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AZ KENNY TSAK/Like We Do Live: A guy comes out of nowhere after 25 years away from music, decides he's going to be a blues rock king pin, holds auditions for his own Ikettes and low and behold, a good time is had by all. After bowling over everyone in the blues world, Tsak comes in with "Tsak Comes Alive" so everyone can get a taste of what the live show is about. The revenge dream of frat boys of a certain age everywhere, Tsak and his 56 Deluxe crew kick out the jams with blues rock topped in psychedelica and primal energy. Top of the charts? Who knows? Head of the class? You bet. Fun stuff taken to the extremes we wish we all could.

ISABELLE FAUST/Brahms Violin Concerto String Sextet #2: Want a record that'll simply make you drop your teeth and say "godddddam"? The triangulation of Faust, Brahms and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra team up to make this sound like Brahms gift to the world. Expertly and passionately played throughout, basically a work born out of passion, and not for the saints as was popular at the time, this is one of those rare listening opportunities that you are glad is preserved forever. A must have for all classical ears.

STEVEN OSBORNE/Ravel-Complete Solo Piano Music: In an age where pop music sold by the pound, why shouldn't the bounties in the classical world get the same treatment. Osborne knows his keys and he knows his Ravel, and this collection of all Ravel's solo piano works is brought forward with a singular vision that works and sounds great. With passion and precision intersecting nicely, some of these pieces are played with a verve and energy that you haven't heard before. A solidly winning set throughout, part of Ravel's legacy has been safely snatched from the clutches of the moldy figs.

DOROTHY LEIGH/Intimate Moments: The front person on a jazz vocal/piano date that finds you smack dab in the middle of a cool after hours club (maybe after work club?) where that singer on the bandstand knows the right moves at the right times. A traditional set card was chosen for her recording debut and she knows how to wear it well. A nice find for jazz vocal fans.

PITOM/Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes: A Jewish punk version of the Yom Kipper service? It's got to make these kids glad Jews don't believe in hell. On the other hand, Zen philosophy tells us to respect noise since it might be the noise makers way of praising the Man Upstairs. Betcha this stuff is 30 years ahead of it's time.

STEVEN L. SMITH BAND/Pieces: Angry, outsider music for people that live in flyover country and live there outside the margins. Unless you live in a town you can't wait to figure a way out of, you might not get this rocking, jamming slab of dissatisfaction that comes after you out grow teen age raging hormone music. This is wild, real America Saturday night music. And he got Crystal Gayle to show up for background vocals? I don't think Springsteen is in Kansas anymore, Toto.

YOGI BEAR: The funny thing is: this is the best political movie since "China Syndrome". A crooked, stupid politician screws up and makes the money disappear and the only way he can cover his butt is by selling Jellystone to logging interests? Tell me this isn't ripped from today's headlines as much as "Law & Order" is. Tell me Yogi trying to save the only home he's ever known isn't as much of a thriller as any of the Bourne trilogy. Tell me Yogi and Ranger Smith teaming up to save the world isn't the best fish out of water in trouble buddy team since "Die Hard 3". Filmed in 3D and live action, screw what the moldy figs have to say and let the enjoyment flow to the kids of all ages that want to be smarter than the average bear! Snatch yourself a picanic basket and sit back with some munchies enjoying the romp. Remember bitches, don't be going playing Yogi cheap. Blu ray combo pack includes standard DVD and digital copy.

HEREAFTER: Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon team up again for another winner which finds Eastwood directing a most unClint like pic examining what we need to believe about what goes on in life after death. As several lives intersect, the guy that wanted punks that felt lucky to make his day pulls back the curtain hinted at in "Grand Torino" showing us a guy turning 80 can really roll with the punches. A character study that's more of a thriller than it lets onto, this pic has effects that benefit from blu ray and really drive the experience and the message home. This is another essential for your Eastwood collection.

Volume 34/Number 135
March 16, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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