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BCUC/Emakhosini: I almost overlooked this thinking it was an ep as it only has three songs, but they are album length tracks and this crew needs to stretch out. Politically based, even if you don't know what they are talking about, the music not only speaks for itself but this has so much going on that it almost feels like a multi media presentation. Sitting down stuff that's energetic even if it seems to get a little egg headed at times, this is a mind blowing, ear opener of a world beat date that really takes you down the back streets into the real world of wild stuff. Enjoy this as a theatrical experience of deep African grooves.

JOHN KORBEL/Earthlight: A well traveled jazz singer records in Nashville while living in Florida. With the right vibe for summer festivals powering his chops, this is how it goes for those easy going days ahead.

DON BRADEN/Earth Wind and Wonder: The well chopped sax man avoids all the clichés that would have made this celebration of Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder a gift shop record. He also doesn't cover "September" avoiding being lumped in with Taylor Swift. Presenting his take on the great American songbook as heard through a black man's ears coming up in the 70s, this set easily bids Cole Porter a fond farewell. A wonderful groover throughout.

DAVID FITZPATRICK/Parachutes in Heaven: Long time Milwaukee rock mainstay breaks away from his group setting for an over due solo set that sounds like he's been waiting for his arena shot his whole performing life. An AOR recidivist's delight.

DANNY GREEN TRIO PLUS STRINGS/One Day It Will: SoCal jazz might seem a bit new agy for jazz sometimes and that's why Green expanded his piano trio palette into farther outreach to show he's totally about quality instrumental music that might have it's roots here or there but is all about the music in the end. A solid listening date that often goes where it will, this is an unbridled tonic for jaded ears in need of a well led audio respite.

JOHN COLIANNI SEXTET/I Never Knew: The wildly swinging piano man that would have been at home leading a whorehouse band in another era shows how to apply modern chops to the classic era. A head spinner of a date were virtuosity flows like water, Colianni should automatically be the go to guy for all jazz era movie soundtracks. He's also a go to piano man for much more as well. Solid stuff that just doesn't quit as it mostly takes you through a journey through the past.

SAM JAVITCH QUARTET/People & Places: A tyro that took the time to study with the best rather than be a know it all serves up a Zen informed piano jazz date that swings as mightily as all the past great records in the genre. The kind of date you'll keep coming back to as the vibe is just right, this second session is powered by some real old soul stuff. A killer date throughout with right on contributions from all on board.

DANY FRANCHI/Problem Child: You already know we get a kick out of young white boys with the blues so how do you think we feel about a 27 year old Italian that slings, sings and writes like he has hell hounds on his tail running down highway 61? It ain't about the Brit's ripping us off anymore as authentic blues is now one of this country's greatest exports. Let's hope they don't put in and out tariffs on killer stuff like this. A winner throughout.

KARA GRAINGER/Living With Your Ghost: A hard rocking guitar slinger that's held her own around the world with The Swampers, Mike Finnigan and others doesn't need anyone to tell her #it's time. Originally from Oz, now recording Austin, rubbing elbows with the top cats around once again, if everything didn't have to be so DIY these days, her name would be on every rockers lips. Hard hitting stuff that works throughout.

JONATHAN BARBER/Vision Ahead: With songs inspired by the death of his brother, this up and coming award winning jazzbo drummer fuses the future with the past for this impressive debut that finds him showing he already knows how to be a leader. Solid stuff for the left leaning jazz ears with a touch of a bent toward the civil rights jazz era.

Volume 41/Number 165
April 14, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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