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AARON COMESS/Sculptures: You can't be a rock star forever, in most cases, and Comess has continually shown he's moved on from his rock star days by burnishing himself as an artist that uses his chops to push boundaries and seek out newer expression. Ditching the skins he's worn the last decade or so, he goes for soundscape realms here with new pals and new instruments and hit's the experimental target with ease. Strange new realms appear here and become normal during their stay. A way out, almost egghead session that charts courses to tomorrow.

JAMES SCOTT BULLARD/Full Tilt Boogie: Walmart parking lot music for the country folk that don't go to Sunday meeting. Down and dirty, loaded with electric blues, when you're piloting that big rig on reds, this record becomes totally clear.

MICHAEL MOSS/Helix: The loft jazz mainstay puts together an Accidental Orchestra, in which the gang is all here, and sets out for places only hinted at in "Metal Machine Music'. Using Einstein's name for God as the jumping off point, I'll bet this how things sound in heaven when Metatron dawdles over a second cup of coffee.

ERIC CORNE/Happy Songs for the Apocalypse: A white boy with a sure case of the blues, here we find him mashing up indigenous sounds of the present and the future like a Leonard Cohen on steroids throughout. A wily set for those that like it on the bleak side with pros having their hands on the wheel, this is sure bet for those left fielders.

IDIOMATIQUES/Out on the Town: Inspired by the Hot Club but leaving the manqueing around at the door, this quartet of music wars vets banded together to do things their way come hell or high water and they've successfully beat back the flames and the floods. Low key but full of enough force to bowl you over, if you've ever had a taste for Django and Stephane, this is the new stuff you're taste buds have been waiting for. Killer stuff throughout.

RAVEN & RED/We Rise Up: Acoustic music that got it's start in bluegrass and has moved along the back 40 to other interesting stops along the way, this young crew knows how to hit all the right notes and serve up something special and deluxe. Tasty stuff that'll easily become a welcome friend in the device of your choice.

TOM RIGNEY & Flambeau/Enjoy Yourself: Cajun and more from Sausalito, Rigney once again let's his mash up chops fly in an instrumental tour de force that finds him and the gang really tearing it up. Moving, grooving and mostly original except where writers of the past said things that can't be topped, this is great stuff that cheerily colors outside the lines and delivers the thrills. Wonderful real music for real ears looking for new kicks, the master shines when he does his thing.

DIANE MOSER/Birdsongs: Not a new age set, the long time jazzbo just finds herself paring things down to a trio to explore her lifelong fascination with birds. Very much in the realm of a Sunday afternoon egghead session, this recital is well conceived round of sitting down jazz that's a lot fun if you just let it be. Very much a welcome diversion.

GEORGE ST. CLAIR/Ballads of Captivity & Freedom: A wonderfully unassuming record that comes at you from out of nowhere, St. Clair is a great wordsmith that knows melody and turns in a smoking back porch/back 40 singer/songwriter rootsy set that captures all the best of classic country/rock and makes a delightful mixture throughout. You have to give this a spin because you just won't believe it. Well done.

ROBBIN FORD/Made to Last: The guitar great goes on a bluesy, busman's holiday on this ep that was an outgrowth of sessions for his ‘normal' career. Showing his side with the blues that almost come from another planet, the master kicks out the jams and makes it clear he can keep it contemporary and forward thinking after all these years.

Volume 41/Number 112
February 20, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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