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GLENN KOSTUR/The Way of It: If the swinging sax man has the classic jazz feel running through his originals, he did have a misspent youth gigging with Maynard Ferguson. And he learned his road tested ways deep and well. Simply happy music that make s you feel good, he's just as much entertainer as he is crack musician and he merges the two halves with expert precision. The kind of playing that gets you grooving in your seat, this solid, straight ahead set is the kind of popular jazz that made you feel good before everyone started over thinking it. Hot stuff.

SINNE EEG/Dreams: The Danish taste treat with no cheese on her makes another assault on our shores, bringing her award winning ways along with her vocals to the downtown crème de la crème for a deep, jazz vocal date that's a dream come true for hard core listeners. A left leaning date that is loaded with Euro feel that obviously comes naturally to her, she's in the classic jazz vocal mode and delivers just what those who listen to that come for. Well done.

BLANCHE BLACKE/Out to Sea: Synchronicity or what? I was organizing the basement last week and came across Blacke's old power pop singles from when the world was young. Then along comes her transition to jazz vocalist finding her inner Sade. With the crème of the well traveled Chicago jazzbos backing her up, this set should be headed right for discovery sectors on all the top streaming services where it will prove to be a can't miss. Using a distant but not detached vibe to get her message across, this is a smoking, contemporary jazz vocal date that's not just right but right for the times and a sure bet to being younger ears into the tent right next to the moldy figs. Well done.

SARAH ROGO/Live at Lestat's West: A lovely anomaly from San Diego, just imagine what Colbie Calliat would be like if she didn't have a famous father with famous pals. Now throw in an obvious debt to Melanie and Judy Henske(?). Now make her a while girl with the blues that has no problem with appropriating song titles to repurpose. Certainly a sun dappled gal for our times. A geek's dream girl, she spent her teen aged years at the public library listening to blues records. What could be more perfect for the hear and now?

JIM VEGAS/Soul Shattered Sister: If you just looked at the players and the instrumentation you'd think this was jazz but it sounds like pissed off heartland rock. Really pissed off. The sound isn't the sludge you might expect and it all comes off pro style, direct from the heartland to you. It might be pissed off but it certainly isn't shoe gaze.

JASON PAUL CURTIS/These Christmas Days: 5 years ago this DC area swinger came out with a Christmas set then disappeared. I guess not really, it just takes a while to properly bake a set of mostly original, swinging Christmas music and have it turn out completely right. A new of new classics is on tap here. Taking the holidays into his own hands, these tunes feel like a natch that you'll wonder why you aren't familiar with them. Tasty stuff that adds swing to the holidays in fine measure.

MATT HAMMON/Silver Suitcase: I guess someone forgot to tell all those alt.rockers that if you want to be more than a critical darling you have to make music more than 20 people a night want to hear. An indie rocker to the core with the resume to prove it, he finds the vibe college rockers like REM found to make it to the masses without feeling like sell outs. Doing it all himself (talk about DIY ethos), this hard charging, hard rocking set hit's the American night like a flying mallet, delivering the goods throughout. A long over due debut that shows how the birthing process should be measured in quality and not time. Hot stuff.

DAVID IAN/Vintage Christmas Trio: So, what if Vince Guaraldi did a whole Christmas album in the Charlie Brown mode rather than have it hew to the tv soundtrack? Because nobody ever wrote that check, Ian picks up the ball and runs with it here as he tackles the most classic of holiday classics and leads his trio through the homiest Christmas set you might ever hear. Tasty in it's deceptive simplicity, this is the stuff that warm, welcome holiday classics are made of. Killer stuff.

FLOTATION TOY WARNING/Machine That Made Us: Contemporary art rock for malcontents that don't like it too left leaning. With a load of mash up running in the undercurrent, this set is in a vastly different place from their last set that feels so long ago. Certainly different stuff for different ears.

YO NO SAY/Inner: Mash up music rising from the band's original indie roots that takes in the scope of what's bugging young people today. Not kvetching music but music born of struggle on many fronts at the same time, nu music for a nu world.

Volume 40/Number 341
October 8, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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