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EAGLE JOHNSON & CLEAN MACHINE/Tennessee Beach: What a wild return to 60s psych pop in full regalia. Hitting the nail on the head throughout, this crew could be the spiritual grandchildren of Velvet Underground and inspire a bunch of kids to...well, you know the story.

LAIA GENC/Birds: A modern take on the classic jazz piano trio, Genc and her crowd funded pals add impressionistic playing to the mix but basically keep it swinging in sort of an egghead way. A smoking crew where everyone is pulling more than their own weight, Genc is showing how it gets done in the new world. With fans making sure they would have more of her, she shows them the love goes both ways. Well done throughout.

KAMMERER ORKESTER/Senf: Sort of an ad hoc meeting of six young German and Austrian jazz minds, these cats play like a bunch of old souls reuniting for a new jam session after a long time of pursuing other careers. Dazzling stuff that shows real music still has a beating pulse, these young ‘uns will blow your ears wide open. Tasty stuff throughout that shows the way to a bright tomorrow.
71189 (Jazz Thing Next Generation 70)

GUNTER HAMPEL/Bounce: So, here we have a multi talented, multi instrumentalist that's been rubbing elbows with first rate hell raisers for most of his 80 years and what does he do here? The record is still delightfully off kilter but it sounds like the friendliest record he's made in years (or ever). Sounding sort of like a Dixieland band from Mars having a gas at the Star Wars cantina, Hempel and his hand chosen bunch of pals and relatives show how to color outside the lines and get everyone to follow along with you. You might go into this thinking it's not your cup of tea but the very least you will come away with is a one time, wild experience. Check it out.
71325 (European Jazz Legends 13)

JUSTIN YOUNG/Blue Soul: The smoking young sax man rounds the edges off his Detroit soul/jazz past and delivers a solid entertainment disc that serves up old school smooth jazz dating back to before the consultants watered it down and turned it into fuzak before killing it all together. His only agenda here in changing the world is to make it a happier place and he succeeds in doing his part admirably. Well done throughout.

PAWEL IGNATOWICZ/Here and Now: Looks like we don't have enough of our own hot shot guitarists so we had to import one to keep everyone on their toes. Playing from outside the expected lines, he strokes a mellow ax but doesn't need pyrotechnics to get his point across. Well versed in the right kind of skills to make him stand out even when being low key, this is a supercharged atmospheric date that you won't be able to keep in the background for long no matter how hard you try. A wonderful electric taste of something different.

HASA-MAZZOTTA/Novilunio: So, did you know that if two Albanians singing in their native tongue and make heel kicking, spirited music, you might mistake this for some update on "Riverdance". Yes, kids, once again, music is the international language. You don't have to know what they are talking about--or why--you just have to dig it. A wonderfully spirited set that gives you a sterling opportunity to just let the music take you away. Fun stuff that's sure to bring a smile to the hardest sour puss. Well done.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN/Remastered Edition: For a kid that no one thought had the chops to pursue a musical career, looks like he didn't do too bad for himself. This collection of 100 albums recorded over 22 years isn't even his whole output for that time. After moving from off Broadway to classical, Bernstein had the showmanship and talent to move him to the front of the line when he wound up being at the right place at the right time. Being right there at the beginning of the LP, which could showcase his talents leading symphonies through august works that had many high water mark performances already logged by others, or being there at the beginning of television to use his artistic sweep to being kids into the tent with his ‘Young People's Concerts‘, he arguably did more for the contemporary state of classical music than anybody. This collection of 100 essential recordings, many on cd for the first time even at this late stage for the format, are almost the last word in modern era classical record collecting. Something truly meant to be savored, this is the real upside to the current digital garage sale cleaning out all the nooks and crannies. Utterly killer stuff.

DELFEAYO MARSALIS/Kalamazoo: One of the other Marsalis kids kicks it out on his first live album about as far away from Crescent City as possible---but still keeping the vibe in tact. A well recorded set with nothing but pros backing him up, it turns the recording into one of those you had to be there events. Showing the artist as a fully rounded person, this is what it's like to like the work of a real jazzbo. Check it out, especially if this kind of experience is new to you. Killer stuff throughout.

CROWD COMPANY/Stone & Sky: UK funk by way of Massachusetts, this crew kicks off the new label in fine form by letting the funk fly and the good times roll. Tasty stuff? You bet. from the places that gave you Northern Soul, the next few generations down the line show how they soaked up the vibe across the decades and believe the party is the thing and the only thing. Dead, solid, perfect soul funk from the nu skool that shows prop for the old. Well done.

Volume 41/Number 15
November 15, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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