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PARENTHOOD/soundtrack: When Ron Howard is one of the producers of your TV show, you can expect the cleffer to be filled with top flight artists leasing out important tracks. With a heavy accent on troubadours across these 12 tracks, fans of the show will carry this keepsake like a totem just like "Mad Men" fans enjoy theirs.

E.J. ANTONIO/Rituals in the Marrow-Recipe for a Jam Session: Return with us now to the golden days of poetry and jazz as this poet sparks some impromptu jazz by some real hitters that makes you feel like some civil rights stuff is just around the corner. Without an Alan Douglas production in sight, the gang rolls tape, takes chances and sets the stage for yet another renaissance of Last Poets. Heady stuff for the church basement crowd.

ALEXANDER McCABE/Quiz: This jazzbo sax man, back with his first solo set in 5 years, is making the kind of stuff that moldy figs, hipsters and tourists can all enjoy equally. He doesn't check his creativity at the door to make something for everybody but he finds that magical spot where a kind of universal accessibility that no one can fault is achieved. A nice example of warm weather jazz, this has a flow that makes it easy to tip your toe in and get carried along. Well worth checking out.

DAVE HOLLAND & PEPE HABICHUELA/Hands: Like his "Bitches Brew" era Miles side kick, John McLaughlin before him, Holland has finally succumbed to taking a bite of Andalusia. Unlike the McLaughlin trio dates, this isn't a chop fest with a wash of flamenco covering it, this is Holland taking the time to smell the roses, savor the spices and enjoy the views. The only real difference between the two camps is a personal choice about how hot you like your chops served. Partnering with a major family in flamenco music, the three guitars are out front ala McLaughlin but Holland and some other colorists are standing with them toe to toe. Very much the record you want with you on the beach or when stuck in traffic, Holland and his versatile chops are one of the only consistent things you can count on in the last 40 years and he isn't about to let you down now. You can feel the smiles and simpatico that were permeating this session. Holland brings the jazz to flamenco, plays like part of an ensemble and deserves to own the world beat category at the next Grammys. Hot stuff throughout.

BRAD GOODE/Tight Like This: He's been gone from Chicago forever but he still feels like a presence. On his latest, his fourth for the Chicago stalwart label, he plays "updates" of a lot of old stuff and it sounds like something left of crime jazz. Surrounded by his long wished for dream band, everybody is on the same page with the kind of set that would feel right in a smoky bar but seems air filtered for these anti-smoking times. Sassy, wild stuff that's straight ahead but loaded with surprises just the same. A fine example of a guy that knows what he wants, knows what he's doing and knows how t get it. Check it out.

THE REGGIE PITTMAN-LOREN DANIELS QUARTET/Point A to Point A: This jumps off like some lost Miles era Prestige date. Solidly swinging post bop that isn't derivative but stays right in the pocket, this is simply a high octane burner that delivers the goods. Everything you could want in a contemporary, straight ahead jazzbo date, this will ping with the hipster in everyone, thrift store wardrobe not required. Well done.

LESLIE LEWIS/Keeper of the Flame: Sometimes it's that little thing you see out of the corner of your eye when your ripping the mail open that will move a particular cd by an artist you don't know to the top of the pile. In the case of jazz vocalist Lewis, she worked with the late John Bunch and had her last album issued in Japan by the Sinatra Society. There were some other interesting old school credits as well, but those were the ones that grabbed us. The set card veers from the standard diva dip in the classic songbook, often veering to the left, and she will not disappoint if you've never heard her before. A sweet throwback to the 50s thrush, Lewis is spot on throughout, merging Brazil with jazz into a delightfully supper club tasting brew. Just the thing for when you're feeling like a grown up. Hot stuff.

TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA/Lookin' At Lucky: How nice to be able to make a living on the back 40 for 30 years and do it your way. Left of center folkies/kiddie performers finally recognize it's time to recognize adults in this century with their first adult outing in 11 years. They've mellowed, they've matured, they've gone with the flow but they are no less clever and sharp than they were when their hair was the factory issued color. Fun, folkie stuff that focuses on Sudoku rather than how lousy the times we're in the middle of are right now. Nicely played break from the noise and terror dome days that are flying through the air.

Volume 33/Number 320
September 18, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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