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EYAL VILNER BIG BAND/Hanukkah: So Vilner takes traditional Hannukah songs and melodies, tosses them in to a big band mix and comes away with something so anti-jive that even the most self hating Jew will swing along with these holiday festivities. Enough to make you forget about marauding Greeks and how similar Macabee is to McCabe, the door has now opened on a new generation of Hanukkah music as well as possibly a new genre of it. Wildly singing and tasty throughout.

BOB MUNDY/Love to Me: A male jazz vocalist that sings the song the way it was meant to be sung and specializes in classic love/love lost songs, Mundy knows his jazz well serving up a complete package that hits all the right notes throughout. A delightful, sophisticated set for those times you need to feel like a grown up.

DOWNCHILD/Something I've Done: The inspiration for Blues Brothers keeps rolling on in high octane fashion a full 40 years after their ‘discovery'. Still winning awards as they continue to kick it out, music like this proves that to make a fashion statement out of music is stupid. How can you call this dated? You can be rooted in the past and still be looking forward as this crew is proving after 50 years with the newest member of this crew having a 20 year tenure. Hot and happening, this is a party starter for people that really know how to party. Hot stuff throughout.

REGGIE YOUNG/Young Street: What's in the water that makes it so smoking bass payers are often named Young. A smart player with loads of chops and props, he also knows that just because you are making a DIY record, it's doesn't have to sound home made or half baked. Full on funky, bad ass stuff, this is kind of DIY record you don't have to make excuses for. Killer stuff on a rampage.

KEVIN BREIT/Johnny Goldtooth & the Chevy Casanovas: So what's a guitar man that's more than proven himself over the last decade and more do next? How about have some laughs? Breit and his musical mischief makers know how to do it right even when they are doing it wrong. Paying tribute to a mythical crew with a sly humor dancing on the frets, Breit and company show that deadly serious musicians can have a fun side as well and it's on display here. Certainly not musical mayhem, this is simply a busman's holiday where they can all let their hair down and have a good time for one and all. Smoking stuff that never let's you down.

RONNIE EARL & THE BROADCASTERS/Luckiest Man Alive: The ax slinger takes it back to the old days with a show blues set showing you this white boy knows his way around the blues. With a load of old friends and new helping things along, this might not sound like something straight from the west side to you, but it sounds like the best of the west side when it moved to better neighborhoods. Atavistic without being recidivist, this is a fine tonic to go back in the day with.

PETRA VAN NUIS & ANDY BROWN/Lessons Lyrical: Kind of a modern version of Jackie & Roy, this couple took time off from their relentless gig schedule to run into each other in the studio and let's us eavesdrop on a duo set that is loaded with the kind of intimacy they probably wish they had time for. With the kind of simpatico that makes the two feel like you are listening to one, this set is a pure bred adult/jazz charmer. And they didn't feel the need to do "Nature Boy"; five extra stars for that. Smoking stuff throughout.

DAVE ZINNO UNISPHERE/River of January: This is a vastly different set from the kind from back in the day when jazzbos first discovered world beat and began to incorporate it. Zinno charts a course to a new world with players that can maneuver it with their eyes closed. Tasty jazz at the core throughout, this is a side of serious adult sitting down listening that really makes the time fly. Lusciously played throughout, this crew defines another facet of the sound of summer.

ERIC WYATT/Look to the Sky: A sax man that was kind of adopted by Sonny Rollins after his own father passed, this label debut is loaded with the kind of church basement honking you might expect from a cat given the freedom to chase that muse. Muscular, angular playing that takes no prisoners and gives no quarter, this hard hitting date will angry up your blood just enough to let you know your heart is still beating righteously. Tasty throughout.

YUKO MABUCHI TRIO: New to our shores from her native Japan, this piano gal speaks perfect American jazz with her finger tips leading the way. The accent here is on the playing so while the set card may be quite familiar, the execution is a totally new experience. Leading with the classic jazz piano trio vibe, Mabuchi adds enough of her own special sauce for you to experience whey the producer offered to record her the day after he first heard her. Delightfully smashing stuff that turns your rec room into your fave club, this is a timely set to chase the winter away with.

Volume 41/Number 3
November 3, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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