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AWAKENING/Beyond: Tina Turner wasn't kidding when she said Buddhism saved her life and her bad self walks it like she talks it with a bunch of high end ladies from around the world that are anything but art chicks no matter how much spiritual chanting they do. Two discs of it here. Wonderful calming music for pissed off times, this takes new age and all that to the next level of the game in fine form. Check it out, especially if you have a girl friend music fan on your gift list.

SPANGLISH FLY/Ay Que Boogaloo: You know what sucks about things being deemed in and out of fashion? Some snobs won't let you enjoy something because it's old school until they decide to fly the old school flag. This boogaloo bunch came about because a dj was having fun spinning old school records and the next thing you know, you've got this killer retro neuvo group on your hands really shaking it up caliente! Fun stuff you really have to be a grinch to not enjoy, even the whitest gringos are invited into this tent. An utterly killer date throughout.

ERIC BENOIT/Heartrender: He doesn't sound like Leonard Cohen but he does make you want to gargle with razor blades just like classic Lenny used to. This cat has some hard times under his belt that he wants to share with those of you that feel as bleak.

ERIC HUGHES BAND/Meet Me in Memphis: 16 years on Beale street is one helluva proving ground. A hard hitting white boy with the blues that knows how to rock, this is the kind of music that sells beers all night long and gets the smell of sweat rising. Fun stuff that's a sure party for frat boys of all ages, this cat knows what it is to get a crowd in motion. Hot stuff.

JUSTIN GRAY & SYNTHESIS/New Horizons: The inventor of the bass veena, Gray and his pals continue the explorations John McLaughlin and his pals started when they moved from jazz to world beat, and with this exotic sounding instrument he created at the fore front, it's low key but really wild. A new thrill for the armchair traveler, this is genuine hot stuff throughout.

REINA DEL CID/Rerun City: It's often said but rarely proven. Del Cid isn't the new Joni Mitchell, but she is the Joni Mitchell for these times. While platforms may change but the underlying stuff doesn't, del Cid has a mastery of the new platforms and how the old feelings fit into them turning it into a solid contemporary set that hits the nail on the head. This is really great stuff that's going to affect you.

ABE PARTRIDGE/Cotton Fields and Blood For Days: A Baptist minister joins the air force and becomes classic Tom Waits. This cat is the only cat that could cover "Tom Traubert's Blues" and get away with it, but he's got too much of his own material up is sleeve to go manqué on us. You like outsider freek folk? This is your latest dose served right. Killer stuff if you've got what it takes to set up for this.

SUNNY WILKINSON/Into the Light: Here's a nice dose of jazz vocal pyrotechnics from Michigan by a thrush that cut her teeth rubbing elbows with players who are those in the know. With a strong art chick edge to it, she never lets things roll off the rails and holds the core with tighter reins that you might be thinking. A tasty sitting down listening adventure, this is a must for those that like some art with their swing.

OTHER ANIMAL: As the DNA recombines, this German crew comes in with alt/prog/jazz. There are shape shifter elements running through it so virulently, you often don't know which way to cock your ears. Solidly left leaning without being undisciplined, this is a solid bet for the young jazz cat looking for something new that won't harsh his mellow.

MADELEINE & SOLOMON/A Woman's Journey: An art chick and her piano sidekick cover all the ground from Nina Simone to Maya Rudolph's dad to Richard Farina to goodness knows what's coming around the next bend. A cabaret deluxe tour de force, it's not for everyone but it really hit's the target for the target audience. Smoking stuff from way out in left field.

Volume 41/Number 52
December 22, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record

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