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ASARAN EARTH TRIO/Why Should Your Heart Not Dance: Three art chicks get together for some acapella that they know is so specialized, they didn't even both to think about a bar code. Songs you know like you've never heard them before, this is an amazingly un-art chick project for a bunch of art chicks banding together with no one telling them what to do. A set whose energy should certainly in the face of the Harvey Weinsteins of this world, if you like left leaning projects full of invention, this is the place to be. A fun ride throughout.

AMIT PELED PEABODY CELLO GANG: Ah, youthful exuberance! A master classical cello player is so turned on by his students that they in turn turn each other on and the results are spectacular. Not a session steeped in pyrotechnics, this is stuff that's under played if anything with nothing but brilliance shining through. Keeping it simple, this seems like a Sunday afternoon wine and cheese session---but it's anything but! A return to beautiful music skillfully played, this set is a winner throughout.

SATOKO FUJII QUARTET/Live at Jazz Room Cortez: The hell raiser takes her recent crew live, plucks out the two most dangerous tunes of her stand and brings them home to you live after having put out studio versions of these tunes before. Not that they really sound anything like the live versions. Actually one of her friendlier recordings of late, Fujii shows you exactly what an indefatigable spirit is.

DIANA PANTON/Solstice-Equinox: The Juno award winner is finally staking her claim on the states and it's about time. A jazz vocalist that recalls Blossom Dearie with her voice and jazz vocal sense, this is one of the best palette clearers to come along in quite some time. A modern take on a classic, this is jazz vocalist you have to get to know if you claim to be a genre fan. Killer stuff throughout.

BALSAM RANGE/It's Christmas Time: Here's a sweet bluegrass, Christmas ep that takes some chances that work well among the tried and true. They know their stuff and how to play it right.

IDIT SHNER/9 Short Stories: A crew of improv cats that have known each other since burning the midnight oil at North Texas as students, this is a fully realized date of sharp, angular sax led playing that's short on skronk and long on soul. For ears that like it firmly left leaning, this date has all the thrills and spills a forward thinker would demand in their listening. Solid stuff.

ASTRID KULJANIC TRANSATLANTIC EXPLORATION COMPANY/Riva: An incredibly exotic set that might be based in Croatia but it's anchored in the waters of the world. The armchair traveling gringo will know what to do with the jazzy, foreign set as soon as the shrink wrap cracks open and will probably spread the word. Fun stuff that hits all the right notes, this is solid proof that music is the universal language. Well done.

COREY CHRISTIANSEN/Dusk: The guitar man takes a steep left turn here as he wraps up his jazzy Americana trilogy with original tunes that seem to take smooth/summer jazz into some dark corners where there's a jazzy impression of southern gothic lurking around the next turn. There's a solid little history of modern jazz here lurking in the twists and turns that gives it the extra special sauce that really brings it together. Sharp, original work that grabs the progressive leaning ear nicely.

LEWIS PORTER PHIL SCARFF GROUP/Three Minutes to Four: A sweet return to sixties flavored jazz when jazzbos felt free to take international chances under the wave of Beatlemania that was washing over everything . Loaded with the smoking side of the east meets west jazzbo vibe of the times, this set will either take you back or make you venture further. Real pros kicking it out for the sake of good times.

ALMA MICIC/That Old Feeling: A first rate jazz singer that deserves to be known west of New York, she knows how to wrap herself around the oldies in fine form. A tasty set that is a hallmark for anyone that's swirled martinis in a clip joint where a thrust holds court will know just what this all about and what treasures lie beyond the bytes. Tasty throughout.

Volume 40/Number 350
October 17, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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