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ANNE WALSH/Go: A jazzy woman approaching a certain age, she knows how to do the cutie pie thing without tripping herself up and mix that will solid jazz backing for a tasty confection that's sweet without rotting your teeth---or your mind. Pulling in tracks from all quadrants, she's not doing the diva thing, not doing the retro neuvo thing and generally carving out her own time zone in a place you want to be. Moldy figs will grouse and easy jazz fans will wonder where they can get more. It's that good.

LIAM CLANCY/The Wheels of Life: There was once a time when Liam was the youngest member Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, the biggest thing to come out of the UK before Beatles. Now Liam is the last one gone and the Clancy's are all but forgotten but before he shuffled off, he left us with this delightful lion in winter set that doesn't offer us yet another version of "The Dutchman" or try to recreate the hearty and hellish ways of old. Focusing on storytelling and commanding the spotlight on his own, he was still cherry picking the best of the new material by new writers in his 70s and delivering a performance that could defend itself again time and tide. This is one of the guys that wrote the book and set the bar and it's well worth checking out what is probably his last original studio recording. A well done, well rounded adult listening date that folkies will love.

NOAH KAPLAN QUARTET/Descendants: Fluid improvisers that like to deliver their jazz as art with a capital A.

ROY TREVINO: Tasty blues rock from producer Jim Gaines that has roadhouse written all over it. From Texas it came with a bunch of pros in tow, this is simply a solid good time from a genre that seems to be getting a second wind. Well done.

SCOTT ADAMS/How's That Underling Thing Working Out for You?: Just like Jerry McGuire had that dopey single mother at hello, Adams will have you at the front cover of his latest "Dilbert" year long retrospective. Even if you follow him daily on the net or in the newspaper, you really don't get the full effect of what's taking place here unless you attack this at once like a novel or a non-fiction. As the art work doesn't change and the actions are pretty consistent, "Dilbert" can stand as a timeless strip. However, when Adams catches the zeitgeist the way he did in 2010, all you can do is hold on as this workplace classic careens you through a fun house ride that never ends. The workplace war has never been articulated like it's been in this last year's worth of strips. If you're employed and don't telecommute, you'll wonder where Adams is hiding the camera in your workplace. The lad has been really re-energized.

Volume 35/Number 34
December 7, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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