NORM MACDONALD/Me Doing Stand Up: With dark smirk in tact, Macdonald gets off his first stand up special, and the record is uncensored and longer than the companion production Comedy Channel will be airing. A very busy cat who works a lot behind the scenes as well as in front, this stand up turn is long over due. Macdonald hits it out of the park with humor that appears to be mainstream but veers off into the ditch on the left when you're too busy laughing to notice. Completely hilarious and a launch pad to the next stage of Macdonald's career with the best riff on heart attacks since Richard Pryor‘s leading the way.
CLAIRE DALY QUINTET/Mary Joyce Project-Nothing to Lose: A very personal project to Daly, the ins and out of the inspiration for this record will be lost on the listener who doesn't know anything about a Daly relative that broke all the rules in the 30s. The inspiration shines clear. A free spirited recording, this is first class sitting down jazz date by a bunch of pros that understand the personal nature of the project. A set that comes from the heart and gut, people that want to feel some visceral music will get this right out of the box. Well done.
THOMAS BERGERON/The First of All My Dreams Was Of: Bergeron is a trumpet player with unassailable chops. On this outing he combines his love of Debussy and jazz and brings both to someplace new. Best described as killer contemporary instrumental music, it's too hard to pick out where one thing ends and another begins.--so why bother when you can just enjoy it and let those with the advanced degrees draw the lines. It's a first class listening record that really delivers the goods. Well done throughout.
HIGH TONE MUSIC GROUP
B STREET BLUES/Car Won't Go: Southern soaked power pop fronted by a blues rocker adds up to a cool experience. Well recorded so this set opens up with a real crack, these cats are in the moment with no dust on them and rock a lot harder than the gray haired cats on the inner liner should. The chops are honed to the point of being a killer show band, these guys want you to sit back and enjoy while they do all the work. Commercial but with heart, help keep these guys away from day jobs! Fun stuff quite well done.
CLAIRE DICKSON/Scattin' Doll: Screw "American Idol" At a pre-teen age when she should be collecting pix of Justin Bieber, she's singing Gillespie, Ellington, Davis, Monk and more. And she's doing a bang up job of it, with side men who play with Either Orchestra and Anthony Braxton. I wouldn't go out of my way to check out a record by a 13 year old, but I'm glad this one was sent my way. This kid is a killer and the Great American Songbag's best hope for tomorrow. Hot.
THIERRY DAVID/Veil of Whispers: An interesting roundabout way to getting to a greatest hits of sorts as the committed muso revisits his back pages to re-record his faves and weave them together into a musical story line. With well honed chops being put to their best and highest use, this is one of those truly cinemascope recordings that can really be best appreciated with headphones and no distractions. A link to a lot of Euro composing traditions, David opens the ears as well as the soul in this new age extravaganza that's a million miles away from what new age was once upon a time. Hot stuff.
GANDALF/Earthsong & Stardance: You have got to give this new ager credit for thinking big. To celebrate his 30 years as a muso, he has written an orchestral tribute to the universe and all it's splendors. Fusing new age and world beat into the cosmos, this is grand work that could only come from the heart. Not for the casual listener because you have to be prepared to really be pulled into this work, this is the real deal along these lines. Heady stuff that gets you to stop a second and reflect.
DA CRUZ/Sistema Subversiva: Hey, moldy figs, listen up, it takes a lot of energy to be a moldy fig. Why bother? This international bunch of kids met up in Switzerland and show you that everywhere in the world has high rises and fiber optics so it's a little silly to expect authentic world beat to be played on kalimbas and beggar drums. Buried under the club beats and electronica is an appreciation for a host of world beat greats that these kids each show respect for in their own, individual voices. Wild, mix mastered world beat that shows the genre's path to tomorrow in fine form.
Volume 34/Number 211
May 31, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record
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You wrote a nice review, for my group, the Britton Brothers, last year, and I was hoping to let you hear my new Philly based group, Unconventional Riot. We have an EP coming out in a week or so on iTunes, Amazon, etc., and I'd like to get it to you. This is a digital release, so when you have a moment, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a link to the EP.