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DANIEL SCHLAPPI & MARC COPLAND/More Essentials: The more intimate the session, the more important it is to have pros with their hands on the wheel at the helm. A cross continental set with piano and bass, this is just what the doctor ordered for musos that cut their teeth on classic, intimate ECM sessions where it didn't take a racket to somehow successfully raise the roof. With sparks flying between them in a quiet way, the duo picks up where they left off four years ago with equally as pleasing artistic results. Enter and enjoy.

REVEREND KM WILLIAMS/Real Deal Blues: Williams plays blues on a one stringed African, indigenous instrument that he somehow makes sound like a slide playing on a resonator. With a style that falls somewhere between busking and chitlin circuit showroom, Williams raises the roof old school style and sounds like he can make any juke joint snap to attention. One of those cats that provides a wild ride, and the wilder the better. Check it out if you need something rough and raw stuff to set the night on fire.

THE DELEGATION/Evergreen (Canceled World): Uber egghead music that's the only contemporary release like this on ESP this year. Fueled by several egghead grants, this set takes it to the limit for American arts council music and only a label with the legacy of ESP would get it. Way out stuff for those already gone around the bend. And there's two discs of it.

MARTIN BEJERANO/Trio Miami: A Latin kid from Miami that cut his piano teeth on Gershwin now cribs a leaf from Kurt Weill? This kid has a lot of room in his head for a lot of goings on, sounding at times like his mind is playing faster than his fingers will let him. A cutting edge cat that understands the past but isn't satisfied to wallow in it, he leads a smoking piano trio through anything but a bunch of cocktail hour song stylings. Not weirdo stuff that rolls off the rails, just deep expression looking for a suitable outlet. Wild stuff for those looking for a wild ride, this cat is a real cutting edge jazzbo throughout.

JOEY GILMORE BAND/Respect the Blues: An unreconstructed dyed in the wool old school electric blues man, Gilmore sears his way through tunes by the old school greats of the blues from Stax to Pride to Sykes and more. The kind of blazing hot stuff that makes you step back and wonder if you really heard what you thought you just heard, DIS IS DA BLOOZE! Killer stuff any old school blues fan will rejoice for. Check it out.

JOHN MOULDER/Earthborn Tales of Soul & Spirit: Chicago's own guitarist rounds up a crew of his jazzbo pals that have played with everyone everywhere that matters and leads them through the kind of set Paul Horn (if he played guitar) would have led them through 40 years ago if he were of the same like minded mysticism as Moulder. Influenced by those who were influenced by the far East and the search for enlightenment, it's not space case stuff, it's just on that corner where jazz meets instrumental music in a fitting hug. A most solid listening date throughout.

JASON HAINSWORTH/Third Ward Stories: The fifth ward is for gangsta rap, the third ward is for hard blowing sax men. In the tradition of Houston's hard blowing boppers, Hainsworth takes his ax around the horn and lets influences from the various locales he stopped at along the way add special sauce to the mix. A smart writer as well, he lets all comers know he's a leader to be dealt with that can blow up a storm all night. Hot stuff.

BUSELLI-WALLARAB JAZZ ORCHESTRA/Basically Baker V. 2-The Big Band Music of David Baker: The recently passed Baker gets an overdue follow up to the tribute to him a decade back. The orchestra is in top form and the guests that populate it this time around only add to the heat. Leaving a legacy behind as a great arranger and innovative composer, Baker is celebrated on this double disc set with the kind of sound you'd expect from the Ellington band when Ellington was still leading it. Real jazz for the real jazzbo, all you can do here is sit back with distractions blocked out and let the cd do the rest. Killer stuff throughout.

FOREST BATHING/various: Before president Trump hears about this and takes it the wrong way running off into the forest looking for wood nymphs skinny dipping in shallow pools, let's explain. Forest Bathing is an ancient Japanese ritual of walking in the forest and bathing in the chemicals nature gives off that they believe rejuvenate the body and ward off disease. This various artists collection, which stretches back to those at the birth of the label 20 years ago, is music for walking the in the woods and giving your mind a rest. These tracks were dandy in their original incarnations and they work well here as a repurposed whole. With some of the top names in new age on board, this collection let's you meditate whether you want to or not and their ain't a smidge of hippy dippy woven any where into it. Well done from top to bottom.

ANDREW VAN TASSEL/It's Where You Are: A solid sax man that's finding his footing and his style as he finds his way in a world without rules anymore, his blowing will take him to the right places. Working here in very much a laid back after hours mode, he's not out to roll you over in skronk---just take you on a nice trip. Everyone is in synch here and the results are top notch throughout.

HUGH PRESTWOOD/I Used to be the Real Me: Back in the day, if a songwriter wrote a song that crept into the top 25, they were passing out record deals to him on street corners. Here we find Prestwood making his recording debut a long time after handing Judy Collins a hit, before he handed off a bunch of #1s to a bunch of acts. With Collins returning the favor by releasing him on her own label, Prestwood doesn't let her down and turns in a winning set of award wining songwriting throughout. A songwriter album like they used to make by a cat that was there before everything went topsy, this is a fine text book for those that really want to learn about the art. Check it out.

Volume 39/Number 346
October 14, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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