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MIKE FAHIE/Anima: The collection of covers and originals on this debut album from a rising bone man rounding up some of the best in Brooklyn to help him out adds up to a nice mix of sitting down jazz and getting your groove on jazz. Coming together as an ensemble in fine style, they take you on a tour of decades of feelings rather than styles. A delightfully hard to pin down eclectic album, there's something here for the pickiest contemporary jazzbo as well as the casual groover just looking for some new kicks. Highly creative throughout, the sure footed playing is sure to make a positive impression no matter what your jazz stripe. Check it out.

AVISHAI COHEN/Aurora: When you're known as a world famous bass player having made a solid reputation on indy labels, what do you do when you get a chance to strut your stuff on a major? You sing an album of ethnic songs of course! For anyone unfamiliar with Cohen's resume that likes the Yiddish recordings by Mandy Patinkin, Cohen uses that as a springboard to really go ethnic as he draws deeply from his family roots that go way back to Spain, but not the Chick Corea kind. A very ethnic set for the high minded.

DAVID BENOIT/Earthglow: A long way from the whirlwind Jeff Weber first threw him into several decades ago, Benoit took some proverbial time off for some proverbial woodshedding, away from even his beloved Charlie Brown, and just let things around him wash over him. He's still that smooth jazz kind of cat, and long time fans won't be disappointed, but you can feel some kind of palpable change going on here. Right from the "In Crowd" vamping as the record kicks off, Benoit finds the funk, the soul, the inner soul and then some. It's not a busman's holiday. He got away from it to get right into it. Tasty stuff that feels like it's kicking off a whole new phase of his distinguished career. Fans old and new are sure to love it

JIM GUTTMANN/Bessarabian Breakdown: One of the cool things about the deconstruction of the music business is the new discovery of things that would have otherwise been lost in the shuffle for various reasons. Here we have the debut of a bass player that's been the anchor of the klezmer world for 30 years, playing anything he felt like in the world of klezmer fusion. Here, it all comes home as the opening track is an invention of how a traditional Jewish dance would sound during Mardi Gras. And it goes from there. A wonderful and delightful adult "world" date that ain't just for world beaters. Everyone on board is a long toothed pro as well and the playing comes together so seamlessly that you play it over a few times to be sure you just heard what you just heard. It's five in the afternoon somewhere in the world and there's a party going on. Well done.

JEREMY PARSONS/Doggondest Feelin': The next generation of new traditionalist backlash has arrived in the form of this 22 year old from San Antonio who sounds like he's trying to recreate an era and a vibe but is cranking out a slew of originals that take you back to Tulsa, if you know what I mean. A new generation of Texas music traditionalist, he's doing something cool that's retro and modern at the same time making him the likely choice to be the anti-Taylor Swift when the atavistic genes in the real country fan come roaring to the fore once again. A must hear for anyone waiting for sippy cup country to go away. Hot stuff throughout.

BRITTON BROTHERS BAND/Uncertain Living: These cats are still in school and owe an obvious debt to "Kind of Blue" but their sax and trumpet playing are all their own. Top flight sitting down jazz that is flavored by bop and fusion while remaining true to the mainstream, you can bet these brothers have the brass to pull it together and pull it off. Tasty throughout, this is where you wan to point your ears for something fresh that you can easily relate to and enjoy big time. Hot stuff.

JOHNNY MOELLER/Bloo Ga Loo!: He doesn't record that often under his own name, but he's the house guitarist for Severn and he's a member of Fab T-Birds and the company he keeps, like Kim Wilson and LouAnn Barton ought to tell you a lot about him. A solid shredder that loves blues, rock, blues rock and having a sound that fratboy s can only air guitar in their dreams, this sounds so much like a classic Willie Mitchell session that it's driving me nuts. With generations of Texas guitar soul in his soul, he sounds like everyone and no one but he always sounds like himself and that's what makes this such a treat. Dig in.

STANTON MOORE/Groove Alchemy: Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of a drummer that knows how to give everyone else some. Kicking it out with his regular trio, Moore delivers a sermon about the history of funk as delivered by the church of Nawlins. With some Stax and Malaco mixed into the jambalaya, this is a zesty romp that gets the party started and keeps it going well into next week. Hard to resist and even harder to stop. Check it out.

Volume 33/Number 146
March 27, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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