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ENRICO PIERANUNZI/Latin Jazz Quintet Live at Birdland: The dude is getting close to social security and he's highly decorated as a jazz pianist in Europe so it's time you got on the trolley. This date is a bag breaker for him as he likes South American sounds but has never really delved into them, so here he studies them and puts his own stamp on the proceedings. A pro is a pro and when they really dig in their heels, high octane stuff like this is likely to result. An old pro reinvented as a tasty new tour guide, it all works. Check it out.

MIKEL ROUSE/Recess: Take the journalism art rock of Phil Ochs and move it into a real art realm with backing from an uber art patron (when it serves their purpose) and you have what this east coaster is all about. Taking this opportunity to reflect on the crumbling state of the world, it's earnest and hard hitting but not for the listener that likes to keep it light. Almost folk music for the electronic age, this young vet could be the voice of a new generation of malcontents that want someone to do the heavy lifting for them.

MIKEL ROUSE/Corner Loading V. 1: Rouse shows his other side as he does a solo guitar blues set for the 21st Century where he let's fly with what's wrong with everything as he delivers his own blows against the empire. Don't expect this to pick up where Highway 61 leaves off.

JOE PITTS/Ten Shades of Blue: Born near the Delta, influenced by the British Invasion, Pitts soaks up the sounds and comes around as a killer blues rock guitarist that knows how to cut to the chase. Pitts takes it to the roadhouse with ten quick cuts from the fleetest of pens in the genre on the whole. Down homish blues for the frat boy in everyone.

MOJO MONKEYS/Blessings & Curses: Three roots session cats that have played with all the headliners know this is a busman's holiday and have fun jamming out on originals that reflect their gritty take on roots music. With nobody in the booth giving them notes, they might not have made something that will attract the attention of Live Nation, but they know how to have and spread a good time to all.

TYLER BLANTON/Botanic: Here's a cat that had us at hello. A vibe player that knows his Milt Jackson and classic jazz, steps up to explore the intricacies of the vibraphone rather than just be content to be a sideman adding color. Opening with an original that feels like it wants to break into "Moanin'" but never does, this just sounds like one of those classic Prestige dates that might have been stranded in the second tier but was meaty regardless. Fun stuff that'll blow your jazzbo ears wide open.

LIZ PHAIR/Funstyle: You'd like to say that Phair says ‘fuck you' as only a trust fund kid can, but, c'mon, Paris Hilton and Kim Lardassian have no idea how to say ‘fuck you'. Sure, they can mouth the words, but they're fame whores and they say it as something you say, not something you mean. When she left Capitol for ATO,Phair said she could sell the same amount of records on an indy and make a load more money. Having changed labels already after one release, how's that working for you? Really out there on her own now, Phair shows us how she's been a closet Zappa freak all these years, sure to confound her fans once again. No matter what skin she sheds, she's still our fave MILF and we're thrilled to see her flaunting her proudly untucked tummy on the back cover. Women that could be her (non existent) college aged daughter's age have a lot to learn here about how to really take it over the top and do it right. She could still be our blow job queen any day. Included on this twofer is a disc of original Girlysound tapes that reach back farther than "Exile in Guyville". I think the new stuff here shows her being better than ever. Phair gleefully fucks the mainstream and it's offshoots in the ass and has a good laugh when it runs off like a little crying and bleeding sorority bitch that thinks it wasn't such a good idea after all. I don't know where she found the inspiration for this masterpiece but I'd love to see her go back to that well for further inspiration next year. "Guyville" notwithstanding, this isn't a killer comeback, it's a killer arrival!

BUDDY GUY/Living Proof: Seriously, especially with all the cuts and reductions, who'd have thought Guy would be on the same major label for 20 years? It could have been titled ‘A Bluesman Looks Back at 74" but he's still looking forward and slashing out those industrial blues riffs. B. B. King and Carlos Santana drop by, the riffs fly and if kids brush this off simply because he's so old, they are going to lose out big. This man still knows how to kick ass in a big way. Hot stuff.

JEFFREY BIEGEL/Bach on a Steinway: Yet another corporation decides the record business has become superfluous and supports it's endorsed artists one step farther by starting a label for them to strut their stuff, as well as THEIR products. When you have a lone guy that knows his stuff, playing sure fire material on a top shelf instrument, the expense is minimal and the exposure monumental as this came right out the box to debut on the classical charts at #3. Played in 17th Century style, Biegel can command the spotlight on his own with ease. Classical fans can enjoy this new taste treat quite easily. Check it out.

Volume 33/Number 354
October 22, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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