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JOHNNY CLEGG/Human: Some people say "Graceland" ripped off Clegg's world beat vision, but he sold a ton of albums on his own and snagged awards and attention all the same. Back with his first domestic set in 17 years, this South African world beat/popster delivers a streamlined version of what he was up to two decades ago mixing politics and messages into the mix. Older but no mellower, this fire continues to burn in his music as this is the kind of wake up call that many will want to heed at the juncture things are at now. Was The Clash really at their peak 30 years ago? Politics, music and the beat are back.

VOICE OVER THE BRIDGE: It might not be called Burma anymore but it still is the home to music that goes back centuries. The producers packed up their world beat mics and headed off into the great unknown finding two vocalists that held the classical tradition dear and with appropriate not new age, floaty music in the background, they deliver a worthy successor to Nonesuch and Folkways traveler records. A solid bet for the armchair traveler, these lovely voices will take you to places you've only heard in dreams.

KING SUNNY ADE/Baba Mo Tunde: If you like to party and you're waiting for an invitation here, this is an open house, fool, jump in. Kicking it out with a freedom he never had on a major label, Ade turns in his first studio album this century with a rousing set that sounds like James Brown met up with Mighty Sparrow in Africa and decided to get everyone wining their waist on the one. Super long jams that don't meander and sound like sunshine are running the roost on this double cd that is bursting with exuberance with every lick. You don't have to be a hard core world beater to join this excursion. It's one cooking good time from start to finish.

JAZZ PASSENGERS/Reunited: The premiere pomo bebop jazzbos are back after a 12 year lay off with their chops honed to a further edge and their sense of going over the top in fine fettle. With some high profile guests dropping by, just like in the old days, this is a new hipster playground where the action careens in a highly left of center way without restraint. Certainly now with less moldy fig than ever.

DISTRICT 97/Hybrid Child: It's not all biscuits and gravy for American Idol runner ups. Some of them have to go out and really work if they want to stay in the business. Leslie Hunt found out the hard way that's it's not all fat advances and recoupable limo rides anymore. Hooking up with some kindred spirits in Chicago, even drawing in a CSO cellist, Hunt now finds herself fronting a crew that fuses Heart with progressive bands on Charisma for that pre-arena rock crunch that kept clubs hopping back when they lowered the drinking age. If you don't think the 70s are back, your parents will as this nu prog metal date is on the money throughout. Bomb(bast) away, lookout below.

WINGLESS ANGELS/Volumes 1 & 2: Everything costs money. We've all heard about Keith Richard's debauched side, but how about the side of him that befriends a ska vocalist that even Bob Markey looked up to? Mixing it up here in this deluxe package that combines two albums from the canon, we find Richard writing a check to let Justin Hinds and his pals do their thing as well as a set of Justin Hinds and his pals doing their thing with a bunch of Richard's hand picked jazz and rock pals. This is some serious Jamaican tribal music to get high with. If you aren't familiar but trust Richard not to lead you down a blind alley, this is trip off the beaten path you will enjoy. Especially when lightly toasted. Check it out.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES/New Broadway Cast Recording: It's not merely a personality recording when the live production snagged 3 Tonys on it's third pass through Broadway. With Sideshow Bob in the lead putting his own spin to the role that has passed through several hands before him, this camp classic musical is delivered in full flower. Another spot on production from Tommy Krasker, this is simply prime Broadway music presented by someone that loves and understands it and wants everyone to enjoy it as much as he does. Bravo.

AVI ROTHBARD/Standard Solo Guitar Sketch: Nice to see a Joe Pass homage movement underway. The second set in recent days that reminds us of Pass, here we find Rothbard delivering his fourth self released date showing himself in top form. With a lounge set card in tow, he shines throughout letting the music speak for itself but adding some flourishes and variety that gives it a flow and spark that demands your attention as it delivers something new to say and adds a new viewpoint to some well worn grooves. Solo guitar fans will recognize this as the real deal. Hot, in a low key way.

Volume 33/Number 327
September 25, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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