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BENNIE GREEN/Complete Albums Collection 1958-1964: Green was a formidable trombone player but because eclecticism was his signature sound, not having a definable vibe like J. J. Johnson cost him recognition in the long run. Bouncing from label to label with more velocity that other artists retrospected by this label, this collection gathers output from around the horn, none of which are chopped liver. One date here even stands out as a career high point for the various well known blowers assembled for the occasion. Not cult stuff for the hipper than thou, this is another side of some pure daddio jazz from the prime time of it all being served in prime slices. Tasty stuff you just don't have to be one of the hard core to enjoy.

JUNIOR MANCE/Complete Albums Collection 1959-1962: Still plying his trade as he reaches 90 years old, this most protean of the classic jazz piano players was already 10 years into his pro career when he made these long lasting long players. Playing with an elegance and grace that was loaded with funk and soul along the way, Mance knew how to lead the pack even when he was hiding the background on loads of seminal recordings for others. The kind of collection that you can rest a career on, this is as upscale a daddio collection that you are going to come across. Piano jazz almost as a text book on how to do it right, there's not a bum note in the bunch here. Well done throughout, even over a divide of over 60 years.

CROW JOHNSON/Best of: If you've ever spent time at Crow's Landing, Kerrville or Winfield, you aren't a stranger to the wily ways of under the radar folk goddess Johnson who has more than made her presence felt over the last 40 or so years. This collection of 4 cds takes you through a mighty swath of her career. Since she spent so much time outside the margins, this stuff doesn't sound or feel dated, it all comes across as right in the pocket folk music. A smart writer touching on subjects that need touching but too often get the short shrift, just remember that it's new if it's new to you. Solid stuff that shows it has real backbone. This is a look at a career done right.

JASON DUDEY/Exceeding All Expectations: With a sharp contemporary eye driving his contemporary wit, Dudey hones in on the nu state of everything that can drive the urban everyman crazy as he goes through his day. Razor sharp throughout, he knows how to state his case on annoyances that make Chinese water torture look like an all expense paid vacation. Funny stuff that just plain keeps the laughs coming.

RAY HARRINGTON/Overwhelmed: A cat firmly in touch enough with today that he's cleaning up all the awards the nu paradigm will afford one, Harrington is so today that he's even ok with being hefty and owns it. A comic that knows how to lay it on the line and make it funny with those kind of under the radar yuks that catch you unawares because you think about them without thinking about them, this is like a visit from a pal that keep you making with the LOLs. Solid work.

CHRIS PORTER/Lost & Alone: A fine visit from your out of focus, off center, off kilter pal that you don't want your girl friend to know about, Potter sounds angry but you end up laughing so how does that all work? Wild and wooly, these are the jokes that you can't even repeat around the water cooler if you work in a hipster office. The king of the classroom back row, he's still riffing on subjects that keep you young. A major laugh riot that'll probably get the riot squad called out one day, this is sterling fount of left of center laughs that are always riotous.
DEREK SHEEN/Disasterbation: In this pod cast, on demand world, if it seems like we just got a new record from Sheen, we did- it came out over the summer. Pretty much of the standard everyman for today's world, there's obviously enough material to keep him coming with new laughs on a Kathy Griffin like schedule. Classic stand up in modern garb, this is after work but not after hours laughs that just keep coming. Fun stuff that hits the mainstream funny bone foursquare, forthwith. Well done.

MISHKA SHUBALY v JT HABERSAAT/Into the Wilderness: Musical comedy that finds two laugh masters facing off on a comedy music ep that is so left of center you almost don't know if it's a put on or for laughs or what. Cutting to the chase from the first notes, it seems so real that it takes the bitch slaps to wake you back up to reality. One of those you have to hear it to believe it kind of events.

Volume 40/Number 315
September 12 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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