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VIOLINJAZZ/The Music of Eddie South: Some of the original jazzbos are remembered like Louis Armstrong and some of the original jazzbos are remembered like Eddie South, only when Grammy nominated cats like Jeremy Cohen decide to dust off the old manuscripts and pay tribute to one of the original masters that led bands, recorded with the Hot Club and generally should not have to be prodded into memory. From what we have here, South earned his title as the "Dark Angel of the Violin" when he switched to jazz after finding limited work in classical orchestras for a black man. Cohen and company bring the passion, South brought the music. Certainly it's old timey no matter how you slice it, but it was recorded at Skywalker Ranch so you hit the trifecta of sound, music and playing all being in top form here. It's almost funny to call this a left leaning date, but it is out of the ordinary and you have to have a taste for coloring outside the lines to really get the most from it. Hot stuff that‘s a great walk down memory lane.

TERRY OLDFIELD/Spirit of Australia: Impressionistic audio look at down under that sounds like it has you waking up from a bender in the middle of the outback with flies buzzing around and mysteries lurking everywhere even if everything seems to be in the wide open. Certainly something that seems like fun to listen to once you fill up your billabong (f you know what I mean) and let the movie play out in your head. A interesting change up for Oldfield who seems to have delivered a soundtrack that's waiting for a movie to happen around it.

TERRY OLDFIELD/Spirit of the Rainforest: It must have been a race to see who could come up with a set like this first, Oldfield or Bernie Krause. It's really a tie since Krause would do this with processed nature sounds and Oldfield did it with instruments. Two long tracks that take you where the sun don't shine (well, if you go deep enough) making something that sounds like an alternative soundtrack to "Apocalypse, Now". A granola eaters dream session, this set makes you feel like you're doing good even if you're doing nothing at all.

TERRY OLDFIELD/Reiki Flow: Oldfield takes you deep into his back pages as he explores his early explorations into flute playing where he would let the music take him where it would and he was free to follow. Adding in some well developed over the years chops, light orchestration and nature sounds, this is music for touchless massage and energy work. Massage therapists ought to take note of this date since it is free flowing music that isn't at all drippy like that stuff too many of you play in the background that is really more annoying than relaxing. Just saying...

GYUTO MONKS OF TIBET/Pure Sounds: You really have to be deeply into chant or this is going to be lost on you entirely---especially if you have some ethnic background where you had to spend long days at your house of worship hearing non-English stuff rattled around by the old timers that looked at you sideways for not keeping up. Chant fans, this is the unsweetened, real deal.

CAMERON CARPENTER/Cameron Live: Moldy figs beware, this just might be the face of the future of classical music in vibe and sound. Carpenter, the only solo organist ever nominated for a Grammy, really spreads his wings on this cd-dvd combo pack that finds him doing to Bach on a silent movie organ what Wendy Carlos did to Bach a few generations ago. Then he takes it live for the DVD where he tackles his own stuff as well as the classics forging new directions of classical music. Bringing the punk rock energy that Mozart brought way back, Carpenter is a sweeping presence with a theatrical sense that'll make you wonder why you were ever so weirded out by Nigel Kennedy. With all this vampire stuff in full force, don't you think gothic Bach is the way to bring new kids into the tent? A wild ride throughout.

5TH ELEMENT/Swing Para Una Nota: This beloved Mexican jazz crew kicks it off with a taste of Monk before fooling you and going into some progressive swing that falls somewhere between post bop and mainstream. Simply a tasty, straight ahead date where everyone gets some and a good time is had by all. Providing a great background sound for anything that doesn't require lying down, this crew has it all on the ball.

DAVID CROSS/Bigger and Blackerer: So, you just met someone on J-Date and you want to know if they are the one or if they are too stiff to have a good time. Take them for a spin through Cross's new comedy outing. His sinister, subversive pomo/hip-hop take on the traditional passive-aggressive Jewish humor of comics from Shelley Berman through Robert Klein through Jerry Seinfeld is a real acid test. If all your newbie can come up with is that Cross is sarcastic, they are missing the boat (and are a stiff as well). Taking situational humor to wonderful extremes and never shying away from being in your face, even if it got him beat up plenty as a kid, Cross is a top of the line, left of center comic that will keep your sides splitting. Acolyte of Lenny Bruce or the Jewish Chris Rock? You decide. But you'll keep laughing as you make up your mind.

Volume 33/Number 206
May 26, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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