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Ends: Very much a different kind of contemporary classical cat because he really is a classic classical cat. With sweeping grand moves worthy of Living Stereo and Masterworks sessions form the 50s, this Italian native currently soaking in what New York has to offer really takes you back to grandpa's time and probably provides some interesting memories as well as interesting melodies. Accessible enough for the newbie to latch onto as well as having the vet enjoying a fine time, this is a composer that has a real feel for the ages and tradition. Finely crafted work that holds you throughout.
(New Focus 280)

ANTON & MAITE/Essenz: Perhaps four hand piano works have a sprightliness to them because Mozart launched the form when he was nine and everyone that came later thought they had to fit the format. It's not for us to wonder why, it's for us to enjoy when a young, piano duet is kind enough to grace us with such a well played work that shows both them and the music off in the best light. With a war horse repertoire the spans the ages, this recital based recording is a champ. Using recording techniques to make it feel like you are right there as it's happening, this is a highly recommended recording for grown ups and anyone that wants to feel like one. Classy and tasty.
(Ibs 162020)

ENEKO VADILLO/Anima: For an egghead, Vadillo almost looks like a gang banger, and maybe that's appropriate as he takes to music to express malcontent feelings---more than appropriate for malcontent times. A work that delves deep into Spectral realms, it's often minimalist and haunting and probably too much for the casual listener looking for an easy, good time.
(Ibs 172020)

JUNGLELAND: Get the popcorn out as "Fight Club" goes deeper underground, mixes it up a little bit with Ray Donovan, gets unrepaid crime bosses involved and creates a family rift that probably runs deeper than yours. Loaded with action, adventure and enough plot switchbacks to make you pause it a few times to make sure you saw what you think you saw, this is a solid hour and a half actioner that'll keep you on board with a minimum of distraction. Check it out.

SPELL: Here's a nifty little pic that probably got killed in pandemic distribution problems. Like a "Misery" meet's "Get Out" mash up, this is what you get when a crazy, fat white woman gets replaced by an unhinged voodoo queen that's every bit as nasty as the original. Fitting right in with January unofficially being horror month, there's enough uneasiness going on here to make the typical slasher fan feel satiated. And leaving the night light on. And glad he can't fly for a while. Loaded with extras, the times we're in could easily make this a cult movie classic as the extras are loaded and the creepiness runs wild.

FATMAN: I don't know if anyone cares about Mel Gibson one way or the other anymore but it's always worth seeing Walton Goggins, especially when he's playing an off centered character that John Malkovich could do justice to. With some plot devices that don't have to hang right because they are there to move the narrative along, you don't really know of this was meant to be a comedy or a drama, sort of like "Gross Point Blank", but there's enough shooting and hooting and hollering to keep you awake as a kid that got a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking ignites this revenge fest that carries on at a lot of levels.

WANDER: So, newly 50 year old Heather Graham has been net posting all those bikini pics to promote this action pic that's only getting limited theatrical release despite the big names in the cast. Whatever it takes. Now that you can't pick this up at Family Video anymore, it's good you find out about this pic if you like murder, action, conspiracies and small town mysteries that need uncovering. A solid hour and a half brought to you by those in the know, it's got a lot on the ball to give it a reach beyond genre fans alone.

DREAMLAND: Margot Robbie flexes her producer chops as well as her femme fatale chops in this story of a kid lost in the Great Depression with worldwide eyes that wants to escape his meager life but falls in love with a wounded bank robber that he could either turn in or use as a way out. And from there, nothing is what it seems as the hall of mirrors gets turned up full blast and conscious vs. conscience takes hold driving what's essentially a coming of age story. Ain't this just "Bonnie & Clyde" with an alternate ending? Well shot, well played and full of excitement.

Volume 45/Number 74
January 13, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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