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REBECCA KILGORE-BERND LHOTZKY/This and That: Once again, Arbors shows their expertise in how to do a lot with a little. A piano/vocal set with a heavily Ellington set card, this is so much more than a cabaret/gift shop/hotel bar set. Seamlessly performed by a pair of knowing pros, they fill in the white spaces leaving no uncomfortable pauses and totally take your breath away in ways you just don't see/hear coming. Killer stuff throughout.

ANTHONY ROSANO & the Conqueroos: White boys (well, most of them) with industrial blues ramp up the power chords and make a good case for wind power being needed to keep electric bills down. A killer sound for frustrated white collar professionals that sorely need to cut loose, here's to flipping a major bird to bosses, baby sitters, cable bills and property tax bills. People were meant to be free to rock and roll like this. Check it out.

DAVID GILMORE/Transitions: The multi instrumentalist that likes swinging his guitar these days launches into a killer set as a leader where he picks up the fusion cudgel in service of paying tribute to fallen jazzbos (and a few that haven't). One of those sets that feels like it's charting a course to tomorrow while using a well tuned GPS to guide the way, Gilmore and his first call pals show why they need bigger apartments for all their awards. Hot stuff throughout that simply sizzles. Well done.

DIRTWIRE/Showdown: These three contemporary cats that fuse electronics and acoustics into their own desert fusion mode sound they are auditioning for the next time Clint Eastwood makes a spaghetti western and needs an au currant soundtrack to go with it. A very modern take on Ry Cooder's southwest, this is a left fielder's delight of a set. Casting a very solid vision on the future, this is some wild stuff easily ahead of it's time. Check it out.

MEM3/Circles: A left leaning jazz trio that calls themselves New York based but actually convenes from various points on the globe, cites influences as wide as Oscar Peterson and Bad Plus and it's no mere boast. Sitting down music you don't have to be an egghead to enjoy, you just have to have your ears cocked to the future. Proving once again that there's still plenty to discover in the l'il ole trio format, this crew of leaders leaves you in good hands throughout. Well done.

RAKKATAK/Small Pieces: What started out as a solo player with electronics bringing Indian classical music into the present has now expanded to two chicks from Canada that make girl friend music that won't have you running out of the room when your lady faire decides it's yoga time. Trust me, a soundtrack like this could turn in some great visuals that you won't find on You Tube when they are right in your living room. Magical stuff that's right at home in today's diasporatic multi culti world, this certainly is something out of the ordinary that will draw you in.

PATRICE WILLIAMSON + JON WHEATLEY/Comes Love: While the wind might generally be out of the centennial celebration stuff, Williamson doesn't want to let Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday pass without note. And to make it noteworthy, she blows off a song book tribute and focuses on the late period collaborations with Joe Pass. Keeping it as stylish and potent as the originals while making this set original, this is certainly the next best thing to Ella actually being here. It's a tribute to Norman Granz as well, but it isn't his 100th birthday so let him get his own tribute.

THREEFIFTY/Gently Among the Coals: Classical cats that continue their bold excursions into the post rock world of ambient and drone with pop undertones sound like they are making liturgical music for a faithless world. Music for ears well past genre deconstruction but aren't aligned for noize, this is a fine example of how you can still be a malcontent into your 30s without seeming like ‘that guy' at the club. Sly stuff with loads of difference at the core.

PI JACOBS/a Little Blue: Finding a mythical sweet spot between Sheryl Crow and Rickie Lee Jones, vet folkie Jacobs comes in with an organic bag breaker of a set that finds her moving out of her usual recording comfort zone into a stripped down place where you might be stripped down but certainly aren't naked. Folkie/roots stuff heavy on killer lyrics that might go to the dark side but never lead you into darkness. A set that's a musical tonic, add Jacobs to your gotta hear list and enjoy. Well done.

TREVOR SALLOUM with BOBBY SANABRIA/Conga & Bongo Drum in Jazz: Here we are all these years after the debuts of Ricky Ricardo and Tito Puente and now we get the first book ever on how to play conga and bongos in jazz? Better late than never. A very accessible, large format paperback, there's plenty of illustration and instruction to make sure that you sound like more than a screwy kid banging pot lids together for attention. Quite a super overview to lead you into the tent for much more.

Volume 40/Number 130
March 11, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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