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ANDRE VASCONCELLOS/2: One of South America's prized bass players, on his second album which is his first in the US, he goes for a genre bending world jazz sound that lopes along to the beat of it's own bass player crossing time as well as space. A clear cut listening date that invites easy chairs, fire places, brandy and all that good stuff. Not highfaluting but certainly good for your head. Check it out.

BROTHER LOU/The Devil in Me: He hangs out with Tokyo Rosenthal? Uh, kids, this is really outsider music. To the left of both Michael Hurley and Wildman Fischer. Open mic night at the folk bar in hell, the children of the people canonizing Devandra Barnhart now will lionize this in the future. Trust me.

YOUSSOU NDOUR/Dakar Kingston: It's political, it's world beat, it's about uhuru, and on top of all that, it's got good grooves. At 50, he's got little to risk and a lot to gain by taking his cred and throwing it open to a whole new generation that might ignore him because he hangs out with all those guys their dad's listen to. The Afro-Carib ala Marley vibe works like a charm making this the kind of world beat that will unite ears above everything else. Well done skankaroonie!

JIM QUICK/Down South: Whether it's Gary P. Nunn, Zac Brown, Pat Green or whoever, us northern boys just don't get how the south has got such strong regional scenes that players we've never heard of can have such strong followings and sound so fully arrived when we first get a taste of them. Quick is part of this succession. Kicking it off with some raucous road house rock, Quick shows us how and why he's playing 300 night a year. With a lineage you can trace through Delbert McClinton to now, Quick is a party animal that loves to be the center of attention repaying it by not letting you down. Killer stuff anyone looking for a good time needs to hear. Check it out.

BENNY GREEN/Source: Burned out on recording until finding rejuvenation on a trip to Japan, Green comes roaring back hitting some swinging verve right out of the box. With the Washington brothers filling in the trio void left by Russ Malone and Chris McBride, nobody is missing a step as Green tips the cap to his fave piano jazzbos of the past. And anyone that tips the cap to Duke Pearson is alright with us. A solidly swinging and engaging date that helps give mainstream playing a good name no matter how desperately people want to chase the next big thing. Hot stuff done right, what else do you need?

ANDY SNITZER/Traveler: The sax man's first solo date in 12 years is a very cool in the moment date if the moment we're talking about is about 10 minutes from now. Mixing in electronica, exotica and more, it's woven it into what he does best as opposed to slapping stuff on top of it. Sounding like he was soaking up progressive sounds from the various tours he's been part and parcel of, this is jet set music without being retro. Something new that old fans should get into, this is a dandy ear opening date that just has that something special going for it. Well done.

PAUL TAYLOR/Prime Time: The urban, smooth jazz sax man is obviously on a roll as he's found a comfortable groove that just has ‘hit' smacked across all of it. Fun, light and tasty, the tunes and playing are simply inviting. A much healthier stress beater than Valium, all you have to do is hit play and let the groove do the rest--with no side effects and no after haze. The neat factor about this record is that it sounds like someplace you want to be. Capiche? Taylor is at the top of his game.

TRAMPLED UNDER FOOT/Wrong Side of the Blues: So of there were only 3 in the Five Browns, they played blues and they didn't have a problem with their pop, you would have this sibling blues band from Kansas city. With two brothers backing up their Janis/Etta James inspired sister, one of Kansas City's home grown delectables is going to be the world's in due course. Playing like a band that's already arrived, they've mopped up a bunch of blues recognition, have a bunch of cool guest stars dropping by this set and an undeniable energy that's going to take them all they way. This set blows you over right out of the box and is feisty enough not to let you up. Hot stuff throughout.

Volume 34/Number 169
April 19, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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