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MICHEL DALBERTO/Schubert Impromptus and Ecossaises: If you want to know what fun and games were like in the early 1800s, Dalberto takes you back to a collection of short pieces Schubert wrote for dancers. This doesn't always sound like the sound of kicking up your heels, but things were a lot more formal back then. Some of these were not published until many years later. Dalberto doesn't disappoint the Schubert fan with his piano work and a good time will be had by all, especially if you like to dance formally, or listen like you are.

HELENE GRIMAUD/Rachmaninov: A reissue from early in Grimaud's career, this portrait of the artist as a young pianist shows that all the goods things that have come to pass were in the cards a long time ago. Holding her own with an orchestra in tow, Grimaud finds the darkness in Rachmaninov's works written through depression and brings out all the drama there in. A quite cinematic recording, this is what you want to play when you are in the mood for some real drama and all the new movies are for kids. Check it out if you missed it the first time around.

GOOD LOVELIES/Let the Rain Fall: So many groups have tried this. They've had pleasing results but nothing like this. The Good Lovelies are the top shelf of sunshine folk/pop that mixes a nostalgic sound. good vibes, smashing vocal work and an over all feeling that just makes you feel good. With a synchronicity that Sting only hinted at, this trio is on the money throughout with something simple and joyful that'll take you back to that place you want to go to, even if it only existed in your mind. Killer stuff.

SANDY DENNY/The North Star Grassman and the Ravens: After a multi staged career that was off to auspicious beginnings, Denny launched her official solo career with a set that seems would be the high point of her solo career. Influential as all hell and the launch pad of "Crazy Woman Blues", which cut closer to the bone that we realized, Denny fused folk, rock and more into this set that showed great promise for the girl just barely into her 20s. The original set is expanded with demos, BBC air checks and goodies that you would have had to dig into the 18 cd box that really covered her career to get. For most fans, this set from 40 years ago will cover the water front nicely and show that she was the fount from which a lot of distaff rock flowed. Who knows where the time goes indeed? Certainly no more dated than the Zep tracks this folkie sang on around the same time.
533405 (Island)

JIM CAPALDI/Dear Mr. Fantasy: When you think of Traffic, you think of Steve Winwood and Dave Mason. Even though they sold a lot of records, they sold them on United Artists in the States and were looked at as underachievers. For some reason, you don't think of Capaldi that much and he was right in the front line of the group. He also had a pretty nice run of solo albums for Polygram family labels, which made it easy to put this collection together, before going label slumming and eventually off the rails. It wasn't because of his personal life though. He was married to the same woman forever and they raised their kids. And he hung with the A lister rockers throughout. Maybe all this stability is what kept him seemingly like a journeyman. This four cd compendium could only have been generated in Europe. It's a collection that needed to be made but the spreadsheet bean counters over here would have never let this escape from the vaults. A lavish collection that gives finally gives the late rocker his due, this collection does a great job of peeling away the last 40 years and letting you know the cat you never really go to know, but really did. Hats off.
5333997 (Island)

DeBARGE/Time Will Reveal-The Complete Motown Albums: Time will play those tricks on your mind. They only made 4 albums for Motown before going the way of all things? Expanded here with remixes and unreleased tracks, this family band certainly knew how to deliver the right commercial soul sound at just the right time. Things were changing heavily, but they were pop stars in their hearts and they knew the right way to serve a fast ball right down the middle. Three discs recap it all nicely and in a funny bout of symmetry, the last track on the last original album was the one that launched Diane Warren. Contemporary soul fans will have fun here.
15820 (Motown) (Limited Edition)

BRYAN & THE HAGGARDS/Still Alive and Kickin' Down the Walls: You didn't think those cats at Hot Cup were turning their backs on jazz and going country did you? They can capably handle country as well as western swing, but where ever they go, their bring their pomo edge and sense of humor. This affectionate rave up on Merle Haggard's work through something of a jazz prism is a sonic hoot that real Hag fans will misunderstand completely. Of course, if your that Billyberg/Bucktown kind of cat, toss some sawdust on the floor and get to stomping. Fun stuff.

THE PUPPINI SISTERS/Hollywood: The gals are going to wow the Stagedoor Johnnys one more time. Taking their fascination with the 40s through a pomo lens but without the irony, they sound like cartoon music. Mixing up a frothy brew that straight guys can enjoy with a minimum of embarrassment, this is nutty stuff that could only have come from the French jazz division of a multi national corporation. I guess straight guys can enjoy it because these gals is dames. When you're ready to let your cool step aside, you can really have a gas with this massively subversive set that bends your ears in direction you aren't even aware of. Check it out. It's that something different you are looking for.

Volume 35/Number 20
November 20, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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