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VILLALOBOS BROTHERS/Somos: Three classically trained fiddling brothers from rural Mexico somehow got diverted from staid, stable careers and into a pop realm where their playing probably makes Lindsay Sterling jealous. They even have political awareness woven into their grooves. Taken on it's face by a gringo, this is killer, modern world beat that's made to get you moving and grooving. With a desire to bring more brown music into the classical realms, this might be a roundabout way of doing it but you know once they kick open some more doors ears will follow where this bunch leads and nu canons will be firing as they become standard bearers. Hot stuff.

GRACIE CURRAN/Come Undone: Taking it one step further, this is a white girl with the right to sing the blues. Chronicling loss in deep Southern soul style, she lets us in on what's been up with her in the five years passed since her debut. If it helps her out any, these feelings are pretty much universal but she can express them more eloquently than most. Don't know where she's from, but there's a lot of phoenix to this bluesy gal and she will rise.
(Vizz Tone GC01)

MIKE HOLOBER THE GOTHAM JAZZ ORCHESTRA/Hiding Out: An appropriate title for a cat that's been out of the studio for a decade. If you dig big band that's in the pocket but flashes a modern edge, this two disc set that makes up for lost time is really going to float your boat. With an assemblage of pros that show up to play, this textured, nuanced, big bold outing hits all the right notes. A sure handed modern master at handling all the big band necessities, Holober better not stay away so long again. Well done.
(Zoho 201906)

LAUREN HENDERSON/Alma Oscura: Whatever else this protean hydra has going on in her busy life, it's nice that she loves singing so much that she can take time out to drop off a new, sexy, jazzy vocal date that is flush with multi-culti influences melded at just the right temperature to make it ever so tasty---to the max. A self released underground gem, this is the kind of date that spreads like wild fire once people get exposed to it and spread the word thinking they were the one that discovered it. With sets like this around, romance will always be in the air. Well done throughout.

DONG XI/Out of the Blue: Hey boomers, after you spent enough time in the campus coffeehouse, this will remind you of something like what you ran into when you were walking across the quad on a sunny day before finals. A top world drummer meets his match in a Chinese dulcimer player in which they jam some improvs that wouldn't have worked so well otherwise if they didn't possess such heavy duty chops. Tom Teasley and his new musical playmate, Chao Tian, take you to places you'd never even think about hearing in dreams. Far from being opium den music, this is just one of those sets that probably shouldn't have been in the first place but came out so well in the end.
A must for checking out some world/new age that isn't girl friend music.

VIVINO SISTERS/DNA: Jerry Vivino's kids are already knee deep in the family business so he decided to be a good dad and give them a recording platform as well to showcase their vocal talents. Although the title might make you think this is a jokey reference to the kids being his kids, it's actually the first letter from each of the three sibs first names. Since the sisters careers cover it all from Broadway to soap operas, this set reflects that kind of eclecticism. The torch is really being passed to a nu generation here on this delightful ear opener that gleefully colors outside and around the lines with chops wide beyond their years. Well done.
(Vivtone 1)

MARYJO MUNDY/The Fourteenth Confession: It was so scandalous back in 1993 when Faith Hill said she never heard Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" Laura Nyro can be esteemed but in today's world is it that hard to see why she can be underappreciated as well? This cabaret show sets out to right that wrong and does a good job of same. Giving a virtual Nyro greatest hits set a royal treatment by a vocalist that understands the songs, fans will be delighted with this set. It might even motivate people to seek out some stuff on You Tube to see what they've been missing. A nice trip that doesn't need memory lane as a crutch.

Volume 43/Number 262
July 10, 2019
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

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