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SANDY and the Wild Wombats/Devoted to Rock n' Roll: If you want poseurs, don't look for them here. Leading with Sandy's torn silk/whisky stained growl, this crew is a bunch of rockabilly lifers that twang, jump and swing with the best of them. Authentic circa now, this has modern touches that in a backwards way insure they aren't poseurs as they keep it real. A great party on a platter, Sandy is the kind of gal you want to keep you up all night. Hot stuff.

OLIVER NELSON/Complete Prestige Collection: Sure, you hear all about those contemporaneous period jazzbos that died from drugs and drink but how many do you hear about that had such strong work ethics they worked themselves to death at 43? The influential and talented Nelson could have had the impact of an Ellington had he lived longer but here we get some hot and tasty meat and potatoes that will be well remembered. With the revered "Blues and the Abstract Truth' at the core of this collection, the rest of it finds him in killer company or writing killer charts taking basic daddio vibes a whole lot deeper. A sax man that could blow with the best of them and do so much more, this is the way I'd want to be remembers---with a collection like this. Smoking throughout.

STAN GETZ/Classic Albums Collection 1955-63: While the 8 albums in this collection certainly don't cover all the albums Getz made in this 8 year period, this selection certainly finds him improvising, vigorous and exploring like he's Magellan or something. Focusing on different facets, all of which he made shine brightly, from straight ahead jazz to serving bossa nova, this collection is one of those sets made up of nothing but as good as it gets. The coolest daddio of them all, this appreciation is a thing of beauty throughout. Well done and leaving us wanting more.

MIGHTY SPARROW/Volume 4: This disc was originally released over 20 years ago, and the recordings weren't new at the time---and that's why the Sparrow is mighty. The grand march award winner for life, Sparrow was such a carnival king he was forced to retire from competition so some one else could win once in a while. A disc full of sun, sex, double antandre, politics and goodness knows what else, all it does is prove why the Sparrow is mighty---there I've said it again. Calypso what is!

ROBOTMAN: Jazz mash up for the modern age, these improvisers fuse it all in the way that past fusers did it but with a nu and different palette of sounds. After hours music for the cocktail lounge on Mars, they've got one foot in traditional and one foot in Richard Branson's pockets angling to be the house band on his space shuttles. Fun stuff that opens the ears nicely.

FRED ASTAIRE/Three Evenings With: This double discer is packed to the gills with nascent TV performances by the kind of classy gent like they just don't make any more. With righteous jazzbos in tow and a dancer that could make moves Ginger Peachy couldn't make anymore, for a set of soundtracks, this is pretty visual stuff. Elegant and never phony, this how it was back in the days when tv performers thanked you for inviting them into your living rooms. It's easy to hear why these shows were all award winners---and there were more to come after the ones on board here. Must hearing, particularly if you want to plum the meaning of a class act'.

AL GROMER KHAN/Kurt and Bongo and the Hippies: Move over Gnossos Pappadopolous, Holden Caulfield and Dean Moriarty, coming of age literature has a new must read to add to the shelf. A roman a clef memoir of the 60s by one who was there and must have taken good notes to remember it all, it follows the exploits of a hard luck bunch but there are no beautiful losers here. Some things never change, like young people hating the man and hungering for revolution, but the ways the story telling can morph mightily is what makes things one for the ages or not. A gripping read throughout that will really spin you through an emotional spin cycle along the way, this one helluva way to bring it all back home. Well done.

Volume 40/Number 252
July 11, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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