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HAMILTON DE HOLANDA QUINTET/Brasilianos 2: The mandolin wizard that just blows away everyone that comes in contact with him serves up a special, new package here, and not just because of the bonus DVD of a hot performance. This set finds him not only playing to beat the band but being fully in control of his own voice as well. With all kinds of familiar touches turned on their heads, this is a wild audio collage that comes together as a whole quite in the manner of doing it while sneaking up on you. A veritable sonic wolf pack, this crew is on you from all sides right out of the gate with one of the highest energy, organic dates to come around here in quite some time. He's already scarfed a world Grammy nomination but stuff this good deserves to be heard by a wider circle than world beat hipsters. You won't be hearing the mandolin the same way after encountering this set. Hot.

RICARDO SILVEIRA/Ate Amanha: Long a beloved jazz/world guitarist, Silveira looks back over a quarter century and decides it's time to update his back pages for contemporary ears. The originals were just fine and the new interpretations shows just how much he's loved his babies all along. With sprightly touches and new sidemen along for the ride, this is a groovy date that just has summer fun splashed all across it. Almost the kind of disc that's a nice introduction to jazz for people that don't like jazz, sour pusses can stay with their malcontent music with while everyone else that likes to lightly swing can keep all the enjoyment for themselves. Certainly well done throughout.

FIVE PLAY JAZZ QUINTET: This cd's opening thesis is that it's time for some warm weather, top down jazz that knows how to ride along with you down the coast highway of your mind, if you aren't Cali cats like them. Smooth jazz that isn't biz jazz and isn't afraid to let chops fly, there's nothing here that won't make you feel good as you make your way around the various course of their buffet. Tasty stuff throughout that won't steer you wrong.

TYLER SUMMERS TRIO/Live at the Cellar: This certainly seems to be a good month for indy jazz as this crew comes back together for a new set that finds them right in the pocket throughout. Led by a sax man that can blow 200 mph licks with the best of them, it's energy, chops and skill add up to one killer package. Impressively kicking it out on all originals, the contemporary jazzbo will be thrilled to be the first on his block to be blasting this with the windows open. Engagingly creative and heartfelt, this is a date that's sure to grab you by the ear and not let go.

TRICHOTOMY/Variations: Left leaning jazz trio with a populist leaning comes out with a set that the hype sheet says sounds like a whole bunch of everything but it really has it's own feel. Just when you think these guys are going to lapse into noodling, they pull back from the precipice and hit you with some solid sitting down jazz that is just too aggressive to be background music but not out there enough to be preciously experimental. Hipper than church basement music and not the kind of stuff that needs arts council support, this bunch simply impresses. Doing a great job of walking the tightrope between intellectual and fun without falling off, this is a solid set that just plain delights the ear. Well worth a spot on your mp3 player. Fresh and original in the best sense of the words.

FRANK GLOVER/Abacus: The sax pride of Indian-no-place kicks this chamber jazz magnum opus off with some deceptive Paul Winter licks but leaves any thoughts of wolves behind rather quickly. With skills reflecting his maturity, this is a master work of chamber, sitting down jazz that is classically infused but never too smart for the room. Mostly in touch with the 50s jazz-into-classical sets of the era, Glover brings the art of sitting down jazz to a new realm setting a standard that's going to be hard to beat. A solid work throughout.

ELLEN ROWE QUARTET/Wishing Well: The way this piano player can move through a variety of styles very smoothly in the course of a program shows her to be following in Keith Jarrett's footsteps, if not ready, willing and able to fill his shoes. From meditative to swinging, this player is on the money and knows her way around a smart composition with a style and grace that show her to be a player to be seen in the front ranks. With a real jazzbo spirit moving throughout the session, she can't be pinned down and certainly won't be pigeon holed. Solid stuff for people that really appreciate first class sitting down jazz.

JULIEN KASPER BAND/Trance Groove: Rising guitar hero turns the tables on his third outing with an atmospheric, almost soundscape, that takes your ears into a sort of subterranean place. Stripped down and a little spooky, this is some hard core stuff that the hard core guitar fan will take to as a wild diversion that could turn into the standard bearer of pot smoking sounds for the near term. A sure thing for hipsters and those who want to be them. But it's for real hipsters, not manqué that wear old man clothes for the irony of it.

Volume 33/Number 163
April 13, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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