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PETER SCHERR/Son of August: Left leaning, highly creative, sitting down jazz from a bass player that has a global musical agenda as well. Trying to break down creative walls in China, this is creative music for the sake of creativity headed for a place where there are serious problems with creativity.

NORDIC CONNECT/Spirals: Second set from the Ingrid Jensen led crew where all the players have some connection to Norway and it's neighbors. Don't be fooled into thinking this is some world jazz set because it's pure modern jazz all the way. A welcome set of smooth jazz with bite, this is some smashing ensemble work that plays with color and texture with a freshness and verve that's made to bring new listeners into the tent. Solid work throughout.

TONY GUERRERO/Blue Room: Here's a fun trumpet player to check out. Guerrero has sprightly chops, a deep knowledge of jazz and a quest for good vibes. Kicking it off with a wholly new take on "It's Only a Paper Moon" and working out new ideas on chestnuts and standards that become his own, he sets a sweet table that let's you know you better enjoy yourself because it's later than you think so you might as well be happy, don't worry. Blending a load of the fun elements of commercial jazz over the last 40 years, Guerrero brings the salmagundi to the proper boil and serves up some of the tastiest playing you've heard in a while. Simply a killer date.

CHOPTEETH/Live: The Afrofunk big band delivers the goods in a high octane, genre blender fashion that takes you into the good old boy section of the bush country. Too funky to have been recorded in DC, this set goes heavy on Fela, Ellington and other looks back to the real party, and a real party is in effect here. The funk flies amid the throwback Afro pop, jazz and what not. This is kind of like Maceo really finding his roots, on steroids, and then some. Killer stuff that gets the party started, going and flowing. Well done.

CARLOS �GO GO' GOMEZ/New Paradigm Global Music: A Laws of Attraction seminar turns a sought after Latin percussionist into a new ager that makes something that could easily fit into New Earth's release schedule? I thought that was just girl fiend stuff. Toning down the funk to an appropriate level, this is a new stage new wave set that let's you funk easy as you send your thoughts somewhere positive. As a politician would say, "it's the rhythm, stupid" that sets this apart from typical new age. Perhaps this is the jumping in point genre skeptics have been waiting for?

SHAWN COSTANTINO/Waltz for Anne: Session sax man steps out on his own for a modern funk set that has everything you'd want on the ball. Dressing up a classic groove for modern ears and listening, this is for today's jazzbo. Hard hitting throughout, Costantino knows his stuff and shares it easily without showing you the tricks behind the curtain. Check it out.

SAM TRAPCHAK & Put Together Funny/Lollipopocalypse: Dave Holland won our eternal admiration around 40 years ago when he showed he could play with Miles Davis in the morning and John Hartford in the afternoon without missing a step. Trapchak was born 30 years ago but cites playing in Holland's tradition. Normally, saying something like this is the first step to being dismissed by us but this second generation bass player can back it up. Clearly in the spirit of Holland's ECM and small group indy releases, Trapchak's sense of humor and sense of jazz show him as a pomo Holland, capable of filling Holland's footprint but quite capable of making a statement of his own. An auspicious set by a cat who has arrived, this is well worth checking out if you miss this classic sound. Well done.

BIG JOE & THE DYNAFLOWS/You Can't Keep a Big Man Down: The long time DC area blues drum ace kicks it out one more time in fine style. With the opening riff blasting right out of the roadhouse, he has more soul than the average old, white should have. The good time roll so well that you have to scratch your head and wonder why it's been so long since he won his last award. This set ought to fix that. A traditional electric blues set that's long on high voltage throughout. Hot stuff.

Volume 34/Number 82
January 22, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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