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GLENN CRYTZER ORCHESTRA/Ain't It Grand?: This is a fun twofer loaded with surprises. It sounds like it was recorded back in the day but it has it's modern edges, like newly written tunes. That said, it really captures the classic big band period all the way down to sounding like music underscoring classic cartoons. It's clear this bunch loves their work and delight in being musical imps and pixies that go back in the day without being nostalgic or reverential about it. If you've got open ears and are looking for something ‘new', you're sure to appreciate this romp. Now swing it, daddio!

JUNGSU CHOI TINY ORKESTER/Tschuss Jazz Era: A bunch of Korean jazzbos are so committed to deconstructing jazz they want to know what would happen if Ellington didn't take the A train. Just when you think this is going to be some kind of normal but left leaning big band date, along come the thrills and spills that toss this into the future and make you wonder what if...? There's no doubt they know how to play, it's just a matter of whether you're left leaning or progressive enough to want to hear what they have to say. Wild stuff.

LUNDEN REIGN/Confessions: In which we find modern protest getting more macro for the selfie age, this modern take on classic alt.rock has this duo with their fingers on the pulse of the times and isn't willing to let grass grow under their feet or let the status quo march on. The new state of indie rock, this duo has what it takes to find it ringing through the halls of college dorms everywhere.

SHAWN MAXWELL'S NEW TOMORROW/Music in My Mind: Once again, the Chicago sax man shows he just doesn't like to make the same record twice. Going way more free jazz than he has in the past, he certainly whips his co-horts into a frenzy as they whip up a wild racket that comes together instead of falls apart. Feeling inspired by Coltrane's sheets of sound, this is a first class trip for those looking for a wild ride that doesn't roll off the rails.

SPIN CYCLE/Assorted Colors: This bunch, that's played together in one form or another for over 25 years, serves up a second album that's been tempered by time and tide as well as extensive touring that seems to have brought their telepathy into sharper focus. Finding that sweet spot between easy going and left leaning, this is loaded with swinging melodies and grooves and all the stuff that real players once had to master just to get the chance to step up. Another winning set throughout, the mainstream listener is sure to be bouncing his seat after getting a load of this latest hard hitting addition to the sitting down jazz shelf. Well done

Volume 41/Number 176
April 25, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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