. Not exactly a friendly record yet, try as they might to rock "Metal Machine Music" they come in safely to the right of it. They don't stint on the sinister though.

RUSS HEWITT/Cielo Nocturno: You all ought to know by now that there are different flavors of flamenco guitar. If you dig Strunz & Farah, there's no way you won't dig Hewitt---he's brought Farah along for a bunch of this ride. Already amassing an impressive discography, Hewitt moves himself to the head of the class here holding his own not only with Farah but with Larry Carlton as well. This player moves flamenco from the ethnic restaurant to the concert stage with his chops and flare paraded here. First class stuff throughout, guitar fans are doing themselves a disservice if they miss this boat. Killer stuff throughout.

DENNY ZEITLIN/Early Wayne: Oh, how this record defies so many conventions. Tribute/homage records usually are prettily played place holders by artists out of ideas. Nothing wrong with that until you start to think about all the other things you could do with that 16.98 in your credit limit. Then, there are the ones that are rare. This particular steak is so rare it's like it hits your eyes with a blisteringly, bright shade of pink heretofore unknown/unseen. Here we find one undisputed legend peering deeply into a load of deep back pages from another undisputed legend whose works had originally inspired him in real time. That Zeitlin‘s ax is piano and Wayne Shorter‘s is sax is no matter. Zeitlin crosses all divides, solo nonetheless. Finding music within the music, often of his own invention---improvising on an improviser---at 78, we find Zeitlin continuing to break new ground with the passion and vision of the college junior that encountered these tunes for the first time. An absolute artistic triumph, this is the kind of set that raises the bar, sets new standards and brings all the other similar clichés a new day in the sun. Killer stuff throughout.

Volume 39/Number 246
July 5, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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