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CURTIS FULLER/I Will Tell Her: C'mon, you haven't thought about/heard this cat in a while so it's really a nice thing that Capri thought enough about the signing to hold off releasing this double cd until it could be their hundredth release. With type faces and layout that give this a Savoy/Prestige feel, the sound in the bytes goes there as well. A cat that should be mentioned in the same breath as the august jazz personages that he came up with (who are no longer around), this standard bearer deserves every bit of his due. A tasty set like they don't make anymore, this wouldn't have happened without a fan's passion behind it. Disc one is a new studio set, disc two is a live outing in the label's home neighborhood. If you jones for some new, driving straight ahead jazz from a bone man that knows how to make it really sing, this is a heaping helping of what you love and need. Killer stuff throughout.

JOHN PRINE/In Person & On Stage: Prine sprang from an urban area just as the record business was trying to find a new Dylan. If he was from the Nashville/Texas axis, he would have escaped being tarred with that brush as did Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt etc. Instead he was lumped in with Springsteen etc, who he really had nothing in common with and that's why he's underappreciated even as he's a national treasure that walks among us. This basic live set is basically a fan's album with the fan faves from his 40 year career all given an equal chance to shine whether from his mind melting debut album or from most recent vintage. Purely from the heart throughout, even if this doesn't break any new ground, it's a classic look at some great American classic songs and a wonderful entry point for a whole new generation that needs to hear songwriting that is the real deal. Hot stuff throughout.

BROKEN HEARTS & DIRTY WINDOWS-Songs of John Prine/various: In the tradition of "I'm Your Fan" etc, a bunch of cool artists from various genres that think Prine is the bomb gather round the campfire for a guitar pull putting their own spin to the proceedings. What a wonderful way to keep the classic songs fresh and new for a new generation that needs them. A lovely tribute set that's played from the heart throughout by a bunch of kids that you wouldn't think had it in them to do so.

DOMENIC LANDOLF/New Brighton: A bass/drum/sax led date that has this oddly Miles feeling to it, almost like it was a demo sketch session with something going on outside the lines. Maybe it's the intimacy, maybe it's the way it offers it's sitting down jazz invitation, but there's something about this set that you won't be able to put your finger on as it intrigues you throughout. It takes a lot of skill to put this kind of minimalism across and maybe that's what this set is all about. Whatever, this is some seriously prime sitting down jazz that doesn't require you to be a moldy fig to get it. Wild stuff the open eared should check out.

GAMELAN MADU SARI/Hive: Well before there was new age, labels like Nonesuch were turning out Gamelan music and for a while, it was the odd ball music of choice for recent divorcees that were trying to get their swerve back on. This crew grew out of Expo 86 in Canada ,and boy, is it music for an opium den. Kicking off with music that sounds like Schroeder playing while high on Snoopy's toy piano, this is the perfect palette clearer for people that listen to chant records. You're down or you're not, but at least you know the score.

GLENN BECK (read by James Daniels)/Overton Window: Media ruckraker turns his gaze to fiction (or does he) as he spins the tale about how destruction is planned 100 years ahead of time and he plucks a hero out to save humanity who really isn't concerned about saving humanity, he just wants to get laid---,tonight. In an attack that seems to mirror 9/11, Beck lets paranoid fantasies get out of control and it seems so natural that Nostradamus had to be in on it. Sure there are loose ends. His fans won't care. Political intrigue and thriller moves keep this unabridged tale on track as the weird becomes normal and normal becomes...? It feels kind of like 50s antiCommie stuff in a way.

DANNY TOBEY (read by Rich Orlow)/Faculty Club: A writer who wants to be John Grisham comes in with his first legal thriller that follows the course of a young hotshot who becomes a member of secret society that threatens to blow everything he loves and holds dear to hell. It's even older than the law school that's grooming him to be the devil's advocate in another Grishamish tale. Ah, who doesn't love a good Faustian tale? An unabridged telling of where the souls of law students go?

ALAN FURST (read by Daniel Gerroll)/Spies of the Balkans: The master of the historical spy novel doesn't disappoint. With a stylized version of reality to play with as his backdrop, he takes us to 1940 Greece as the locals must stop the Hitler minions. Who is who and who are they working for? A gripping tome that moves briskly and seems like it could have been ripped from headlines of the times. A unabridged telling that keeps the spine tingling, political thriller junkies have just the right fix here and the old pro does not let them down. Any newcomers to the genre will find this a zesty entre.

JEFFERY DEAVER (read by Dennis Boutsikaris)/Burning Wire: For all you Ed McBain fans that are finally digesting that he's just not coming back, it might just be time to move on to Deaver because the time seems to be right for both of you. If the ever 40 Steve Carella can be replaced by the quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme and the deaf man can be replaced by the watchmaker and the procedural can be replaced by the forensic investigation, then the McBain fan can fire up their Kindle and get back to reading mind bending mysteries. Putting together a winning potential franchise by having audiobook mainstay Dennis Boutsikaris in the reader's booth, unabridged fans will now be able to sit back for 13 glorious whodunit hours and try to figure out who and why. Set against a 9/11-ish background (remember: "Money Money Money" not only came first, it was released on 9/11). With Isola coming out of the closet as New York, there's a race against time as the bad guys found a new way to blow up everything and create terror! And Rhyme is still juggling another problem 1/3 of a world away. Deaver is doing a fine job of filling my cop story sweet tooth. Check it out, his time is now.

Volume 33/Number 217
June 6 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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