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JESSE BREWSTER/Wrecking Ball at the Concert Hall: While calling himself a singer/songwriter, Brewster is actually a 70s rock guitar slinger stepping out for a rocked up date that shows he learned the moves well as a long time sideman who decided to step out on his own just as everything was falling apart. Back when there was radio, this is what summer sounded like as you were cruising to some outdoor concert looking for a good time somewhere in that heartland night. Fun stuff whether you were there or not, this is what blowing off steam for the weekend sounds like, in it's full glory.

TAS CRU/Jus' Desserts: So Little Feat and Biff Rose were having lunch when Michael Hurley sat himself down at their table and the next thing you know, Cru was invented and the smart ass seventies singer/songwriter throwback movement was hatched. One of those dangerous infectious, outsider/offbeat things you can't classify or quantify but fall under the spell of, that's what this is. Like Steve Goodman on a cocktail of gleevec and steroids, this is going to blind side you into having one of the best times you've had in a while. Check it out for something delightfully nutty that exists in it's own time zone.

HELIO ALVES/Musica: This is simply one of those exciting debut sets that blows your ears wide open and you appreciate it. A snazzy Brazilian pianist that's played with everyone because he is jazz, he simply kicks it out here in a chops fest where the playing is front and center. A solidly constructed date that mixes fusion, vacation music, straight ahead jazz and a bunch of other welcome sounds into a grand session, you simply will not be disappointed with a single note here. A stunning, wide ranging, all encompassing set that adult ears are crying out for. Check it out.

NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION/Grappling Hours: Scottish electro trio brings the prog rock to the new decade with a lot of mind mash up for malcontents. Dense alt.electro that's not made for mellowing out. Offbeat rave, anyone?

CLOVERSEEDS/The Opening: Nu prog goes dark as suburban Goth enters the picture will the new kids taking over the crayons. First class college kid malcontent music for those who still keep their dad's black card in their back pack.

MJ TERRITO/Down With Love: Taking a highly roundabout way to becoming a jazz vocalist, she waited until she could shake off her middle class commitments and jump in with both feet. Coming to the fore later in life, Territo brings a world weary cynicism to her cynical songs and a bright outlook to her upbeat stuff. Don't confuse this with a bad case of frustrated housewife syndrome, Territo has the music in her and now it's time for it to finally come out. A solid jazz vocal date well worth checking out.

BETTINA JONIC/The Bitter Mirror: This is an art chick so heavily into her work that it took 35 years for this double album of Brecht/Dylan mash up to get reissued. This is even too nutty for Hal Wilner to have had a hand in, this for the real outsider that isn't into pop music but sees this as the only avenue to being at this event. This is even too deep for someone that wishes they could live in "Glee". This is like real art chick stuff.

SHAWN BELL QUARTET/Things Yet Unknown: Here's a young bone man, fresh out of college, that makes a record to kick off his adult life and it's squarely in the jazz tradition. A smoky, after hours set for a world that only knows no smoking bars, Bell and his crew show that jazz was flowing in the blood at an early age. Solid playing and writing, a great tone and a young, untamed spirit all team up to make this a delightfully auspicious debut that brings a liberal dose of flavor to an increasingly flavorless world. Hot stuff that mainstream jazzbos will love.

Volume 34/Number 19
November 19, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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