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LUCA DI LUZIO/Globetrotter: An Italian guitar wiz that never heard of limits shows that music is the international language as he pairs up with some of stateside's top smooth jazz/fusion hitters for a date that's right in the pocket no matter what. Smooth, as in stylish, this date has a back in the day feel without feeling like it has any dust on it. With no one on boards fingers stuck in amber, contemporary jazz fans that like it on the easy side have a stellar winner of a set to deal with here.

STEVE LIPMAN/Hat's Off: Sinatra might have covered Jim Webb and John Hartford, but I'm pretty sure he never covered Leonard Cohen. The singing dentist doesn't let that be an issue as he issues his third album, this time out tipping the cap to more than Sinatra. Dandy male vocal on the jazz side shows his growing as an artist as he's probably tiring if filing cavities about now. Fun stuff meant to be fun that is fun.

MARTON JUHASZ/Discovery: Hungary's drummer of the year got the chance to study with some heavy hitting left leaners to take his thing to the next level of the game and now comes forth with a jazzbo set that is subtle in it's left leaning but remains a real ear opener no matter what. Loaded with sensibilities both familiar and foreign at the same time, having been made not to far away from Dracula's stomping ground, this set is sure to take you places you've only heard in dreams. It strikes a positive blow for fearless musical adventure.

FIVE PLAY/Live From The Firehouse Stage: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the protean Ms. Maricle's Five Play aggregation (13th with this line up), the sisters are swinging it for themselves. Showing once again how easily that can play with the big boys, as well as run with the big dogs, this mostly original set is a smoking taste treat where the swing just doesn't end and is always hot. A solid hit right out of the park.
(Diva Jazz)

SCOTT RAMMINGER/Rise Up: Following the dictate that less is more, Ramminger pares it back to a solid party platter led by his singing, writing and sax playing. With a easy going, sweeping sound, you feel various influences and modes dropping in for a visit keeping the party hopping as you look around to see what you're hearing in that moment. Geared to be a crowd pleaser, his different vibe on this set really holds the key to unlocking the charm. Solid stuff.
(Arbor Lane 1112)

ANTHONY CACERES/Something's Got to Give: So you're sneaking out of the wedding reception early and ducking into the hotel bar to grab one for the road even if it means not grabbing one from the reception bar and having to pay. If this cat was playing, you'd not only forget about the wedding, you'd linger and pay the baby sitter overtime. A third generation professional jazzbo and a North Texas alum, Caceres has the classics in his blood and he's offering you a transfusion. With real jazzbos in tow, there's no manqueing around here as his note perfect presentation is a tonic. Proving that tripping down memory lane in style is harder than it looks, this is the cat to look to for your memory lane needs.
(A Jig in G)

INTERPLAY JAZZ ORCHESTRA/On the Sunny Side: The only way you know you're dealing with millenials here is that the set starts off with a swinging rave up of a ‘Sesame Street' song. And this only big band in Long Island is off and running from there. Basically feeling like an updated version of Thad and Mel holding court at the Vanguard, these talented jazzbos never met a tune thy couldn't swing. Killer stuff that pares the cheese and corn too often evident in the form, this is a pure bred delight by cats who love their work and don't look at it as work. Killer stuff.

PAUL PIGAT/The Game: Dropping his Cousin Harley alter ego for the second set of his trilogy that's only taken ten years to drop, this white boy with the blues plays it straight but winks like crazy to let you know he's more Michael Hurley than Leadbelly. Lodged deeply in left field singer/songwriter country, you can tell he misspent his youth spending too much time listening to Loudon Wainwright and others in that pocket, leaning his lessons without trodding the same ground. This is sure to be a hit with boomers that really want to hear new music. And he mostly makes it all himself.
(Little Pig)

MASSERGY/Fire Opal: Nu ambient healing music might be using the same instrumentation and hardware as old school, but the innovators that are the driving wheel behind the nu stuff have an energy and vision that taking it somewhere else. Certainly a set of well rounded, well written music for inner space, this might just be the nu corner where micro dosing and nature collide. Check it out.
(Spotted Peccary 3901)

TOM EATON/How It Happened: Aiming to be the Leonard Cohen of ambient, instrumental music, Eaton got back onto the performing side of the studio glass a few years ago when his world was so shaken up he couldn't put it into words. Certainly listing toward audio melancholy this time out, this is the musical companion you want handy when you just can't bring yourself to gargle with razor blades, like Lenny would have wanted you to. It ain't chicken soup for the soul, it's more like ‘Dies Irae".
(Spotted Peccary 4001)

Volume 43/Number 152
March 22, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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