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ANTONIO ADOLFO/Hybrido: Seems like a can't miss situation. Takes Adolfo's national treasure piano playing and pair it with a bunch of Wayne Shorter's interesting moments from the 60s. You know what goes wrong here? Nothing. In addition to Shorter's vast other good traits, he had an affinity for Brazilian jazz and all the elements come together here, all of them right in the moment as well. Real jazz for real jazz ears, Adolfo hits it out of the park once again keeping his masterful record of recordings in tact. Well done throughout.

MICHAEL RABINOWITZ/Uncharted Waters: You can count how much jazz bassoon there is on a handful of fingers which makes records like this that hit the mark all that much more intriguing. Whether working out on original improvs or oldies, Rabinowitz shows he knows how to make his mark and that he loves his work. Certainly sounding out of the ordinary to most ears, Rabinowitz's sure fingers and well trained lips make this a date musical explorers should make a point of not missing. Smoking stuff throughout.

CHEAP 3NSEMBLE: A low key, three piece improv jazz crew that's found a home in Georgia after doing the family thing in Virginia finds the change of locale inspiring them to do something to leave a mark instead of a smudge. With more of a progressive edge than the usual egghead stuff of this fare, it's thinking music for musing around the fireplace with a snifter of brandy at the ready, opening your mind to the possibilities that remain. It's almost like a guy's version of yoga music. Check it out.

DAILEY & VINCENT/Patriots & Poets: So, how do you follow up an album that spent 15 weeks at #1? With a smokingly killer album that could easily double that. The incredibly reliable bluegrass duo continue to refuse to phone it in and check in here with a high octane, four on the floor set that feels like a show even if there's no audience or any trappings of this being a show. With a stellar guest list that that could comprise a killer album on their own, contemporary bluegrass with gospel edges practically never sounded so good. Killer stuff throughout by winners that know how to show the way and get it done.

GERRY MULLIGAN/Pacific Jazz Collection 1952-59: With over 60 years of time, tide and corporate takeovers in the wind, it can be hard to pin point a time, place and person where a moment that created a movement occurred but this collection pretty much takes you to the time and place where cool jazz leapt into the world fully formed. With nine Mulligan early dates on board, most of them certified classics of cool jazz, this will bring you up to date on what west coast coolsville was all about. Always in great company whether fronting, siding or backing, Mulligan had a sound and vision to go with his chops that makes these sides something special and wonderful to have all in the same place. Killer stuff throughout.

SONNY STITT/Classic Albums collection1957-1963: Stitt was on so many records that even Enlightenment would have a hard time putting together one of their complete collections of Stitt. Plucking 8 albums with most of them from his prime years on Verve, this is a sax collection that serves as the last word on the time and place. Sure, there were other contemporaneous killer sax players, but Stitt was one of the few that could show up at any kind of date and play anything. Surrounded here by the best talent that Verve had to offer, these dates are loaded with that something extra that didn't need chart position to validate them. Designed not to agitate nascent suburban rec room daddios, there's nothing here watered down or jive showing just how heavily true talent will out. Killer stuff for the ages.

THE GIFT/Altar: You thought Eno and Flood were off cooling their jets somewhere never to be heard from again? Ha! Off to Spain they went to find their own Nico and the Velvet Underground and show that they were only late to the original party because they were still a touch too young. There might not be a Lou Reed in the writing aggregation here, but it's a journey through the other side college kids can always see as a rite of passage

CLINT HOLMES/Rendezvous: A cat with a half century of been there/done that on his entertainment vitae stops and takes stock of where he's been and where he still has to go. The kind of record that you'd expect from Michael Franks back in the day, loaded with the kind of cats that would have powered a Franks record, Holmes is your father, brother, best pal and all around good guy that's always there for you on this personal date. One of the notable side bars about this date is in the liner notes. It's amazing/mind blowing just how much A list talent is on their own these days, but that's our good fortune because that's how really meaty records like this one get made. Much more than pop/jazz/cabaret/etc, this is a set just beyond genre that can best be described as smoking. Tasty and loaded with taste, this is great ‘mature' music. Well done.

MACEO PARKER/Roots Revisited-Bremen Concert: A radio version of the ‘director's cut' of the dates that produced his killer duet with Candy Dulfer, this set just shows that if Parker had career direction that matched his chops, by the time James Brown got back from camp, people would have been saying Brown backed up Parker. Recorded with the Brown gang in tow, Parker and his pals tear it up in Mo Roots and Roots Revisited fashion showing off some stops where they dropped off chops along the way. For fans of Parker when he's really playing hard core, this is more than a valentine. In the course of these two discs, Parker shows how comfortable he is coming from that place where jazz, funk and soul meet and that he can lead a band with the best of them. Killer stuff from one of the faces that should be on Mt. Rushmore.

THAT ONE EYED KID/Crash and Burn: Contemporary synth pop with a personal edge to the lyrics, wheel man Josh Friedman serves a pop fastball right down the middle who's only flaw is paying sop to today's marketplace by only being an ep. This is a kid with a lot on the ball.

JEFF WEINMANN/Alma Matters: Recorded over 4 years in bits and pieces when one of the 'family' of cats on board here wasn't on the road tearing it up with Santana, Weinmann calls on old friends who have been hitting it out of the park for years, that have families that are players as well, and crafts a heartfelt set that isn't about hitting the charts but playing on your heart strings. Feeling very much in tune with the laid back side of the hippie jazz that emanated from the Bay area back in the day, there's even a bit of a 'back then' world jazz vibe lurking to remind you how engaging it all was. Solid stuff for anyone that wants to kick back while in good hands, this almost has the same feel as cherished, off the clock bootlegs gave off back in the day. Check it out.

ADRIANNA MARIE/Kingdom of Swing: Duke Robillard is just one of those cats you have to be glad HAS the need to make music. He's one those cats that you owe it to yourself to check out anything with his name on it whether you're familiar with the work or not because he's a brand of quality. Hopefully, he's got a trust fund squirreled away that can fuel his efforts to keep creating no matter what. And what that has to do with this production? Well, we find Robillard moving outside his perceived comfort zone working out on a new label with a galaxy of pals old and new, all in support of a classic swinging blues/jazz thrush that has mind blowing chops. With a set card heavy on her own originals, this quasi journey through the past is no waltz down memory lane. Making the most of the age of deconstruction, this isn't music that worries about hitting the charts, it's music that blows your mind and makes it seem like it was done so effortlessly. A sassy reminder of when broads were broads and proud of it, Marie knocks it out of the park so mightily that we're already waiting for her next set impatiently. Killer stuff throughout.

Volume 40/Number 137
March 18, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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