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CARN DAVIDSON 9/Murphy: Two of Canada's main jazzbos pull together not just for another record but for a big band date that's modern, kicks ass and reveres tradition at the same time. A smoking outing for all involved and sure to collect more top shelf recognition for the co-leaders, this is what jazzbos really want to hear when it all comes down to it. Sizzling charts, smoking playing and an unbridled amount of zest powering it all. Hot stuff throughout that just doesn't quit.

DONNY OSMOND/One Night Only: You're too young to remember this but there was time all those washed up 50s rockers went over to Blighty and got a second wind career bounce. And here we have Donny Osmond at the end of a sold out tour of England where he does old show tunes and old Stones tunes to the equal enjoyment of the across the ponders. He serves up the love and they respond like he's Tom Jones or something. It's a wonderfully wild, surreal experience. The double disc is also available as a double DVD if you can't live without the visuals. Nuts. Next stop, the Florida condo circuit?

HOT TEXAS SWING BAND/Off the Beaten Trail: Somewhere between Ian Tyson and Asleep at the Wheel, this record is resting comfortably giving off the good vibes of both. Thought great honky tonk music ended with Gary Stewart and Hank Thompson? It's back in full force here. Killer stuff you just have to sit back and enjoy to get what I'm saying. Killer stuff throughout.

MAMA SPANX/State of Groove: One hard core genre blending blues loving babe, Ms. Spanx and her cohorts never heard of closing time as they deliver a party that just doesn't quit. All your fave blues and blues rock bases are covered here and leader Nikki Armstrong shows why she's already in the New York Blues Hall of Fame while her reputation is still spreading. A white girl that has the chops to deliver a modern show room blues/soul experience, this is how to enjoy pre-pop Tina Turner now that those days are gone for good. Killer stuff.

KELLY GREEN/Life Rearranged: That Sunday afternoon kind of chanteuse, Green knows well how to attract top jazz cats to help her with her vision of the tortured artist effect. Seemingly steeped in cabaret drama tilted to the down side, this is for people that find "Lush Life" a song they can relate to.

FISCHER'S FLICKER/Open 28 Hours: The Chicago prog rocker that is left field even for the genre shows why he can rub elbows with those who see through his veneer and take him seriously. Helpful if you are into Zappa before you approach this, Fischer seems to know no bounds but he does a great job of keeping things from rolling off the rails. A must for committed left fielders.

Eternal Life-Jeff Buckley Songs a nd Sounds: Two jazzbos with a lot of electronics at their command tackle the oeuvre of Jeff Buckley from another direction. Having rung a real chord with grungers looking for more, this set gives those seekers the more they seek. A double discer of sounds that you wouldn't think could be found to be so possessive by certain sections of the masses, a whole lot of new jazz fans are going to be minted via this collection.

RIES BROTHERS/View From the Outside: Don't come around here if you're looking for Tim. This is some young cats that can open for Chicago as well as Sly and hold their own. Lots of shredding to warm the jam band hearts in the audience, this is the nu sound of the suburbs on a tear. Solid nu stuff for nu ears.

RICH KRUEGER/Life Ain't That Long: Hits are easy. Being admired by Holy Modal Rounders is another story. Chicago secret weapon Krueger loves life in the left field of back porch music and delivers a set that does make the Rounders proud. While his musicianship is polished and his lyrics make you go ‘huh?', this cat is a strange folkie for today's strange times and drugs. The perfect antidote to anything that sucks (as long as you aren't happy to be sucking it), this is a wonderful clarion call to the real disaffected that want to know there's someone else out there that sees things the same way. Where's the Earl of Old Town when you need it? Smoking.

ALBERTO PIBIRI/Jazz Legacy: An Italian lad who told the classical world to bugger off when he got bit by the jazz bug finds him and his piano in New York rubbing elbows with some mighty fine peers. Just when you think you've got Pibiri pegged, he changes it up and fools you with something from the other side of the ledger that's played with no less passion whether speeding it up or slowing it down. A tasty new talent with so much on the ball you hope he never has to get a real job because this is where he belongs. Well done.

Volume 41/Number 10
November 10, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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