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JOHN McCUTCHEON/Passage: Bouncing back from a double album that was a showcase to reintroduce him to fans that didn't believe he was still around, the folkie comes back with his 34th album, back to the traditional stuff as well as back to the traditional sounds he started out with, except he's joined by some real all star organic music pros that deliver originals that reflect where a folkie stands after all this time. A dazzling adult pop set that doesn't bitch, doesn't preach and avoids the contemporary folkie clichés that make a lot of stuff run into the mud. It certainly wouldn't hurt any folk manqué to grab a copy of this and learn a lesson or two before unleashing his latest works of art to MySpace and Tunecore where they will be met with... This is a must for any contemporary folkie fan as it's an uncontroverted winner.

BORIS KOZLOV/Double Standard: Are you ready for an album of solo double bass? This sounds like something from the extreme beatnik workshop but real fans and students of bass might go off into bass heaven with this set. This is a cat that understands film noir as this set plays out like the score from an unmade Jim Thompson movie. Unless you're a true bass geek, you've been warned.

CHRIS DAHLGREN/Mystic Maze: Arts council weirdo music alert. Dahlgren sets negative reviews of Bela Bartok to his own music for something that sounds like Raymond Scott hanging out with beatniks being abstruse. This is the perfect thing to put on the cd player when you've thrown too good a party and people won't leave.

RUSSELL MALONE/Triple Play: A leader for 20 years already? Where does the time go? Looking backward, forward and sideways, if Malone was younger, he could wear the mantle of ‘new George Benson' quite easily, but here he plays youthfully with the grace of a pro. Guitar jazz trio work at the top of the game, this set leaves nothing to quibble about and has everything going for it. If you haven't enjoyed Malone in one of his various guises yet, this is the place to dig in for a real treat. Hot stuff.
607 (String Series)

KJ DENHERT/Album No. 9: There's a lot of personal significance attached to all the behind the scenes choices Denhert made on this, her ninth album, but the only choice you have to make is to enjoy the songs from her youth that hold special meaning and it looks like her youth covered a lot of ground. A fun album that could easily be written off as a contemporary cabaret album to the uninitiated, but Denhert delivers a whole lot more. A very passionate vocal album throughout that'll bring home a lot of memories for anyone else of a certain age. Well done.

LESLIE PINTCHIK/We're Here to Listen: There's certainly no reason not to call this sitting down jazz. Pintchik wanted to emphasize what it is for a musician to be a listener. The originals exist on their own plane, as they should, but the covers go someplace else indeed. Deep, personal playing that feels like piano bar music but is far from it and that makes this set go round. The best thing about it is that it's something clearly different. It might be artsy, but it's for the rest of us.

EHUD ASHERIE/Organic: Hey, no fair, the great young whorehouse piano player switches over to organ and turns in another burner of another flavor. Kicking it off with a little "Tonight" and segueing into a set of mostly smoking originals, Asherie is certainly the most fun-er-ist (yeah, you read that right) keyboard man on the scene today. A high octane thrill ride that doesn't stop or let you get off even though you can be sure this music will get you off. Hot stuff.

IRENE NACHREINER/Hot & Spicy Christmas: What are you going to do with a girl that makes a Christmas record by first digging up some forgotten songs so you have something traditional to hear without plowing the same ground once again, then writes a few new ones, then hires the best of the local Brazilian jazz session cats and wraps it up in a nice bow. You sit back an enjoy the fruits of her labors. She worked hard and had a good time making this set and the fun shows through. If you really want something fun and different oir your holiday music shelf this year, this is a fine place to start.

SCOTT FEINER & Pandeiro Jazz/Accents: The cat that wondered if jazz could come across with indigenous Brazil percussion instead of traditional drumming is now on his third album of Brazilian chamber flavored jazz and it proves once again that either the music is in the grooves or it isn't. A delightful adult listening date that swirls, snakes and whirls it's way around the perimeter, drawing ever closer without you realizing it. Solid stuff that easily adds to any occasion, it's off the beaten path but not by much. Check it out.

LESLIE PINTCHIK QUARTET/Live in Concert: A DVD-cd combo pack that offers up the same program in the format of your choice, the left of center piano lady plays it straight and shows she can wrap the mainstream around her little finger. A tasty set any way you look at it, it's going to be easy to make a wide swatch of new fans with tasty stuff like this in tow. Well done.

Volume 34/Number 1
November 1, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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