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PHILIP CHAFFIN/Will He Like Me: Cast album ace Tommy Krasker takes it to the next level of the game by crafting the soundtrack to an imaginary play about the life cycle of a relationship out of a bunch of songs from some of Broadway's best writers built out of mostly songs unknown or forgotten. Proving you can catch more flies with honey than most other sources, this is love story from an LGBTQ perspective that you really have to be a hater not to be enchanted by. Except for the use of pronouns, you wouldn't even notice that this was an LGBTQ experience and just think it was a well crafted love story/song set by a vocalist that knows how to wrap the material around his little finger. Esthetically following in the footsteps of how artists are the leading edge in gentrifying crummy neighborhoods, the artists involved here are the leading edge in gentrifying crummy times. A well made, delightful experience throughout.
(PS Classics 1836)

MURIEL ANDERSON/A Christmas Wish: The guitar goddess whose music has been played in space brings her concerns closer to home with a Christmas album that also functions as Christmas card. Once again you can hear her make it sound so easy even if the real musos in the audience can hear her fingers bleed, Anderson makes holiday spirit sound like the most natural thing in the world. Even in the simplest settings, she can make the most familiar material sound like something you never heard before all without bombast and pyrotechnics having her scaling the highest heights once again. Simply a must for a merry xmas.
(CGD 2018)

MITCH RYDER/Christmas (Take a Ride): We might all get older but Ryder shows no dust on him as he offers up his first Christmas album, a traditional one at that, with all the swerve of his "Devil in a Blue Dress" days. Replete with a Bettie Page stand in on the cover, this is the best rocker xmas set to come along in a while. Fun stuff from an old friend, there's other oldies out there beside Robert Goulet to heat up the holidays in traditional style and this is a fine example of one.
(Goldenlane 1015)

JOE MAGNARELLI QUINTET/If You Could See Me Now: It took a bunch of beatniks to remind us that good taste is timeless and this set is one of the prongs that proves that point. With Tadd Dameron's birth centennial having come and gone and overlooked by most, the core crew here was remembering it in their hearts and ears which is how this tribute to the great bebopper made it here in time to celebrate his 102th birthday. Swinging hard and bopping mightily, this is a living, breathing homage to tunes that hit it out of the park with each trip to the plate. Not for daddios only, this is for swingers of all stripes. Well done.
(Cellar Live 41818)

ROBYN SPANGLER/Christmas Is...: A diverse xmas jazz set by a vocalist that not only feels the need to stray from the tried and true, she finds the xmas in songs that just aren't/weren't xmas songs but have the spirit nonetheless. A sweet treat for jazz vocal fans, they might not even question the inclusion of a duet with Ralph Malph. Check it out.
(OP 1014)

ALYSSA ALLGOOD/Exactly Like Yu: A wise beyond her years jazz vocalist, Allgood swings like she's in Vegas in the 50s and swinging there hadn't yet become a co-opted joke by all the coke head Sammy Joeys plying their trade in the lounges. Sticking with a set of classics and traditional tunes, her voice and her sidekick's B3 grooves make this the hottest thing going in Coolville. Making the traditional modern, Allgood inspires lame jokes like saying what's going on here is all good. Hot stuff.
(Cellar Live 50418)

BOBBY TIMMONS/Riverside Albums Collection: If you remember the piano man at all today, it's because you know that he was moanin' and tired of singing the blues and paying his dues---but there was so much more to him that that as these eight albums show. A classic example of why your parents didn't want you to grow up and be a jazz man, he was from a good home, rubbed elbows with some of jazz's highest fliers of the 50s and 60s and ultimately died before reaching 40 due to too many bad habits. All here recorded before his health and talents began their downward spiral, he was one cool, swinging, be bopping daddio that made the most of every note and his short time here. So don't overlook dat dere and dis here and find the righteous groove this soul jazz protogenitor laid down in the service of the sound. Killer stuff.
(Enlightenment 9154)

SUPERFONICOS/Suelta: It ain't your daddy's world beat. Afrobeat, Cumbia and funk come together with a youthful, heavy metal attack that kids of highly urbanized streets will fist pump the night away with. High octane and high energy, this plays with the energy of a future that will not be stopped. You can already here this blasting out of car trunks everywhere.
(Discos Fonicos 2001)

MOURNING A BLKSTAR/Garner Poems: I don't see the average Curtis Mayfield fan cottoning to this but it is the spiritual descendant to his soundtracks for the civil rights era. Tackling a new civil rights era, this is like Mayfield filtered through Public Enemy. Hard hitting stuff that will remind everyone of Tom Paine's words that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
(Electric Cowbell 36)

CHUCHO VALDES/Jazz Bata 2: If you're scratching you head trying to remember when JB 1 came out, it might be hard to picture because came out in 1972, before the members of that grouping left to form the core of Irakare. Sounding kind of like music you would have heard in Godfather II when the boys went to Cuba, this is full of modernality while keeping the tradition in tact. The lyrical side of world jazz, the 77 year old shows he still has the forward vision to craft ear openers that are forward looking. A wonderful armchair travel.
(Mack Avenue 1146)

Number 41/Number 365
October 31, 2018
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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