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ANDREW GUTAUSKAS/Look Out!: The sax man wrote this set with these players on board in mind and it's a well executed plan that works. Having no problem with keeping his blowing front and center, this cat is one of those guys that can blow up a storm with no end in sight, and no end really needed. Quite a set of deluxe blowing, he takes you around the horn and back again in a muscular, wondrous set that goes the distance. Well done.
(Outside In)

ALEXANDER SIGMAN/Vurt Cycle: Inspired by a sci-fi work, this electrician wires up the synapses and neural networks to take you to strange places that seem right at home for the typical sci-fi fan. With real instruments weaving in in and out for coloration, this is certainly a next wave recording for progressive tastes that have a ticket to the end of the line.
(New Focus 257)

RICHARD WHITEMAN/Very Well and Good: A multi instrumentalist that's perfectly at home with swinging sets sail here on a pure jazz date that's right in the pocket throughout needing no embellishments or pyrotechnics to get it's point across. Playing with that extra something that separates the students from the teachers, it's time for this Canadian to heat up our winters here a bit now as well. Hot stuff.
(Cornerstone 153)

JOSEPH HERBST SEXTET/This is Our Environment: Could be the sax and the care for the ecology that does it but you can really feel the Paul Winter vibe floating over this session. Adding some rounds of activism to the mix, this young man with a good head on his shoulders knows how to make proper statements at many levels of the game. With jazz for oldsters and activism for millenials, this cat has his ear on the pulse.
(Next Level 2102)

LYSANDER PIANO TRIO/Mirrors: Celebrating 10 years of acclaim with a new set of newly commissioned works, this bunch kicks off their new decade in fine style. The pieces are diverse and active hitting so many nails on so many heads you almost don't know what's coming next on this thrill ride. Infusing modern classical with doses of crime jazz, the 30 fingers of this crew get a real work out. They have that special knack that lets them color outside the lines yet still bring the skittish into the contemporary classical tent. Great groundbreaking stuff.
(First hand 111)

THE BRAZILIAN TRIO/Aguas Brasileiras: Three of the greatest jazz talents to come out of Brazil in modern times reunite to show the last time they did this was no fluke. You could say they sound sort of like the original Ramsey Lewis Trio going way south of the border and not be wrong, they have loads of their own special sauce that makes this trio date feel like so much more. Swinging and swaying with abandon and aplomb, this is simply smoking world jazz that will blow you away time and time again. Muy caliente!
(Zoho 202011)

GREG SOVER BAND/Parade: Veering away from being a bunch of white boys that know how to blues rock, this outing finds them amped up jammers with a touch of the blues still on their back pages with kick ass rock moving to the fore. Keeping it real throughout, that unstudied unpretentiousness is what powers this set across the finish line well ahead of the pack. Kick ass!
(Grounded Soul)

TOP GUN: Powered by a still young and hungry Tom Cruise that still had something to prove, Paramount pulls out all the stops to convince you you need to finally add this to your permanent collection by spiffing up the mastering at all levels, packing three versions into the steel box and letting this classic, action pic handle things from there. One of those popcorn pics that has easily stood the test of time, anyone with a more advanced TV will really get the bang for their buck here as these young bucks battle it out to finally determine whose balls are the biggest. This is a tent pole pic that never lost it's height.

COLLATERAL: The pic that made it clear Jamie Foxx was real player, cool school crime director Michael Mann over saw the remastering of this noir thriller that takes place over the course of one night focusing on how it changed the odd couple at the pic's core. With smooth, taut performances by established players that had nothing to prove but left it all on the soundstage regardless, action pics always improve with added sights and sounds to heighten the experience. A bad ass pic that is standing the test of time.

Volume 45/Number 21
November 21, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record

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