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ALCHEMY SOUND PROJECT/Adventures in Time and Space: Bright young jazzbos that understand the music, tradition and the need to keep moving forward come together for their second set of diverse personalities and talents submerging the individual ego for the greater good. All products of JCOI that came together at different times and places, they show how to think like one with improv skills that really go beyond. Young but not wet behind the ears, this where the next bunch of cookers can be found. Hot stuff.

STEVE KRASE BAND/Just Waitin': A harmonica ace that that has cruised the blues world ain't no white boy with the blues here, even if he shows his appreciation for the blues by covering some Howlin' Wolf, he's a roots rocker all the way here. Showing a sense of humor in covering "The Ballad of Jed Clampett", if you want to have a rocking party, you can feel the Wanda Jackson debt being paid here. Solid jumping, jiving and honking throughout.

STATIC & SURRENDER: Keeping the alt.rock vibe alive from San Francisco, this trio of rock wars vets faces the daunting task of reaching today's youngsters without beats in their tool kit. This is a pretty nice flame for keepers of the flame.

MATTY T. WALL/Sidewinder: Bob Clearmountain doesn't need to show up for an indie record so if he's paying attention, you might want to follow suit. Wall is a mighty shredder that claims the blues but is way more than another white boy with the blues from down under. It sounds like there's nothing he can't do with is guitar as he blasts, blazes and merrily goes his own way like a power chording pied piper. You can call him anything you wan except late for dinner, he's a master blaster of the highest order and this set will set your blood on fire.

STEVE ELCI & Friends/Jump in the Puddles: It's easy to hear why this kiddie roots rocker continually cleans up all the kiddie music awards. Kicking it off with a mischievous "gospel" call and response track and easy rocking his way around from there, the lyrics don't treat kids as dopes and he never comes across as an icky adult to be ware of. What more could you want? Good stuff that works throughout sure to earn his place as a kiddie superstar.

LENNY MARCUS TRIO/Gloria's Step: Leaving his older forms of hero worship behind, Marcus moves on to a new form of hero worship whether it's tipping the cap to the inventor of the piano, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner or getting modern and leftfield for him, Barbara Higbie. A solid piano jazz trio that has done wonders in the past, they keep their record in tact here delivering creative, accessible playing that has the greater agenda of making the world a better place without the onus of trying to change it. Tasty stuff that does not disappoint.

THIS IS IT!/1538: Not wanting to repeat herself, Satoko Fujii debuts yet another new trio, this more of a close to home variety, and let's loose with her version of primal scream, letting her instruments do the talking and saving her vocal chords. Wonderful acid trip, left leaning jazz that often sounds like a thrill ride through hell conducted by Lou Reed's ghost,. This is certainly an example of art for art's sake.

FUJII FONDA MIMMO/Triad: As Satoko Fujii continues her birthday record release marathon, here we find her trying on yet a new skin debuting this trio in this format. Recorded on her actual birthday, they day after they played together for the first time, this is art jazz going to logical extremes giving you the other side of early 70s creative civil rights jazz when art took the wheel instead of anger. Left leaning improv fans will find solace in the set's minimalism.

PETE McCANN/Pay For It on the Other Side: The title derives from an inside joke those who drive in to Manhattan from Jersey would get, beyond that, the playing is no joke. The jazzbo guitarist rounds up his long time usual suspects for some killer instrumental music that takes you around the block, with all the stops in between, and leaves you smiling at the end. Finding the sweet spot where post bop, fusion and even roots converge, this energetic, engaging set is a dream date for jazz guitar fans. Hot stuff that really knows how to boil and cook.

LELAND & the Silverwells: An ethereal hippie chick sure to remind you of the early 70s schmatta queens you found in Goodwill bins that never made it but were intriguing and somehow influential. Taking a visit with Snoopy is back in vogue and he's sure to lead you through a voyage of all the pretty colors with this as the soundtrack.

Number 41/Number 221
June 9, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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