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CYPRESS STRING QUARTET/String Quartets of Elena Ruehr-How She Danced: Open your ears in this direction if you want to be on the cutting edge of contemporary classical. With a specially commissioned work for the quartet and two other works that follow back 20 years into Ruehr's canon, this is elegant, top shelf listening and playing. Without a false note in the collection, anyone saying that classical music isn't an organic body is way off the mark. You can really see classical fans stuck in traffic being glad to have this in the car with them. Well done.

MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING/Forty Fort: That some moldy fig hasn't leapt out of the audience John Wilkes Booth style and shot members of this crew in the name of jazz actually speaks a lot for moldy figs. As informed by civil rights jazz and Carla Bley as well as just any old thing that goes off the deep end, this'll take the old skool hipster back to the church basement for way out jazz that was even too way out for way out clubs worried they wouldn't sell enough drinks when the group played. Must hearing for the far left leaning.

LORRAINE FEATHER/Ages: Somewhere between Dave Frishberg, Tom Waits and the cutie pie second grade teacher you had a crush on because she was cooler than your mom could ever be is where we find Sweet Lorraine in 2010. With a hipness that Elvis Costello/Billyberg hipsters won't understand, Feather does her mom and dad proud as she gathers up a bunch of first call smooth jazz cats and has them playing anything but smooth jazz. Everyone is having a grand time and this is the leading light in what uptown hipness is all about these days. Tasty, real adult stuff that hits the target.

ANTONIO CIACCA/Lagos Blues: Hey kids, it doesn't have to be a game changer to be a killer record. Did Monk kill it every time out? Nah, and this piano man doesn't have to either. Teaming with Steve Grossman and his regular crew, Ciacca simply delivers the jazzbo goods in fine style with a fresh, up beat snazzy date that tears into things with an abandon that knows how to move and groove. A tasty set throughout, you really have to be a big sourpuss not to be able to kick back and enjoy this music that just tastes like summer, outdoor festivals. Hot stuff.

WILL TUCKER/Stealin' the Soul: When you say this young, white blues boy is in the tradition, you have to finish the thought just to show you're thinking. Yeah, he's in the tradition of George Thorogood, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jonny Lang. He knows his way around the horn from Hendrix to Chuck Berry with stops at Elvis and T-Bone Walker in between. Recording in Memphis with Paul Speer, this is a new wave of frat boy blues that whitey might not realize came from someplace other than a juke box. Some parties are just too good to stop and this is certainly one of them. A hot shot debut to be sure.

JUDE DEVERAUX/Days of Gold (read by Gabra Zackman): And everybody thought it was so easy to write Harlequin Romances... Here we find Deveraux adding to her massive worldwide sales with the second volume in the multigenerational Edilean series that sweeps you back to late 1700 Scotland for romance, treachery and of course, swindled inheritances among the beautiful people. It's a reality show without the MTV logo, just set a long time ago. Romance fans will find this a reliable listen to sweep them away from the mundane. Hey, who sets these things in Scotland anyway? A solid bet for genre and Deveraux fans.

RICHARD DOETSCH/13th Hour (read by Dennis Boutsikaris): This unabridged sci-fi murder mystery thriller takes it all one step further as the innocent guy has to prove his innocence but has to confront whether he would want to save his wife if he could even as the clues pile up as he goes back in time to unravel the whole mishagas. Told by Dennis Boutsikaris, who once again shows why he's the audio book go to guy who isn't Joe Mantegna, thriller fans are sure to stay tuned for the 11 hour ride. This tale might have been told before a few different but similar ways, but this is the high water mark for the lot. Check it out.

THE FINAL DESTINATION IN 3D: So what would a shocker like this be without the scary, lenticular o-card? With all the other pics WHV has been giving lenticular covers to, this is a natch and lets you know right from the git, you better hold on to your popcorn, as well as your cookies. While the gang really thinks they fucked with Death this time, oh, Death is so pissed off.... There's a bonus digital copy in both the regular and BluRay editions, and both editions come with 3D glasses to make sure you know you better not think about fucking with Death as he might just end up right in your lap(!). Loaded with mayhem and stuff to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and poke someone behind you in the eye, this is the real deal for scary pic fans.
(also available in Blue Ray)

Volume 33/Number 73
January 13, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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