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MARSHALL GILKES/Sound Stories: This rising trombone star writes for the big band in his head and makes the rest of his small group believe it. And you will too. A full on kind of player, Gilkes jazz is clearly top down, cruising music for careening around the suburban edges of the city where the night sometimes just needs to be shaken up a bit. Solid work that never hit's a wrong note, Gilkes is a young lion that's going to be making himself well known if he keeps this stuff up. Pretty much a mainstream groover's paradise. Well done.

EMPEROR X/Western Teleport: If you ever wondered what a Six Degrees world beat session would sound like if it was made by American ears with a punky bent, this would be the answer to your question. College music all the way, done with the malcontent front and center.

DOS/Dos y Dos: Even punks like ambient music once in a while as they get older. This set is simply two bass players in a face off. It isn't a grudge match. If Mike Watt left his name off it, you would probably think this was some kind of new age/jazz/minimalist outing. Whether a personality piece of a strange bit of mind music, there's just something about it that doesn't let you write it off. Certainly not something for the hit parade, there's just something about it that really pings with the musical individualist. Check it out, if you dare.

SUSAN KREBS/Everything Must Change: Krebs has the latitude to make the music she wants to make and add her own special sauce as and when needed. Here we have an intimate, gutsy jazz vocal date where she isn't afraid not to hold back an emotion. Making it seem like she's doing what comes naturally, her latest is a side step away from her past outings and she once again shows that she can handle any facet of jazz singing.

JACOB DEATON/Tribulation: A hard charging jazz guitarist that knows how to let the other band members have their chance to shine, Deaton knows how to deliver the goods with an old man jazz edge. Straight ahead with high energy, this is sitting down jazz that almost dares you to get out of your seat. Some people don't know how to dial it back and some people just know how to keep bringing the hear. Deaton makes music you want to have handy when it's cold. Y'dig. Hot stuff you need to check out.

DAN WILENSKY/Back In the Mix: Even before you hear how good the music here is, it just hits you in the face that this is a clean, crisp recording with great attention to detail. Then the opening blast hits you full force. A sax man that's running so far ahead of the curve, this recording is so brilliant that I wish we did something cheesy like hand out stars so we could give this a four out of four. Purely hot contemporary jazz, Wilensky and his crew will thrill you from start to finish with an ear opening date that will leave you begging for more. Hot stuff throughout.

DAVID RUSSELL/The Grandeur of the Baroque: Oh, it's even becoming fruitless to call Russell the Chris Parkening of this generation. Russell continues to amaze even more with each new outing that we're getting the National Enquirer to verify he really is from outer space. A dazzling outing on some of the most fancy guitar pieces to ever hit a fret board, Russell stacks himself up against the masters of history and comes out their superior. Have we made the point that this is a killer classical guitar record where six strings and ten fingers provide more than enough to work with and take it over the top? Russell lays down the law with this magnificent recording that is sure to take it's place on many all time best lists. A winner throughout.

ADAM KROMELOW TRIO/Young Blood: What he does looks and feels like a jazz piano trio, but Kromelow seems to have bigger plans, or at least bigger eyes. A great debut that shows he waited until he was ready to make a statement with impact, this takes the traditional jazz piano trio and injects some rocket fuel. A high octane, high energy outing, the apple might not have fallen that far from the tree but the hypotenuse makes it seem like it's miles. This is the sound of unbridled youth that knows just what to do with that freedom to make the most of it. Check it out.

Volume 35/Number 113
February 11, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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