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WADADA LEO SMITH'S ORGANIC/Heart's Reflections: Zappa and his instrumental Mothers are walking down an alley behind 47th Street in Chicago after dark in the late 60s. They are confronted by members of AACM who leap out of the shadows and jump them. Zappa and his pals are relieved to find they are slathered in face paint rather than being knifed and robbed. 40 years later, Smith, an original member of AACM is still true to his vision and is still playing charts that rubbed off on him from that back alley encounter that probably never happened in the first place. Two discs of uncut free jazz that goes way beyond church basement civil rights jazz. Furthermore, this isn't period piece music. This is a continuing space exploration that Miles Davis had to cut short, and there ain't no Teo Macero in earshot to keep the vision on track. "On the Corner Part 2" my foot! If that's your sound, this is your music and it will speak to you on your own terms. Check it out.

LUCY ANGEL: Mom and her 2 daughters get out the glitter and tooth whiteners, toss on some duds that make them look like Christian strippers and go out to serve up some country rock with accent on the rock. Music product for the "American Idol" generation

MATTSON 2/Feeling Hands: Sweet little pomo genre bender where you can find Dick Dale and Coltrane influences resting comfortably next to each other on the same record. The young version of a jam/groove record, this duo knows who they are and who they are playing to and it might even make anyone under 20 check out Hendrix even if it is their dad's music. Wild stuff that's a natch to top the ADD charts.

SACHAL VASANDANI/Hi-Fly: Can you blame this label for wanting their own Michael Buble? Their commitment to artist development shows on this third outing for the label as they surround him with nothing but the best jazzbos over several generations that jazz has to offer. A bubbly youngster bubbies will like, it's jazz in more of a supper club bag by a pleasing young man whose cheeks you want to pinch and introduce him to your niece with the great personality with a good job at a bank. They have him covering the bases nicely serving up a wonderful record for people that generally don't buy records.

PAULA LAMMERS/Deep Purple Dreams: School pal of Kurt Elling has a lot of flying time as an educator and she brings a bit of classroom to the podium with her. Generally swinging with a sweet tone that has just enough salt in the mix, Lammers has played some interesting gigs along the way and you can feel the sum total of those miles in the groove. It's a date that jazz vocal fans should check out. Lammers plays up being a working musician rather than a diva and that makes this a nice change of pace as there's something important to be said for accessibility. More proof of the groovy jazz scene keeping Minnesota as warm as it possibly can. Kind of figures you'd find Mary Louise Knutson lurking in the mix.

WOODS & MAYS/Phil & Bill: Classic, adult low key jazzbo date that finds Phil Woods taking off for a day in the country with his piano man from his working band. Recorded in three hours by two cats older than dirt that have played with everyone but don't need auto tune to make their chops sound like they are still in shape, yeah, it's simple but damn if it doesn't smoke. Certainly one of the great chill out dates of the year.

FRANK CARLBERG/Uncivilized Ruminations: What has Wildman Fischer left us in his wake? Left leaning piano man finds stuff from 1852 medical journals and connects it with other psycho ravings for some out there piece of art that even runs beyond the ridges of outsider music. I'm not sure if this is going to work in nut wards as well as Haldol but it will certainly clear a mainstream room of people that like things well to the right of "Metal Machine Music".

SWINGADELIC/The Other Duke: Yes! Before Borders' bankruptcy, when they were aggressively sending out discount coupons, we were bitching about the lack of Duke Pearson in the racks. Sure, you could buy it for full price at Amazon, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of 40% off coupons when you want to buy something at least 40 years old? This big band has it in the groove for this tribute to Duke Pearson that any real Pearson fan can easily put their seal of approval on. Since the cycles are getting smaller for anything to be remembered anymore, this is a real treat that this bunch would take the time to keep the memory alive. If you're young enough to only know Pearson from samples, get to know the whole enchilada. This band are actually Pearson fans as well and the whole thing is truly incendiary. Check it out.

Volume 34/Number 203
May 23, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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