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EDDIE HENDERSON/For All We Know: When the commercial pressure is off and you can play of the joy of it, just playing what you want from the heart, it often makes better music than pressurized music. Henderson is a long way from his Capricorn sides and here he's in the company of first class hitters John Scofield, Doug Weiss and Billy Drummond playing up a storm on a mixed bag that goes way beyond definition. Playing some killer sitting down jazz that will have you bopping and bobbing in your seat, Henderson and the gang deliver the goods. Mainstream jazz of the highest order is on tap here and its a real treat throughout..

BENITO GONZALEZ/Circles: Venezuelan cat has a thing for 60s civil rights jazz and loads the deck with players of the first rank that are on the same page with him. With Azar Lawrence, Ron Blake, Jeff Watts, Christian McBride and Myron Walden bringing up the rear, this is a romping, stomping return to pre-loft jazz form. Got a taste for the 60s? Gonzalez says he was playing what he felt and he certainly didn't let in the way of the vibe. Hot stuff that's sure to take you back.

PAQUITO D'RIVERA/Panamerican Suite: C'mon, this record is a natch. Who doesn't love D'Rivera? Certainly the leaders that showed up to be members of his orchestra on this long overdue recording of a work commissioned 10 years ago love him. Simply a knock out set of pure listening music that is jazz based but defies category, this is a "Take the A Train" type trip through the western hemisphere. Sign on board and take the trip, you won't want to miss it.

RICK CUTLER/First Melancholy, Then the Night Stretch: Pay attention. Here's a drummer that's also a piano man that's played with everyone as well as having written the theme for "Dateline" and the Yankees for MSG Network. You know this guy's work even if you don't know him. This solo piano set sounds like a trip into Bill Evans mind after hours when he doesn't think anyone is listening. Sounding like an American ECM release, Cutler knows his stuff and how to get what he wants making this a sure bet for solo piano fans who know this is what they want. Well done.

BRIAN HUDSON/Into the Black: Indy folkie goes solo from his crew and comes in with the kind of things a group member can only say on his own, opening up with an opening track about how he needs some distance. A guy version of an angry, white woman contemporary album, Hudson delivers the message loud and strong, and it can be applied to any sort of relationship that isn't working. He's cuts to the chase quickly with some indie folk that's sure to get him the elbow room he's looking for, and bring along followers like in that Burger King breakfast commercial.

Volume 33/Number 358
October 26, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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