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MARIO ROMANO QUARTET/Valentina: Taking the long way around to launching his jazz piano career, Romano finally realizes his dream and vision by letting the Miles influences show proudly as he leads his crew through a classic kind of 60s date that shaped his tastes 40 years ago. Certainly not a manqué, Romano knows and loves the sound and the times delivering not a tribute or homage but a dose of heartfelt playing. Delivering fine workouts on a load of chestnuts, this is one disc that will let you enjoy one more take on the oldies without wondering why.

ONE TAKE VOLUME 4: In which we find the label continuing it's innovative series of taking a bunch of cats and tossing them in the studio for three hours in what is basically an improvised jam where they have nothing but each other and the walls to bounce off. The set card has to be stuff they all know and this new grouping keeps the series alive in fine form. With Joey DeFrancesco the putative leader of the date, it's still an ensemble work that hangs together in purely righteous form. A real mainstream jazzbo delight.

DANE COOK/I Did My Best-Greatest Hits: The first of the internet stand ups and among the first of the careers launched privately by Comedy Central, Cook condenses his five albums into 2 cds of his in your face stand up that has propelled him from comedy cottages to movie stardom. Like him or hate him, when you distill his stuff to it's best, there's very little to argue with and comedy gets a solid holiday package/retrospective. A big fat load of contemporary comedy for contemporary people.

NAGORE SESSIONS/various: What hath Emory Cook and Tracy Sterne wrought? Years after their explorations, the world has gotten smaller but the musical explorations no less sea worthy. Checking out the Kollywood sound of southern India, the Earthsync team bring back the indigenous sounds of today that are at once haunting and mysterious. Chants, songs, beats and more, this is great travelogue of the area that gives the arm chair traveler something to really sink his teeth into. With a great packaging effort wrapped around the disc, this is fun stuff for multi culti tastes on the prowl for new kicks.

SUSAN McKEOWN/Singing in the Dark: Hey, scarier than a classic Leonard Cohen album, McKeown digs deep into the manic depressive song bag for a rough album that really takes you through the dark night of the soul. Certainly not for everyone, but your typical college girl will probably get it---even while running around with her dad's black card hundreds of miles from home. She sings it pretty but it's some pretty rough stuff. And she covers some Leonard Cohen as well. The circle is small.

RED JUNE/Remember Me Well: No, this is not arts council music--even if one funded it. No. This is dandy pomo roots music full of folk music for the 21st century. Totally organic and so on the money throughout, the playing, the writing, the singing, it all grabs you right out of the box and doesn't let go. Whether young or old, if you need a killer dose of lo-fi back porch music, this is the place. Killer stuff.

MR. HO'S ORCHESTROTICA/The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel: The world's only Esquivel tribute band commits long lost arrangements to wax for a new "Mad Men" inspired generation that doesn't realize Don Draper wasn't listening to this in strip clubs of the day, but want to enjoy the fantasy anyway. Esquivel was never really as big as his legend, but this space age pop crew has got all the moves down right and they do a great job of being true to the music while bringing it into the present. A world away from the MOR music it was often mistaken for, this is the bomb and the height of retro cool. Check it out in case you missed out on the last lounge revival and find you really need to get up to speed. Simply too much fun for one record.

PERSUASIONS/Knockin' on Bob's Door: With the group's 50th anniversary sneaking up, they've turned their acapella moves to the Dylan songbook. Dylan might have converted to Christianity on his own but it's fun the way this crew takes him to church, as well as the street corner. You're dealing with two known entities here so how much you'll enjoy it isn't even a surprise either. Juicier than the Witmark demos, this isn't a historical artifact, it's fun, especially if you are a fan of either.

Volume 34/Number 9
November 9, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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Hello Chris,

My name is Jacqui Sutton, and you recently reviewed my CD "Billie & Dolly" in Volume 34/Number 8, but it doesn't appear to be archived on your site. I would like to put a link to the review on my Fan page, but cannot find it.

Would love to know when I can share the good news with my fans!


Jacqui Sutton








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