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HARRY ALLEN/New York State of Mind: I don't know what you have to go through to make the switch from accordion to sax, but our ears are all the better for it here as jazzy sax and New York go together like pastrami and mustard. Allen rounds up most of the pals from his last concept album and kicks it out in honor of New York for no other reason than, why not? A well crafted mix of tunes from all quadrants, Allen delivers more than the same old/same old lesser lights would have put on tap. It's an alternately elegant and swinging affair as you take this stroll down the sidewalks of New York with the cat that gives smooth sax a whole new meaning. Check it out.

LAWSON ROLLINS/Espirito: A few years back, Rollins came out of nowhere with a genre busting date that was a stunner to behold for any fans of instrumental/jazz/world/new age and all the subsets there to. He brings that same rollicking passion, as well as a fully, well rounded guest list to the fore with even more force and style serving up the kind of date that would have kept Narada/Windham Hill/Higher Octave in business if they had the smarts to hang on or develop a player like this. A master guitarist and a snazzy writer, Rollins has come in with a tonic for jaded adult ears that need some playful passion to shake off the dust. First rate throughout.

Volume 33/Number 43
December 13, 2009
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
@copy; 2009 Midwest Record

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