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VIBRATORS/Past, Present, and Into the Future: 40 years on and the former angry young men still sound angry but they have the punch not to come across like pissed off old geezers with the youthful aggression still at the fore. The UK punk rockers mix players from their various crews over the years and it works. I guess not all nostalgia has to be rooted in the 60s anymore.

LAURIE JANE & the 45s/Midnight Jubilee: Laurie's roots are showing here as she merges a bunch of down home styles that don't have her going the white girl with the blues route. Culled from various country based realms, the good vibes here flow starting with her crystal clear vocals and proceeding through the back up crew's solid chops. A solid, tasty outing throughout that ain't afraid to rock when it needs to.

JESSE TERRY/Natural: Suppose you were wondering what they were talking about when they first said John Meyer was a folk singer. This is probably what you were picturing and wondering where it was. Guess it took a while to get here. A dyed in the wool folkie that has real folkie pals that dropped in to lend a hand, the crafty songwriter delivers a winner here. A little too textured to be moldy fig folk, those looking for real, meaty stuff will have a feast here.

SHOB/Karma Obscur: Leave it to those wily Frenchies to give us a funky white boy bass player to take the post position in one world/particle man moves (with a cute sense of word play as well) as he's the latest in the new line of streaming stars that have left the real world behind. A sure fingered groovathon, this prog head with world wise ears knows how to get the most out of those four strings, his pals and their toys. Not at all striped down in the process, this full blooded funky outing hit's the bulls eye throughout. Well done.

ELECTRIC SQUEEZEBOX ORCHESTRA/Falling Dream: A big band powered by a whole lot of wind records and plays like the pressure is off and they just want to have fun hanging out together. Quite a feat that this whole date was recorded in two sessions and everyone is watching the clock these days. Filled with the kind of fun that spills out of the speakers and gets all over everything, this is how jazz sounds when everybody is giving everybody else some and the party really gets started before the session ends. Y'like it Latin? The bounty here will drive you up the wall. A killer date throughout.

UNKNOWABLE; Go figure. Hell raisers like Dave Liebman and Adam Rudolph find a home on a hell raiser label and they bring out their mysterious, low key side. It never hurts to keep them guessing. This set is going to have strong appeal to younger tastes who have no idea who NEA winner Liebman is but will be drawn to the darker side spooling out here. And we find yet again the master has another layer of onion for us to peel away to find what's underneath.

BOBBY PREVITE/Rhapsody: In the second part of his Terminals trilogy, Previte unleashed all the progressive, left leaning stuff he's been sitting on over the years and comes out with an art jazz deluxe outing that left leaners will love in it's atonal, angularity all powered by the drummer and his pals anxious to gather round. The professionalism of the pros keeps this from being art for art's sake turning that corner into it being real art. Wild stuff for those up for the ride.

JOHN WILLIAMS/Conductor: So how is that one label can have two protean, classically based maestros with the same name and deep catalog? Here we get a retrospective on soundtrack Williams showing his glories as Arthur Fiedler's replacement at Boston Pops, his glorious soundtracks for some of the great populist entertainment of all time and his diversions featuring fine works that fall through the mainstream cracks. The kind of cat that's an overall good will ambassador for classical music, this 20 disc set has plenty to savor and enjoy. There's more to this pro than "Star Wars" and this collection only takes a look at the last few decades. Simply a load of killer stuff you owe it to yourself to sit back and enjoy.

SUE FOLEY/Ice Queen: Austin's guitar slinger that was a white girl with the blues before it was really a thing corals all the locals hitters for a down and dirty roots/blues date where she becomes the latest in a line of vets that really find their turf in grand style under the Stony Plain penumbra. Real music for real grown ups that want some sinew in the mix, there isn't a self conscious lick on the platter as this crew could have hit this out of the park in one take if they really wanted to. Not the kind of record that hits the top of the charts, it is one that has the moxie that'll keep it hanging around forever. Hot stuff.

FRED FARELL/Distant Song: Here's that kind of odd duck you artsy types love. The vet vocalist puts words to the music of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach, both of whom accompany him here. Talk about a bunch of long time pals really kicking it after hours in a jazz lounge on Mars. Art jazz from cats that never lapse into parody, this is the template for those who want to follow and do it right.

Volume 41/Number 106
February 14, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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