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DAVID MAXWELL-OTIS SPANN/Conversations in Blue: Mostly a set of David Maxwell playing some killer, solo whorehouse piano, he also takes the opportunity to pull some 50 year tracks by his old pal Spann and uses technology to have them dueting even though Spann has been dead 40 years. They were pals a long time ago and the affection the younger piano man had for the older one is still well in evidence. Since we're always bitching about the lack of really good whorehouse piano records (or the lack of any whorehouse piano records), this fresh date has the snap and style that we always look for when searching the genre. You want to call it stride or barrelhouse, go ahead. We call it whorehouse and we love it. A must soundtrack for that after hours place in your mind. Well done.

ISAIAH B. BRUNT/EP: Here's a cat with a wild life story and a wild resume and after all this time, he's finally come out with his first recording under his own name and it's wild stuff. Sounding like an earnest Boston kid in the 60s trying to sound like a Texas bluesman, Brunt slings a mighty slide guitar and recalls something Dick Waterman or Sam Charters would have produced for Vanguard back in the day. Sounding very much like something that could have spun off Koerner Ray and Glover, if that's your sound this is up your alley. Whether you can dig the sound and vibe or not, this is one killer set.

LOUIS COLE & GENEVIEVE ARTADI/Think Thoughts: Two jazzbos, and their jazzbo pals, spin the dials for some killer techno that has more going for it than oontz oontz. Youth appeal rave music meant to be mixed, spliced and remixed, this is wild stuff for all night kids who grind their teeth the way their parents pounded brews. Nutty stuff that's sure to provide heat for the feet, if you're young enough.

SIA TOINO/My Life: There might be a techno producer at the helm, but this isn't so far removed from the Arfopop/Afropride of Miriam Makeba. Even when she's singing about sorrow (in her native tongue), it's an upbeat, soul cleansing sound. For the arm chair traveler that knows there's more to world beat than reggae and Celtic but doesn't want to go through the bother of getting a passport and dealing with airports, this world beat set will satisfy any antsy sweet tooth jonesing for a fix. Killer stuff throughout.

BOY WELLS/Blue Skies Calling: A shredder coming back to career life after a load of personal setbacks and tragedies, this cat that was well on his way shows he hasn't lost his way in the mean while. Ostensibly a Southern rocker, he genre blends a lot of stuff within a single song for a meaty, thick gumbo of a salmagundi that anyone with 70s rock in their veins will get and enjoy. A solid round of joyful kicking it out, this set was built for speed and comfort and delivers on all counts. A find well worth finding.

TONY JONES/Pitch, Rhythm and Consciousness: Free jazz fan Jones takes the retro nuevo step of offering his new album on vinyl or download but nothing in between. The music takes another tangent. He likes free jazz, but his vision of it isn't being a hell raiser. Rather than the speedball approach, he takes the tea pad approach. There isn't a lot of white space in the music, it's dense listening music all the way, but it's head music nonetheless. Can you imagine a Sun Ra/Alice Coltrane duet produced by Rick Braun? Then you've got the imagination to take on this left leaning date.

ANDERSON & ROE/When Words Fade: Steinway has done an admirable job of not releasing uptight, typical classical repertoire. This set by this piano duo finds them in classical crossover territory where they make Michael Jackson sound classical and Carmen sound pop (well, actually, that has been done quite a few times since the 50s). With a great touch, a fine sense of drama, timing and style, this duo brings the main course, cleanses the palette and serves a killer desert, all without you noticing the changes taking place. The kind of date you welcome to listen to and get lost in, we can only hope this duo isn't a one shot designed to help sell pianos. Wonderful stuff throughout.

DAVE KELLER/Where I'm Coming From: Whew! Blue eyed soul that sounds like it was made along the Hi/Stax/Muscle Shoals/Malaco axis by Delbert McClinton's illegitimate son----and this guy is from New England. A solid dose of all night, gut bucket, roadhouse soul that doesn't go home just because the sun is coming up. Give it a Google and see just how deep the soul chops on board on this set run. Simply a killer, this is the best Van Morrison record since Morrison found new age. And everything on here is a cover. Most of the songs have been forgotten, but they are tried and true and worth being revived--- just ask the writers like Mack Rice, Donnie Fritts, Arthur Alexander and the rest. Check it out!

Volume 35/Number 26
November 26, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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