ART PEPPER/Meets the Rhythm Section: Some stuff just keeps better with age. Here we find Pepper in 1957 facing off against Miles Davis' crew laying to waste the east coast/west coast battle as the New York edge and the west coast cool merge seamless as jazz pros ply their trade. A hip, happening swinging date where hot or cool take a back seat to the groove and the vibe, this might fall under the penumbra of old man jazz, but it's right in the moment. Once again remastered with new state of the art equipment and technique, this is modern era classical music that shines anew each time it's brought forward. Hot stuff throughout.
THELONIOUS MONK/With John Coltrane: Can you say anything about this date other than wow? Sitting in the vaults for four years after it was recorded because of contract conflicts, by the time it came out, the principles had gone on to new heights and this earlier date became relavatory. A genre setting mark for sitting down jazz, the bonus track on this set is the first time Monk and Trane played together. The two titans show why legendary status was in the offing and would follow soon. The remastering makes it sound like you are there or they are here. Either way, this is what sitting down jazz is all about. Seemingly effortless and classy throughout, this is a pure classic.
JOE PASS/Virtuoso: Pass's career renaissance on Pablo signaled the rise of solo jazz guitar as it's own genre. Not following any fashion, just staying true to himself, Pass was the ultimate insider's hipster. He took a sound that seemed like it came from the back of a restaurant that wanted to provide some atmosphere, but to think that only proved you weren't listening or you didn't know beans. This is the album that started the fire and in it's deceptive simplicity lies the whole of solo jazz guitar truth. He made it look so easy that so many who followed him made it sound so bad. This is the first and the best, check it out.
SONNY ROLLINS/Way Out West: Hey, if Bo Diddley could be a gunslinger, why couldn't Rollins go way out west? This was Rollins first trio date and with Ray Brown and Shelly Manne on board, what could go wrong? An influential set and certainly his second more important album, this is young Rollins merging his fantasies and indulgences into a one of kind romp that certainly stands the test of time. When you get a set like this that sounds like the cats are right in your living room playing at the top of their games, you'd be a fool to pass it up.
DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET/Jazz at Oberlin: Recorded 57 years ago, it was the dawn of the lp, it was the dawn of jazz on college campuses and it was the dawn of the inter play between Brubeck and Paul Desmond. They had to target it somewhat to eggheads and get past the moldy fig gatekeepers, but the appreciative audience lauding their improvs and inventions show that the dawn of that era has stretched well into this one. With a bunch of old man jazzisms that can't be overcome at this stage of the game moving in and out, there's nothing here to damper the spirits regardless. Not exactly like being at the dawn of creation, but Brubeck is still going strong all these years later so there must be something life giving in these grooves. If you haven't made this disc's acquaintance, this remaster is a welcome invitation.
AUDIO BOOK SUPPLEMENT
SIMON & SCHUSTER AUDIOWORKS
SAMANTHA BEE (I Know I Am, But What Are You (unabridged): As Jon Stewart has become the most trusted newsman in American, his minions are making their ways along the by ways as well. Bee, who is Stewart's Charles Kurault, delivers the essays on contemporary life as well as her own back pages and serves up the comedy for those who are over Chelsea Handler now that she has an infrastructure to support. Wackily snotty no matter what the subject or target, this is a fine slice of contemporary humor for an audience that wants and knows what they are getting. If you aren't into "Daily Show" don't just assume you won't get it, that's been the launch pad for a lot of contemporary comics that are getting across.
WARNER HOME VIDEO
UNDISPUTED III: REDEMPTION: Has anybody noticed we're entering a new golden age of b movie? It was nice when we could look at Cynthia Rothrock, but now this is deep underground and it's all guy chop socky. The mob is making an underground fight club of maximum security prisoners with big bets going all around. The winner gets freedom and a big pay day, but c'mon, the mob is promoting this. Do you think they care about any stinking contracts? Especially with a bunch of vicious felons that are better of turned into salami? Well, the white supremacist looking guy isn't going to let that happen. Damn, nobody messed with the mob like this since Pam Grier's best days! If you don't think there's an underground out there that won't eat up this plate of steaming chop socky with a spoon, you probably think Blockbuster will make a comeback. This is the real rainbow coalition pic! If you don't take this stuff seriously, you better realize this series really cleans up at the chop socky movie awards. Blu ray pack comes with a standard dvd and digital copy as well.
BOOK OF ELI: Ever wonder what would happen if some brothers remade "Mad Max" and gave Max some Christ like/grasshopper tendencies? Well Denzel Washington and the Hughes Brothers wondered and this is the post apocalyptical nightmare they came up with. Whitey's worst night mare, the whole would is a terror dome ghetto and as for survival----you need to be more than the fittest. You can watch this in the immersive Maximum Movie Mode which is basically talking back to your TV MST3K style, except taken seriously. You get intrusive stuff in the middle of the movie to make it more fun and point out what you aren't getting. It has been 30 years since "Mad Max" and you have to roll with the times. Blu ray pack comes with a standard dvd and digital copy.
Volume 33/Number 211
May 31, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record
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