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PATTY REESE/Let in the Sun: This white girl with the blooze! that simply owns the DC area blues scene steps up to the mic with total intensity that is calibrated to blow everyone away. Sounding as down and dirty as Bonnie Raitt thought she did as a spunky 21 year old on her first few recordings, Reese sounds like she taught Victoria Spivey how to rock. The 100% antidote to an abundance of privileged white girls that like to kvetch, this is the blues from the first electric note to the last. A wake up call for all jaded ears looking for new kicks, Reese could teach all these goddess wannabes a thing or two. Hot stuff throughout.

LUKE SELLICK/Alchemist: If you've got your jazz ears cocked to tomorrow, this young Canadian who ventured to New York with his bass in tow wound up being mentored by Ron Carter and going on to tour the world with first call cats. With a debut full of showing he's got what it takes, this young lion of a bass ace will be on the tip of your tongue for some time to come. Tasty, real playing throughout, his work fill you with the joy of discovering all over again. Hot stuff.

DAVID M'ORE/Passion, Soul & Fire: This white boy with the blues will know how to keep your hands occupied. With one hand holding a cold long neck and the fist pumping the air, his ragged, Tom Waits flavored vocals and shredding are loaded with the hallmarks of a hard core road warrior that knows how to light up the night. Just the thing you need when you think your blood isn't flowing like it should be, this is the wild and wooly stuff that deserves to be the stuff of streaming play lists. Well done.

DAVID MESSIER/Waiting for Eldridge: The head of the Texas chapter of NARAS walks it like he talks it. Dusting off his recording chops, he's issued a first class rocking, Americana singer/songwriter set that registers high marks as an unexpected treat that starts out in high gear and never backs down from there. The kind of heartfelt, hard driving set that Americana needs to keep the genre fresh, this certified party on a platter is loaded with nothing but hot spots throughout. Well done.

GREG HATZA ORGANIZATION/Digging Up My Roots: Time marches on and the B3 has been replaced by the Nord C2D. The vibe? Relax, it's unchanged. After working through some right on originals, Hatza and his crew take it back to the day when R&B classics were still just popular 45s that hadn't entered the hall of fame yet. A veritable R&B greatest hits set powered by greasy organ and in synch players bringing up the rear, don't go mistaking this for a gift shop record as it's played with the passion and gusto of a true aficionado that wants to make sure he's added his finger prints to the history of it all in a must deserving way. Well done throughout.

JOHN MAYALL/Talk About That: Looks like nobody told the grand old man of British blues that most of his contemporaries are either dead, have given up or are pathetically slugging it out in a losing battle. So he wrote a song about it. Then he called Joe Walsh to lend a hand. Even if the young bloods he's surrounding himself with these days are older than his original class of young bloods, he doing amped up white boy blues that can stand toe to toe with what the much younger white boys are doing at the top of their games. Oh yeah, Mayall did write the book on that, didn't he? There might be a lot of snow on the roof but he's still loaded with fire in the belly. Well done.

DOUG MUNRO & La Pompe Attack/Harry Warren Songbook: Warren wrote some of the greatest songs of the 20th century. They might be old but they aren't corny. So why is it up to his relatives to keep the legacy alive? Where are the people that record chestnuts when it comes to giving some of these classics a new airing? Guitar man Munro brings his strings and bloodlines this Hot Club flavored send up of the tunes whose line up is only missing Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden to really make this hot stuff on a silver platter, not that it's chopped liver by any stretch. An infectious and lovely set, I guess at the end of the day, this is the loving kind of tribute only family could mount. Killer stuff throughout.

TROY ROBERTS/Tales & Tones: He might be from Australia, but this cat, now based in New York is a daddio sax man to the core that can skronk, post bop, and fly as high as he needs to. With enough awards under his belt to prove his mettle with all that medal, his first call pals and employers show up and bring their well polished chops out for some air as well. Tasty, real acoustic jazz that will not disappoint, this is more than chops on parade, this is real playing for the joy of it without having to placate the lawyer turned a&r man and his damned note pad. Real jazzbos will delight with this well done set.

KATHY & THE KILOWATTS/Let's Do This Thing: A military brat whose family landed in Austin just as the hippies were taking hold, Texas and Texas music took hold on young Kathy and both have enjoyed a long, successful association. After churning out Texas roots music for almost 40 years, it looks like Kathy and the gang are pioneering a new genre of electric white girl blues----after work blues. Loaded with all the requisite grit to keep it authentic, this is kind of easy going, decompression music that makes a great interstitial moment for leaving the office but not heading home just yet. Whether slinky, sly or gritty, this band is on point throughout with delivering really, really, good, good times. Hot stuff.

FRANK KOHL QUARTET/Rising Tide: Back in the 60s, when you had your transistor radio under your pillow and were frantically searching for soul and R&B stations your so parents wouldn't hear, you'd occasionally come across a cool jazz station drifting in on a low frequency from somewhere and get hooked. Kohl was in New York, doing the same thing but with more success just because of the local public radio stations playing jazz. And that led to hearing Wes before Verve made him commercial. And that led to being classmates with Pat Metheny and Scoey. And that leads us to today. Not needing to tune his heart radio to the broadcasts of yesteryear because he's kept the vibe alive on his own, this guitarist that should be mentioned in the same breath as Metheny and Scoey, as well as other august jazz ax swingers, delivers the goods with a capitol D. Not really being retro even if he includes two Victor Young tunes, your jazz guitar play list isn't complete without some cuts from this sweet set in the mix. Killer stuff.

RUPERT & DREXLER/Imagination: Sax man Rupert is one of those cats that can make you think he's playing dinner music/cocktail jazz until the flash suddenly hits you that he isn't. A sweet duet date of just sax and piano, these two cats know how to play and showed up for work ready to play. The set card is mostly chestnuts that are so reinvigorated you'll find yourself referring back to the liner notes to check what's being played. When you get creative cats that know how to maximize their creative freedom, you get sets like this that prove it by keeping the live audience in rapt attention. Well done throughout.

THORNETTA DAVIS/Honest Woman: Swimming up to our eyeballs in white girls with the blues that can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, it's a real head snapper to come across a big voiced black woman that's been at it in Detroit for 25 years, wears her Koko Taylor influences proudly and marks her territory in the face of all those white girls with just a stare down from those eyes over her pierced nose. Big, bad and bold because the blues have been good to her, this 2017 take on post war northern migration urban blues doesn't need church or down home to get it's point across. Anyone with a taste for what the real deal sounds like right now had better check this out post haste. Killer stuff.

Volume 40/Number 88
January 28, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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