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BENNETT BROTHERS/Not Made for Hire: Blues rocking bad boys are veterans of Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles and other Band related activities, but this time around they're doing it for themselves and the thing they want to do is power the soundtrack for your rocking party. They can still inspire fist pumping but this is more mature rock for those that can still feel their heartbeat and want to turbo charge it. Right in the pocket throughout, you can be a vet without being grizzled and this is the proof.

BRUCE KATZ BAND/Get Your Groove!: It's not such a stretch that this Allman extended family associate brings a funky B3 to folk music, he probably learned the song from Holy Modal Rounders. Bringing Jaimoe into the fold this time, the jam band ethos mixes with the funk and the fun just keeps coming. Anyone that dig righteously greasy B3 knows what to expect here and there's no disappointment in the air. This rock keeps rolling.

RADAM SCHWARTZ/Two Sides of the Organ Combo: A solid jazzbo through and through with the awards and notice to back it up, Schwartz goes almost after hours here playing like he doesn't have a care in the world kicking it out between smooth and groove on a set of mostly originals. Holder of one of the classic organ recordings, he shows you how its done here in fine style. Tasty, smoking stuff that is sure to get him more notoriety. Organ fans, check it out.

TRINOM3/Just a Bit Further: This chop laden organ trio doesn't want to rely on the past and takes a modernist, mash up approach to the classic format. Always keeping it funky, this crew knows how to chart a well plotted course but they do it in such a way that you don't feel it was planed. Smoking stuff throughout, once this groove gets going it's wild just how infectious it is. Killer stuff throughout.

CHRISTINE HITT/Magical Kite: With almost 20 years between this and her last record, Hitt wanted to catch your attention so you see names like Keezer, Hamilton, Sheppard and Bode bringing the music while the set card is laced with Charlie Parker, James Taylor,
Stevie Wonder and Dan Fogelberg. Don't roll your eyes, it works because it's properly jazzy and funky throughout. Jazz vocal fans should welcome this modern gal back to the fold with this set that hits all the right notes.

BILLY HECTOR/Some Day Baby: You think soaking up all that industrial waste around the Jersey shore turns cats like this into musical Incredible Hulks? A solidly bad ass blues rocking guitar slinger, Hector never met a note he couldn't bend or a growl he couldn't rise from the depths. Furthermore, he's the Baskin Robbins of the blues not giving you just one flavor. His groove is the blues--all the various flavors. Perhaps the penultimate frat party record, this is one of those grooves that just doesn't quit. Killer stuff.

HARSH ARMADILLO/Bite: Stripped down melodic funk tempered through rock energy in the making, this set has soul that connects with your soul. Fun stuff the players took seriously so you can enjoy. Hitting you over the head with subtlety, this is a fine soundtrack to give you just the right vibe when you want to get truly bent. Check it out.

JOSHUA BELL/Scottish Fantasy: A Scotsman to the core, after 30 years in, Bell takes this opportunity to get up close and personal with his back pages. The title track is a piece of pure Scot classical music he's never recorded before and the remainder is a re-examination of one of the first pieces he recorded. In the company of the St. Martin crew, of which he is the only other person to lead than Neville Marriner, this is one of those high tone classical records like they used to make. With the pure joy of playing leading the way, this is a sterling set that's one for the books throughout and a even more of a delight if this isn't warhorse repertoire to you.

MICHIKA FUKUMORI/Piano Images: The jazzy lady once again gives you all you need with just her and her piano. Going solo on a set of mostly originals can be daunting but she's more than up for the challenge. A supremely enjoyable piano romp, these new tunes make themselves right at home in no time and becomes harder and harder to resist with each new playing. Well done.

CYRIL NEVILLE/Endangered Species-The Essential Recordings: A one disc distillation from a 5 cd box set of Neville's private stock, this legend is doing it for himself now keeping the rights under his wing. Almost showing more lives than a cat in the guise of his various musical skins, what we have here is the late career hot spots from a cat that can give you the funkiest, pissed off protest music you ever heard. If all you know him from is the Meters, sit back and enjoy his recent lifetime achievement award with him as you dig the funkified Nawlins grooves on display here. Hot stuff.

Number 41/Number 234
June 22, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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