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PHIL DWYER ORCHESTRA/Changing Seasons: Dwyer plays with your head right out of the gate as the sound bounces back and forth between jazz and classical. Right after you're sure this is a contemporary classical work, it slides headlong into jazz orchestra territory. No two ways about it, where ever you draw the line on what this is, it is first class sitting down/listening music. It's heart is somewhere in those televised Leonard Bernstein concerts in the 50s. Can Aaron Copeland and Vivaldi survive a mash up with Coltrane? Dwyer seems to think so and can easily prothelyze that message. A killer work for the grown up in every one.

CINQUE/Catch a Corner: The head of the Alma label wants to get his own groove on and surrounds himself with Steve Gadd, Joey DeFrancesco and other background hitters to step up with some Stuff/Weather Report inspired jazz/funk delivering a nice uptown, lightly greasy moving easy sound. This music actually sounds like cruising on Friday night with the top down through the sexy part of town with the weather just right. Fun stuff throughout.

ROB GARCIA 4/The Drop and the Ocean: Sounding less aggressive and more friendly than the usual BJU recording, Garcia takes a few leafs from southern jazz sounds and brings them back downtown for a luxurious genre blender date that gives this drummer led crew a leg up on the rest of the young lions roaring for some attention. Almost crossing into pomo samba, this still has plenty of down town edge and is sure to draw more adventurously leaning tastes into the tent. Well done.

OSCAR PEREZ NUEVO COMIENZO/Afropean Affair: Some of the most exciting new Latin jazz since the first hearing of Danilo Perez, this is exactly the kind of record that you should be pissed at the Grammys for shrinking the Latin distinction awards section. On the other hand, this is the kind of set that doesn't need the equal opportunity boost to compete with anything. Energetic, original music that is sure to be ubiquitous on satellite jazz oldies channels in the future, this is killer stuff you need to hear now. This is a piano man that really has the key well in hand. Check it out.

MIKE LONGO TRIO + 2/To My Surprise: Really, what are you going to say when tape is rolling and Longo and his first call pals are cooking? To who's surprise? A killer, straight ahead jazz date that was mostly spontaneous first takes, this is pure music without the business. Sure to get your blood flowing and your glucose levels lowered, it's pulse pounding, heart racing jazz like they used to make it when things swinged. A killer date no mainstream jazzbo should miss.

AFROLICIOUS/A Dub for Mali: World beat genre blenders originally from Kansas take you to a Mali groove party where dub meets skank as it works it's way around some Afrobeat and disco. Lightly toasted party music, this is what you need when things get too serious and some leavening is needed in the atmosphere. Just the right thing for after hours.

DEBORAH WINTERS/Lovers After All: I feel like I should ditch the Big Lebowski garb and put on something nicer just to listen to this. Surrounded by a crack bunch of jazzbos that play like they love being there with her, Winters comes on like a classic jazz diva on the classic tunes that mostly haven't been beaten to death by the commercial divas come lately. A truly, classy uptown jazz vocal date, don't be surprised if this leads to some quality time with grandpa leaving you to wonder when he got so hip. Solid stuff in the pocket throughout.

ANDY STATMAN/Old Brooklyn: Only a klezmer playing Jew from Brooklyn that wanted to be a hillbilly until he heard Albert Ayler, but still went on to be a hillbilly, could bring it all home to Brooklyn with Ricky Skaggs and Paul Shaffer trading licks. Certainly two discs of the wildest Brooklyn Jewbilly music you've ever heard, this Grammy winning genre bender shows that Byron Berline and Lew Soloff can make nice on the same record. If you simply love wild instrumental music, this is such a tour de force you'll want to listen to the whole two disc party at once, but you will need to catch your breath. It might have a whole genre to itself, but it certainly is a genre classic. Killer stuff.

Volume 34/Number 341
October 8, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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