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ACCENT/In This Together: The jazz acappella group first met on line and recorded accordingly, this time around they record in the same zip code and the results are stunning. You haven't heard stuff like this since the 50s but it's timeless throughout. A tasty diversion from the norm, this group has that passion that makes this stand up tall against formidable competition. A winning set vocal fans are going to easily find a sweet spot for.

RYAN SLATKO/First Impressions: An able student and a capable award winner, piano man Slatko is currently wearing many hats and making all of them look quite stylish. Here he pumps it out in classic small band piano combo style with various pros along for the ride. Straight ahead jazz for those who appreciate the sounds being cut from the true vine, Slatko steps up and hits it right out of the park right from the start. A solid, unstoppable release.

VARIOUS/Under What Flag-A Tribute to Fad Gadget: Evan post punks can get sentimental. Here they circle the wagons to pay tribute to the first artist signed to Mute, the late post punk electro meister Frank Tovey, one of the most influential modernists you never heard of. With the dark wave and the industrial sounds running in full flower, this takes you through a real tour of the dark stuff only hinted at during EDM festivals. Hard core for those not there yet but well on their way.

LEAETHER STRIP/Aeppreciation II: A second set of nostalgia from one o the current dark wave leaders as he tips his hat to bands and songs that gave rise to his trajectory. Bips, bops and screams permeate this session as the real sounds of the suburbs take hold. This is what your kids are listening to and you better sleep with one eye open. Claus Larson comes to his fave naturally as you can tell by the passion he brings to set opener "Lady Shave", a song you probably won't be hearing at Super Bowl half time.

JOHN MAYALL/Three or the Road: What can you say at this point about Mayall kicking it out on the road with a trio, all of which have read too many Chess Records liner notes and seems to have built a set card around them (almost)? A lot of records like this are worthwhile busman's holidays but Mayall brings a million years of doing this, applies it to being able to do anything he wants and makes it look so easy there'll be a million manqué drowning in his wake. Fun stuff for those with a sweet spot for original white boys with the blues.

\\living fossil// /Never Die!: Ever wonder what New York free jazz would sound like if it were transplanted to the Toronto jazz scene where a bunch of local hitters were turned loose to go and hit it? Scenes are blossoming everywhere and this affords a glance to sounds you think would be more of the house on first variety to chase away the cold. There's plenty of fire, it's just of a different métier. Left leaning tastes will get this work out well.

REVEREND RAVEN/My Life: Looking back over 20 years of living on the road, this crew rerecorded or remastered their high points from their back pages. A loping, easy going good time that has a total blue lights in the basement feel, these white boys with the blues make sounds for that party that doesn't need to raucous energy to keep the energy flowing. Tasty stuff from some of the hardest working blues road warriors out there, it's time for them to be less of local Milwaukee treat and let the word get out. Hot stuff.

KEN FOWSER/Don't Look Down: Working out with his regular working group, the sax man shows he knows what it is to come out swinging and not back down. A wild and wooly jazzbo set that is loaded with so much high energy you may have trouble keeping up. The whole crew is on the money throughout for this modern daddio session that cruises along at 200 mph and does not stop for gas or to recharge. A winner throughout.

LAURIE MORVAN/Gravity: What's it take to make an indie record sound like a big time commercial project while retaining it's organic roots and feel? How about getting the A team together to support a talent hat knows what she's doing and what it's all about. From Mike Finnigan's smoking B3 choogle to Morvan's searing, to the point vocals and lyrics, this is a rousing, fist pumping good that's as life affirming as electro blues can be. This white girl might have the blues, but she ain't got nothing to be blue about. Another killer set from one of the genre's leading lights.

Volume 41/Number 94
February 2, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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