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ROCKY DAWUNI/Hymns for the Rebel Soul: The Internet has created much more of a cultural cross pollination across AfroCarribean sounds than mere slave ships could have. This Ghana reggae man is pissed off about everything and he's preaching revolution with fists flying. This was the real reggae that was bubbling under Bob Marley's juggernaut and was the real genesis of political rap. Total passion and fury, this set really stirs it up. If whitey doesn't take note, he does so at his own peril. Hot stuff.

ELIKEH/Adje! Adje!: AfroRock comes to Chocolate City and all the soapbox high dudgeon, along with all the riddims that catches whitey's ear in the course of the cause, is on board in mighty fashion. College kids find it easier to relate to the skanking riddims behind AfroCarribean protest music than they do diatribes about the plighty in ol' Blighty, and this is the kind of stuff that'll get the kids thinking while they're moving to the beat. Heady stuff on several levels that makes you think while you shake your ass. This is how change comes to pass when music is at it's most subversive.

DAVE LeMIEUX AND HOUSE OF SOUL/Jazz Shaped: Jazz/soul meets a touch of gospel as this big band follows in the ways of the Coltrane, makes some first class sitting down jazz and takes the spiritual aspects of Coltrane and Sanders to places that might not have been envisioned in the first place. Tasty set with a lot of diversity that keeps you in your seat waiting to hear what's coming next. This is a crew that has learned their lessons well and doesn't mind showing them off.

KRISTIN PORTER/By the Light of the Moon: Youngster that earned her chops the old fashioned way, by playing out every night, turns in a self produced jazz vocal set that clearly puts anything "American Idol" has to offer to shame in a hurry. With amazing chops that seem wise beyond her years and couldn't have been a product of auto tune, Porter offers a nice sampler here and leaves you wanting more. A winner to keep your ears on. Something she has that others don't is that she feels like she has the making of a people's diva as opposed to someone that never breaks down that fourth wall. Hot stuff.

FRANK DiBUSSOLO/Average White Cats: Old school guitar jazzbo that has good ears for smooth jazz. A pro for over 40 years, he might just be on the list of hip cats you never heard of but have heard a lot of, this new entry has no air of being played by a senior citizen in any of the bytes. Tasty stuff that draws high praise from pros who know, like Bucky Pizzarelli, this rates right up there with cds that are just plain fun to listen to. On the money throughout, young bloods could take a lesson or two from this practicing jazz doctor on how to get it right. Well done.

CYRIL NEVILLE/Essential 1994-2007: Just wondering how it was that Neville had to self-release his stuff when the record biz was healthy and the Nevilles were at their mass market peak. In any case, the best of his self-released material, along with some mighty cool previously unreleased surprises, finally comes forth from a label with a track record with distributors which means you'll have easier access to this and he'll have an easier time getting paid on records he doesn't sell hand to hand. This is Nawlins and there's a full-scale party going on , with lots of flavors. A well chosen hand picked collection that veers off the beaten path but never offers a dull moment. Well done.

STEVE SWELL'S SLAMMIN' THE INFINITE/5000 Poems: Free jazz/art jazz that takes what it's doing seriously but doesn't take itself too seriously, and if you've ever been held captive in a church basement listening to art, you know how important this difference can be. A full force return to the white side of the civil rights jazz era, this is head jazz for the heady egg head, Billyberg goatee optional. Downtown jazz is cooking with the flame on high here.

PATRICK FLYNN/Fire Up River: Old time folkie embraces all the aspects of roots music at the intersection where eclectic becomes gumbo. Reminiscent here of old time 60s cats that have taken an industrial element to their old folk/blues work outs. Delightfully authentic date that 60s, left of center music fans, will find speaks directly to them.

Volume 33/Number 168
April 18, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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