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WAHID/Inside Silence: John Bilizijkian had made some exotic music in his day but this oud/drum pairing sounds like opium den music all the way, even when moving on to other ethnicities. Any college kid with an eye toward getting Miss Prissy a little dirtied up has got to have this playing in the background as the buds begin to blossom. Capiche? It certainly isn't girl friend music but with this playing under the plying of the right social lubricant, you just might wind up with a stalker on your hands.

MICHEL REIS/Point of No Return: ECM recently celebrated it's 40th anniversary and this 28 year old piano man admits to growing up eating those records for breakfast. A masterful player of sitting down jazz that still believes in the album format as a great way to make a statement, this is almost recital music. Occupying that niche just short of being arts council jazz, Reis is a player to be reckoned with and to keep and open ear out for. Playing his debut feels like what hearing Bill Evans or Denny Zeitlin for the first time must have felt like. A wily, delightful, auspicious debut.

LES CHAUDS LAPINS/Amourettes: Pomo fun or what? The Hot Club as interpreted by urchins and waifs with chops is the latest find from the Barbes world stable. Simply a well played charming set filled with songs you know, but done in French, mixed in with originals by the leaders of this gang that sound like they fit right in with the period pieces on board. A trip to the French café in your mind by a band that keeps bringing you back for more coffee and Gitanes. Simply a first class sonic getaway delightfully performed and intimately recorded. Adults and those that want to be will love this as it's foreign without being ethnic. Top shelf all the way.

DANIEL TOSH/Happy Thoughts: Another release from a Comedy Central home grown talent, this isn't exactly the kid you see on Tosh.0. Live, he's uncensored but still seems like a George Carlin lite even when he's letting his potty mouth fly for effect. A with a wonderfully cockeyed, politically incorrect view of things, he barbeques as many sacred cows as he can fit into a 77 minute disc and a good time is had by all. This kid rocks and is certainly comedy's newest bright light. Check it out!

MAGGIE HERRON/In the Wings: Ostensibly no relation to Sinatra co-writer Joel Herron, this tyro classical player turned grown up living in Hawaii, she has become a piano playing jazz singer coming at you with a Kim Carnes kind of well worn voice sounding like the voice of experience as well. An intimate, personal set that was made for the grown up in you, this is after hours music scaling the heights.

JAYME STONE/Room of Wonders: What has Steve Martin started? He's made the world safe for banjo players and he's made it safe for them to take banjo as far away from the plantation as can be imagined. The kind of stuff you'd expect from Bela Fleck when he was pushing the envelope, this genre bending date takes you all over the map with the help of a bunch of first call ringers Stone brought in to make this a top shelf date and the result the next stage of NAC/adult instrumental music. If you ever wanted the music to just take you away, this is a great place to hop on for a fine ride. Hot stuff.

MAD ROMANCE/Aim High: Not Swingle Singers. Not Manhattan Transfer. Not Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Not New York Voices. A little of each in spirit, their own vocal team on wax. A nice round up of mostly oldies done up like something you might hear on an old time radio show. This is a crew that came for to sing and loves to sing. Fun stuff that has you thinking it's background music as it starts out but changes your opinion on that in very short order. Hot stuff that vocal fans will know is the real deal.

GRETCHEN PARLATO/The Lost and Found: Simply smoking. This girl has proven herself to be the thinking man's, pomo jazz chanteuse. With the vibe of all the sexy, 50s greats underpinned by a solid chill vibe, Parlato defines sex kitten circa now. Rounding up a no nonsense stellar crew that understands hipster/downtown moves, this is one sophisticated knock out of a set that will easily keep you coming back for more. All the accolades of the past are turned up a notch here for a can't miss collection that never let's you down. A winner throughout.

Volume 34/Number 109
February 18, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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