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NYNDK/Hunting of the Snark: Delightfully off kilter arts counsel funded jazz that sounds kind of like civil rights jazz as filtered by the Danish/American committee that funded it. The cats know how to play and they tackle a wide range of material but this is earmarked for the open eared as moldy figs wonít get it and contemporary ears need to be tilted in a definite left leaning direction to tune in.

TERRY OLDFIELD/Tears for Tibet: You probably never thought of new age music as a political platform, but Oldfieldís clarion flute call is like a Tibetan version of a Max Roach call for freedom. Not really sound scapes or ambient, this is textured music that draws you into the beauty that is being ruined in strife. Really expressive music for the heart that anyone whoís ever been hurt will understand.

TERRY OLDFIELD & SORAYA SARASWATI/Dancing Through the Chakras: Oldfield and the missus reunite for a set of mediation music that gets your chakras loosened up in itís 38 minute single movement. For the practitioner side of the new age ledger, this isnít touchy feely music just for the sake of it. Anyone in the mood for music that takes you within will be able to enjoy the various aspects of this to the fullest.

CHET ATKINS & JERRY REED/Me and Jerry-Chet and Me: Atkins made what, 120 albums for RCA? RCA hasnít really been showing him the love since unceremoniously dumping him from the ranch. Collectables had a pretty good shot gun approach to reissuing his catalog, and since he never made an album that was less than good, it was a good way to dip your toe in the water. Raven has been cherry picking the great albums and releasing them as long over due twofers that donít have a false step throughout. This time around, they pair the two instrumental albums Atkins did with Jerry Reed and it really shows a side of these cats that needs to be seen. Even though this won a Grammy, you donít really think about Reedís instrumental prowess, especially when these were recorded in the wake of ďAmos MosesĒ. Atkins was so ubiquitous that even now we are still appreciating his underappreciated genius. Two album that might have seemed like easy listening at the time, these are protogenitor NAC albums that are pure examples of guitar duet artistry. Killer stuff thatís simply must hearing for acoustic guitar fans. The two albums are augmented with almost enough bonus tracks to be a whole album by themselves, most of which have never been on cd. Hot stuff throughout and apparently a pair for the ages.

JIM CAPALDI/Oh How We Danced-Whale Meat Again: Back in the day, when group players had to make obligatory solo albums, Capaldi turned in two early 70s, early AOR efforts that took in a lot of ground. Backed with pals from Traffic, as well as the holy cats from Muscle Shoals in their prime, this is a nice pair of period rockers that deserve to be saved from being neglected classics. Itís the pre-disco 70s in full rock regalia and total glory, all the way down to the jams. A nice look back at a time and place.

WALL OF VOODOO/Dark Continent-Call of the West: IRS was certainly a label with a load of bench strength. While they had groups tearing up radio and the charts, they also had high octane cats that were getting in the van and making fans one at a time--a lot of them. Two for the best albums from this Stan Ridgway led crew show him at his most group oriented perfection. With ďMexican RadioĒ leading the way, this slice of punk nostalgia is on the money throughout, also providing a nice look back at a time and place when the guard and the energy were changing. A solid sea change was being affected here and genre twisting was on deck. Fun stuff for punks of all ages and income brackets.

ESP/Timeís Up: Now that weíre 30 some years into smooth/lite jazz, the new kids on the blocks are coming along adding their own vocabulary to the form, and while naysayers had some nay saying in the past, the new kids are bringing a new energy. This set swings and grooves in such a wonderful way that itís hard to resist it throughout. Dandy after work, after-hours contemporary jazz that knows how to put itís collective chops to good use. Well worth checking it out.

MADISON VIOLET/No Fool for Trying: This folk duo slipped through our net in the past, and has been a way from recording for a while, so this set is a real ear opener for us. If you are unfamiliar with them, they are basically a folk duo that comes with some deep, personal songs that really connect. If they arenít headliners, they should be. Lumping them into Americana simply for lack of any better descriptor, the writing, the singing and the over all vibe all contribute to a knock out set thatís a whole lot more of a roller coaster ride than a casual listen might betray. Completely a stellar knockout of an album.í

Volume 32/Number 365
October 30, 2009
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
©2009 Midwest Record

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