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SEVAL/I Know You: Swedish nu music of the type you might have come across on Northside when they were having a regular release schedule. Jazz meets folk at the top of the world as a Chicagoan meets up with his landsmen for the kind of music Bergman would call jazz. Certainly less of a bitter pill to swallow than death metal from the top of the world, this is still music not to play for anyone who has too many knives laying around.

ALON NECHUSHTAN/Words Beyond: This expressive/progressive jazz pianist like to let it hang in left leaning fashion as you can hear echoes of Monk and progressive Jarrett (without the humming) running through this engaging set that doesn't really like to acknowledge boundaries. Airy, bright and a lot more fun that you would normally associate with cerebral jazz, I guess eggheads need to crack a smile once in a while too. Fun stuff from places you would least expect it and a friendly listen to boot. Check it out.

STEVE LUKATHER/All's Well that Ends Well: There's a whole generation of music fans out there that think Luke is known only as one of Bob Lefsetz's top correspondents but there was a time when this guitar slinger was as part and parcel to commercial rock as Michael McDonald. Older and wiser, he's still playing like a kid that's out for the joy of it, pushing the envelope and looking for that lost chord. Playing with the power of being off the clock and not caring if you get it or not, this is what the new century sound of commercial rock would be if there were any rally points anymore. Also a very personal gestalt for Luthaker, his pain is certainly our gain as this really gives shoe gaze a kick in the nads. A great record to check out if you still believe in the power of rock.

STEVE RILEY and the Mamou Playboys/Grand Isle: Doing it all on their own, this crew let's their funk flag fly. Casting off the roots dictates of the past, they come in with swamp funk fueled by what they call ‘survivor joy' in the face of the latest disaster to hit the redneck Riviera in the form of the oil spill riding the wave behind Katrina. It doesn't crawl too far away from the roots rock banner but that's no big deal because they turn it into a party tent as it flies over head. A good time for party people that have yuppie leanings but remember what it was like to be young. And the music kicks ass purely on it's own terms. Hot stuff.

Volume 34/Number --
January 18, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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