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108 PICS
WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY/soundtrack: So, here's the cleffer to an India movie that wants to capture American indie film spirit for the cross cultural proceedings it presents. Here's the funny thing, just like when Brit rockers repacked blues and sold it back to us, it seems like the Indians captured the indie thing and sold it back to us as something better. Indie is blended with sunshine pop, Austin roots and other of our contemporary indigenous sounds. Sum: this ain't your dad's movie soundtrack album. The music actually feels like a component to the pic and it sounds great. Check it out.

MAEVE GILCHRIST/Song of Delight: Hey, where did all those lady harp players from the 90s go? We liked a lot of them, where are they? Gilchrist does it differently than her sisters of a decade and a half ago, she's a pop singer along the way. With a voice that reminds one of Joni Mitchell, her harp replaces the folkie autoharp and the left of center good times begin rolling. A nice preconception defyer, Gilchrist is a wonderful breath of musical fresh air that creates her own new genre and impresses throughout. It might be her second album but for most of us listening, it's an auspicious debut.

RUSSELL HITCHCOCK/Tennessee-The Nashville Sessions: The lead vocalist of Air Supply finds his way to Nashville for a double cd of more of his pleasantries, except with a change of locale under his belt. A little more rocked up than old time fans might remember, he's still in the pocket and could easily turn himself into a perennial like Michael McDonald. Very solid adult contemporary that doesn't rely on past glories like a few too many heritage acts do. Fans old and new should check it out for some well done, straight ahead pop.

BASTIAN WEINHOLD/River Styx: A tyro tries to make the jump from lauded student to recording pro. He's already an in demand drummer on the downtown scene and he's got jazzbo smarts to spare. This set still finds him trying to find his real voice as a leader/composer but you're a fool if you don't keep an ear open for this comer. A very left leaning sitting down jazz date, college kids looking for new, free jazz have a contemporary they can rely on---for now.

FRED HO &the Afro Asian Music Ensemble/Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon-Momma's Song: If you're into magna, you will get this tribute to the 70s version of the form. Packaged with a book that propels things along, this is for genre uber geeks. I don't think anyone else will understand why this instead of any other free jazz journey. It just has too much of a culty edge.

DAVE JUAREZ/Round Red Light: He brought his guitar from Barcelona to hang around with downtown jazzbos and show all that fun records can still be cut in an afternoon. Loaded with contemporary swing, it sounds like everyone is having a good time and it's easy to hear it spreading. Solid stuff that doesn't let you down.

ROB CLEARFIELD/A Thousand Words: Young piano player with chops to spare going in for a heavy duty art session. An all improv date that's a snapshot of where he was when he recorded this, ECM and minimalism are his leading lights.

BARBARA EDEN/Jeannie Out of the Bottle: When you're 78 but are a cultural icon and long time sex symbol that finds the parts aren't coming along like they used to, you either have to make a country album or do a book where you dish the dirt. Like everyone else, Eden has had a life of ups and downs but did her best to survive them all, and at 78, she has the right to crow. Through it all, she's still charming and still very much the icon that woke up the sex drives of most young men from the 50s through the 80s.

WHITNEY CUMMINGS/Money Shot: The only thing wrong with this disc is the running time is only 48 minutes. Cummings has the lacerating wit and speed of Sam Kinison without the screaming and the lard. Whether she's a comedy genius or a hard worker ever honing her craft is immaterial. The result is almost every word out of her mouth makes you laugh. Unafraid to dance on the thinnest ice, Cummings has got to be the hottest thing on the comedy horizon. Tape up your sides before you watch this so they don't start hurting half way through from laughing so hard. A winner!

Volume 34/Number 170
April 20, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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