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TIANNA HALL/Never Let Me Go: Going more for the intimate vibe than the diva schtick, Hall likes to get into the song rather than the theatrics that sell the song when the singer is lacking. A delightfully clubby and intimate swinging jazz vocal work out, Hall is on the money throughout with a bunch of classics delivered with something new under her belt. Easy with bite, this is a solid set.

MARK WINKLER/Sweet Spot: So, suppose Peter Allen was the boy next door and just wanted to be an entertainer without having to actually be Judy Garland. Sums up Winkler's latest set. Surrounded with a bunch of first class jazzbo that dig getting into the bar on the beach at sunset vibe, they deliver the goods on this mix of off beat classics/covers and originals. Anthony Wilson and Grant Geissman sharing guitar duties on the same record? Winkler is the master of deceptive simplicity and this disc is a lite jazz vocal winner that's always a sonic happy hour.

RICK STONE TRIO/Fractals: A straight ahead jazz guitar cat that knows how to swing, Stone is another one of those rising cats that proves mainstream doesn't have to be a dirty word. He obviously loves Wes without being slavish to the memory, this is the stop to make for some fire without distracting pyrotechnics. Hot stuff throughout.

MACE HIBBARD/Time Gone By: Already having made his bones with a long association with Derek Trucks, Hibbard gets back to jazz basics letting his Texas sax side show as he delivers a full bodied set of skronk in the long tradition that separates it from big apple skronk. A dandy of a blowing date by a cat that knows which way the wind blows, this is sure to blow you away with it's high octane approach. Killer stuff.

ACHIM KAUFMANN/Verivyr: If Mike Myers was still doing his Dieter character, the D man would ditch his techno soundtrack for this art jazz work out. A head trip for the very left leaning, this piano man doesn't make music for those looking for the next Bill Evans. Angular and very much marching to it's own drummer, Kaufmann is deep in the Eurocentric art sensibility with a minimalist core.

MORELAND & ARBUCKLE/Just a Dream: The record company bio sums it up nicely when it says this duo's sound is classic delta meets urban migration meets punk rock. When two white boys from Kansas make contemporary blues and get to do it with Steve Cropper lending a hand that far from arthritic, it's time to sit back and let them blow the doors off the roadhouse on the moon. A real stomping date that will send moldy figs running for the hills, this is the sound of the frat house of the future. Wild throughout.

ARTHUR: When you get lost between the moon and New York City, you might think it's crazy but I know it's true, this remake of the original "Arthur" might be just for you. With most of the original cast dead, it was ripe for a recasting with a bunch of people you wouldn't expect to fit into a mass market comedy doing so nicely. Russ Brand shows why he was man enough to get Katy Perry and why you weren't as he fearlessly throws himself into the role of an imbecile surrounded by whip wielding Helen Mirren as his keeper, Jennifer Garner as his sexy girl friend and other whip wielding situations as well. Mass market yuks that aren't yukky, this is an easy comedy that was just made for home video. Standard dvd and digital copy are included in the blu ray pack.

Volume 34/Number 241
July 1, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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