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SUSANNE CIANI/Lixiviation: Speaking as someone who got an autographed, original album copy of "Seven Waves" in the early 80s, this exploration into Ciani's deep, deep back pages is one for the real collector. Rounding up her early commercials, explorations and other synthings on instruments that no longer even exist, this is what the early days of post Wendy Carlos electronic music sounded like. And so, we are indulged in the sound of life on other moons.

JOSH GINSBURG/Zembla Variations: The Brooklyn bass ace with the world wide reputation finally steps out with his solo debut in which he based the compositions around several interlacing flights of fancy that make sense only if you know from whence they really sprung, but they aren't important to enjoying this disc. A traditional groover on this go round, Ginsburg and his pals make a solid, listening date that goes the distance. Tailor made for zoning out with headphones on, there's so much going on here you wouldn't realize the wheel from which it all spins is somewhere in the mix rather than front and center. Wonderful stuff throughout.

PRISTINE/Detoxing: A bunch of Nords looking to kick it out on American blues seem to have a load of Nord death metal lurking in their vibe. When they make more of an effort to get cross cultural, they come close to what the mainstream blues fan is looking for but otherwise, this is a fairly left leaning blues date that genre spliced a little too aggressively for anything but younger ears looking to explore.

TRIOSENCE/Where Time Stands Still: A bunch of German jazzbos that have been around winning recognition since 1999 with Seattle vocalist Sara Gazarek front and center make their first run for the roses in the states as a unit. Opening with a sprightly loping sound that brings Gazarek into the spotlight for a turn she doesn't easily relinquish for the rest of the way through the disc, this is a fun lite jazz with vocals outing. Pleasing and pleasant, there's nothing here that's going to change the world, unless your world has some bad vibes that need to be chased away, pronto. Check it out, brighten your day.

JOSH LEVINSON SEXTET/Chauncey Street: Left leaning New York jazz from the old school by a Brooklyn kid that knows how to play the funk out of his horn. A heady statement by a crew that has clearly shown up to play, this is a solid date that mainstream groovers will take to heart. Well done.

JOSE GARCIA/Songs for a Lifetime Live: An old school crooner that entered class long after the old school graduated, Garcia, a singing guitarist leads a swinging combo on the old faves. Loaded with war horse standards from the classic songbook, no matter where he's from, he's got Vegas lounge in his blood and is proud to let it flow. A sweet adult listening date that has a solid you-are-there feel which really helps it get it's point across. Fun stuff.

ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM/Walkabout: An impressionistic, instrumental date by a player reflecting on his time in New York before moving back to Australia. Hey, you there, quit rolling your eyes. Certainly it's sitting down jazz/instrumental work but it has a load of magic in the music that can captivate some of the most savage beasts. Deceptively simple, this is a charming work that isn't background music although it's welcome anywhere it wants to go. At times, it seems like it's two shakes away from being a modernistic "Peter and the Wolf".

SEVERIN BROWNE/Lucky Man: Once upon a time, Browne was one of the few white artists signed to Motown, right around the time his brother was tearing up the California sound. No matter how much you have on the ball, the pop merry go round gave him a hard bar to rise over. Like other affable 70s singer/songwriters that trod the back 40 no matter what breaks were given to them and are still around, Browne knows the singer/songwriter groove well and delivers a solid outing that stands nicely on it's own. A nice example of the growth of seeds that were planted when mellow wasn't a bad word. Check it out.

Volume 35/Number 96
February 4, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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