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JEFF HAMILTON TRIO/Sparkle: One of the most dexterous drummers around leads his own trio through a set that sounds suspiciously like swinging, old man jazz but is really as in the moment as you can get. The kind of MVP that has proved over and over how he can and will play anything, this set gets the blood boiling, in a good way, and is loaded with nothing less than first class good vibes. Simply a stunning slab of jazzbo deluxe.

CHLOE BRISSON/Blame It On My Youth: At an age when her contemporaries are auditioning for "American Idol", Brisson is hanging out with a bunch of well seasoned jazzbos that add the special sauce to any session, and giving it her all on a collection of tunes these cats could play in their sleep. Fun stuff that isn't afraid to chart it's own course, Brisson sounds and feels like she has a bright future in the deliverance of this smashing debut that's easily wise beyond it's years. Well done.

JOEL DASILVA & The Midnight Howl: A modern master of the frat boy blues, this white boy could have opened for Otis Day & the Knights without missing a step. A solid guitar slinger that plays with passion and fire, the gang on board with him knows the ropes, when to tear it up and when to cool it down. A well measured performance that is a sure fire party starter.

MARK SHERMAN/LA Sessions: Milt Jackson spoiled us and we've always been a sucker for vibes, but we really like it when the vibes swing. Sherman vibes up a good time on familiar tunes with first call players he's always wanted to work with a proceeds not to waste a note, or a penny of studio time, in turning in a first call set that smokes in an old man jazz kind of way, because of all the bopping accents, and is a good time throughout. Anyone who's tastes lie to the right of hard core fusion is going to have a swinging, fine time here. Yeah, we'll say it---this is loaded with good vibes.

DEUTER/Reiki Healing: Except for one cut, this is a virtual Deuter's greatest hits that cover the musical realm of touchless massage. A nice, mind melting collection tailored for healing arts or chilling out, this warm, impressionistic, neo-classical date merrily lifts the mind out of it's shell and carries it away for a little over an hour on delightful flights of fancy. Solidly stacked and a great introduction to his work.

HIROE SEKINE/After the Rainfall: Not to be confused with Hiromi, which I know a few of you will do since Sekine is Eastern and plays piano enlisting some high profile cats along the way. A delightfully easy going record that combines Brazilian vibes with smooth jazz and a cocktail hour vibe, Sekine builds upon her debut, also produced by Russell Ferrante and propels herself smack dab into the middle of the smooth/lite jazz front ranks. A well done set that easily powers the chill out lounge in your mind.

CHRIS STANDRING/Electric Wonderland: The smooth jazz guitarist shows that auspicious debuts can be successfully followed up as he checks in here with a date that falls between new age and smooth jazz with one foot landing on the better parts of both. A tasty mood setter of a date that goes down easy and goes down well, genre fans will be spreading the word on this one to all their friends in need of a dandy audio tonic that is sure to lower the blood pressure without putting anyone to sleep. A winner throughout.

PAUL BROWN/Funky Joint: There is something to be said for doing things your own way without major label interference--and smooth jazz guitarist Brown shows he knows how to use that freedom well. It doesn't hurt that he can pick up the phone and call a few pals, like Bob James, Euge Groove, Boney James and others. A gold standard kind of moving easy date, there's enough funk and R&B lurking at the edges and bubbling under that this is what any self respecting yuppie would want complimenting the vibe at any warm weather deck party. A fine example of the glorious sound of pros at play.

Volume 35/Number 95
February 3, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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