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JERRY CANS/Inuusiq: Whoa, if I were still in college radio, this isn't just a record I would have championed, I probably would have knocked you over to do it. A bunch of Canadian natives from so far north there probably aren't even any polar bears, they show that the world wide mash up is in effect as this is anything but some drony, indigenous stuff. A hard rocking, high time, just about anything you can think of it fusioned into this set and the results are mind blowing. As our President would say, trust me, this isn't anything like you'd think it would be or would expect. And if you've got no idea what they are singing, it doesn't matter. More than world beat, this is the birth of worldwide beat. Killer stuff for the open eared, this is as wild as something that's not atonal and amateurish can get.

JIM YANDA TRIO/Regional Cookin': Recorded 30 years ago with Drew Gress and Phil Haynes and unreleased until now because the two inch tape container was evening out some uneven table legs, it sounds as fresh as if it was recently recorded. A solid trio work even if the players thought they were young and naive (what ever they want that to mean), it's loaded with the kind of swinging jazzbo moves that keeps you hanging out at the club all night. Tasty stuff no matter what misgivings they might have had at the time, Bernie Leadon's recent comments to Bob Lefsetz about what makes a record right are all in effect here. Well done no matter when it was made and how long it's been in hiding.

JIM YANDA TRIO/Home Road: A double disc of new music that finds Yanda still in the company of his early compatriots, this trio has become a pre-eminent trio that can improv with telepathy that can't be beat. Showing how maturity doesn't mean slowing down or selling out, the two discs give them a lot of room to stretch out in many delightful ways and create an atmosphere that begins giving rise to an oasis universe all it's own. This set gives you the feeling that Wes himself personally anointed Yanda as the new keeper of the tradition. Well done.

DAVID FELDMAN/Horizonte: It's those records that exist in their own time zones that seem to get you the hardest. Here we have a Brazilian based pianist kicking it out with other like minded, high profile locals for a set of Brazilian jazz that just makes you stop and let the world go by while you enjoy it. Working basically in a trio format with some other like minded high profile cats occasionally dropping by, this is just one of those great listening sets that should easily connect with anyone that has a heart used for more than just pumping blood. Tasty stuff that just hits it out of the park, this is one of those wonderful sets that's just a delight to behold. Check in here for some sonic gorgeousness. Well done.

ELIZABETH NACCARATO/Souvenir D'Italia: Anyone familiar with Naccarato from her earlier works will not be surprised by how lovely this personal piano set about what Italy means to her and will not be surprised as what a lyrical, lovely album this is. Newcomers might bring a cynical air to this and think she's auditioning for a future Woody Allen soundtrack date but that's their loss in trying to be too hip for the room. Almost feeling classical in it's aspirations, this set is so far removed for the gift shop feeling a lot of records like this give off that you can't help but to fall under it's spell soon after breaking the shrink wrap. A first class set of beautiful instrumental work throughout.

JIM BUENNIG/It's Like This: One of those jazzbos with a knack for moving forward into the past, this cat that provides the swing in Iowa leads the charge on some dandy straight ahead sax blowing that masterfully hits all the right notes along the way. Solid sitting down listening made for accompanying your fave glass of spirits, this is simply a right on sounding set. A solid dose of pure jazz for serious listeners that want to hear some new stuff done right.

STRONGMAN/No Time Like Now: This Canadian white boy with the blues simply knows how to entertain and put on a show. One of the top blues rock guitar slingers from the frozen north, even his rough edges are professionally hewn. A cat you can appreciate because he shows love and respect for his audience, he's so pro he entertains you without you realizing you're being given a show. Smoking stuff that does commercial in a most exciting way. Well done.

GAGE BROTHERS: Bluegrass from Ohio? Pretty much. It's actually Americana as it was borne out of two brothers kicking around their love of old folk tunes and finding something organic that connected right out of the box. Their second set has those rough edges that keep it real and could easily elevate it to the ranks of a back porch classic. Home spun and home grown, the combo of professionalism and sincerity is a positive combustion. Killer stuff folkies can cotton to in easy, short order. Hot stuff.

STEVE KHAN/Backlog: Since entering the family business, this chopatolla has worn a few guitar skins along the way. Coming back to recording after a decade off, he turns to a wide selection of oldies and gives them a Latin guitar send up. The average young ‘um probably doesn't know most of this set card, no matter how august the composers were, but it'll all be new because it's new to them and it cooks---so little else matters. Solid stuff that's a master class in jazz guitar to the hard core and great listening to everyone else.

VINCENT KIRCHER/Am I Ghost: The Michael Hurley's of tomorrow have to come from somewhere and this vet of the high flying contemporary underground takes his primitive sound solo delivering the kind of personal, stripped down experience that creates a cult and grabs on tight to the faithful. Niche may not take over the world but in this DIY world we're in, at least everyone that wants to be served will be. A solid bet for contemporary left fielders.

Volume 40/Number 122
March 3, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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