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ZOOM with Shawn Kellerman/Chocolate Cake: A solid reminder for anyone that doesn't think blues can be party music---here's prove it can be and is. A real belter with fire in her soul backed by a cat that has toured behind everyone that matters deliver high octane blues that keeps the house rocking all night long. A raver that'll energize you when you think there's nothing left, this is the pure sound of a good time had by all.

OLD NO.. 5S/Moment to Lose: Heartland hippies bring their different take on the blues to the fore with this set that mixes jam band, jam and more into the sound taking it off to places ZZ Top never really thought about. As much psych as psyched out, this hits that sweet spot you look for when you want to party while you mellow out. It's diversity works in it's favor.

GRANT DERMODY & FRANK FOTUSKY/Digging In John's Back Yard: The set list is loaded with tunes from various old time bluesmen but all these songs are associated with John Jackson, a John Hurt type bluesman that lapsed into obscurity later to get rescued by hippies. Unless you're a real hard blues cat, bet you never heard of him. This duo that because friends because of mutual interest in Jackson take you back to those early Taj Mahal times with a tasty, tart guitar/harmonica set with that going fishing vibe that's sure to grab you. This is a fine pair of white boys that really know what it is to have the blues. Well done.

BLYTHE-BURDEN-BLIER/From Rags to Riches-100 Years of American Song: An ambitious title for an ambitious undertaking, this set takes you down the back alleys of Tin Pan Alley as it starts with rags you don't know and finishes off with Sondheim you aren't familiar with. A live recital by some New Yorkers that know how to put art ahead of commerce, it's a trip you wouldn't normally take but one well worth taking. And if you need a tent pole to get you to peek into the tent, they do cover "Round Midnight".

ACOUSTIC PARIS/various: Putumayo does it again. This set is loaded with material you probably don't know by recent vintage acts doing recent vintage material and it all sounds like something that lands somewhere between the Hot Club and late period Leonard Cohen. So, you can get your ears opened by these new acts that want to dance you to the end of love and have a great time discovering new stuff that's won't let you down as it sets a wonderful mood. With some You Tube stars being the closest this comes to being commercial, this set is a gasser in execution and it's ability to still give you the thrill of discovery. Fire up those Gitanes.
(Putumayo 385)

JAZZ CHRISTMAS/various: Some of the stuff here might be a touch off the beaten path but in the end, it's a solid, traditional Christmas by jazzbos that aren't looking to upset the apple cart when they can deliver a good time just as easily. With some tent pole performances by cats that are always welcome from sets of their's that might have fallen by the wayside, this set will stand along side your Charlie Brown mix in fine style and extend the holiday listening right in step. A welcome addition to the holidays.
(Putumayo 386)

MISSISSIPPI MACDONALD/Do Right Say Right: The Brits are selling us our stuff back again. This Brit bad boy that's no stranger to winning everything in sight tears it up on his sixth album as he shreds, growls and let's us no in no uncertain terms he's a white boy with the blues. A real show of a set, it just won't do you any good to holler cultural appropriation at him, he feels this all the way down to his toes---right where he testifies from. Hot stuff.
(Another Planet)

ADRIANNE DUNCAN/Gemini: This jazzbo could have easily gone art chick on us and left us clucking our tongues over what might have been but she found the turn off and took it before hitting the point of no return. Not artsy, not cabaret, Duncan has a penchant for suites with some deep lyrics that tell a story with some meaty details but never quite has that confessional feeling. Almost like a set of jazz mini movies, these self contained suites cover ground that's been covered before but never quite with this kind of Lewis and Clark intensity. Solid work throughout.

MIGUEL DE LEON/Samba de Natal: A nice little palate cleanser for the holidays, this ep offers 5 versions of a Christmas samba highlighting different cultures, and appropriately, different styles. Fun stuff sure to piss off your opinionated uncle---or get him to shut up and join the fun. You can only do your part.

BENJAMIN DESCHAMPS/Augmented Reality: Finding inspiration in modern jazzbos, this Canadian multi award winner goes eclectic electric this time out and blows up a storm taking his sax in new directions. High octane throughout and played with a sureness that shows he has nothing to prove, jazzbos everywhere will know this is something you can do more with than nod your head approvingly as it plays. Hot stuff throughout.
(MCM 53)

Volume 46
December 3, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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