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JOHN ESCREET/Exception to the Rule: The Englishman that had to move to Brooklyn so his music could be released in Holland comes in with a progressive/improv set by players that were working in diverse situations leading up to this recording giving it the wild edge of the free jazz sound. Certainly not showing himself as a cocktail jazz piano man here, the blowing is fierce and flowing and this is the kind of jazz that can easily angry up your blood.

BERT DEIVERT/Kid Man Blues: A white mandolin player from Boston now living in Sweden has found a way to make authentic, contemporary blues that honors blues roots but isn’t tangled up in them. With enough cacophony to make you think this might be blues as played in a roadhouse on Mars, there’s something in it that brings it back to earth and twists your ears open in strange and unexpected way. Like Gus Cannon at the Star Wars cantina, Deivert’s nu blues just might be setting the course for the next generation. Wild stuff that cooks and works throughout.

SCOTT ELLISON/Walkin’ Through the Fire: Another example of how the record business has fallen apart. This cat played with Gatemouth Brown forever, co-writes with Clapton’s keyboard player and he still has to make records in his basement. A stripped down blues rocker that plays like he’s serious but doing it for fun, college kids in a beer joint will know exactly what’s going on here---a hot heavy, bluesy guitar slinger to get messed up to on quarter beer night. Hard hitting stuff that’s fun for kids of all ages out to really enjoy the night.

THE KLEZMATICS/Live at Town Hall: This double live cd celebrates the crews 25th anniversary. In that time, they’ve done as much as the punks in defining what it is to be an underground sensation, and they’ve been around longer than most. Taking ethnic music to new heights, this tour de force celebration kicks off the real celebration that is going to run for a few months. If you somehow haven’t experienced them yet, this is an experience that takes the music beyond the music and into performance. A solid bet if you want to expand your horizons or if you just want to have a good time. Well done.

MITCHELL FORMAN/Sing Along With Mitch: The well traveled piano man that can back everyone from Wayne Shorter to Al Jerreau draws the spotlight to himself on this set where he’s the accompanist to a diverse bunch of singers, but who’s adding the coloration to who here? The song choices are mostly unconventional and the vocal choices to give voice are unconventional as well. Taking it to church more often than not here, Forman gets the long needed busman’s holiday to remind you he’s a cat that has to be acknowledged. Certainly outside the lines, this is a set for anyone pissing and moaning about how there’s no real music being made these days. Their ears will be opened in fine style.

MARTIN MORETTO QUINTET: Yep, another one of those New York cats that’s played everything with everyone and you don’t know him by name but it’s a sure bet you’ve heard his sound. A jazz guitarist with a different take on South American sounds since he’s from Argentina, this comes on like a dandy after hours set where the drinks are cold and the vibe is on the chill out side. A solid debut and one of the top jazz guitar dates to come around this year as well.

PHILLIP GIBBS/The Petroleum Age: He covers different ground that his predecessor Texas troubadours, but this Austin writer is prepared to take his place as next in line, folkie division. A writer with a really great pen who isn’t afraid to use it to color outside the lines with his content, Gibbs is one meaty writer that knows how to deliver some killer verses. A great find for folk fan on the lookout for something new.

ROGER DAVIDSON/On the Road of Life: A piano man with a sense of wonder hooks up with Frank London, Andy Statman and a few other genre hitters to kick out a wild Klezmer date that is certainly going to reside on the top of Klezmer Top 10 list for quite a while. Throwing an audio party that could even get the biggest xenophobe to tap his toe, once this party gets started, you’re lucky if it slows down enough just to let you catch your breath. Wild stuff that reminds you what energy is all about as it’s high octane all the way.

Volume 34/Number 356
October 23, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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