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ERIC DOLPHY/Out There- Looking Ahead: One of those mysteries we'll never solve now is just who in the jazz police Dolphy pissed off that kept them from giving him the high sign and pushed him to the margins as well. With music no where as wacky as his album covers and titles might suggest, here we find him in one of his seminal albums backed by Roy Haynes, Ron Carter and George Duvivier. Perhaps two of them can drop a line and clue us in on the Dolphy knock. In all it's various reissue incarnations, we've never been able to tell why the knock. Certainly progressive for it's time and still sounding timely today, this is a fine set for left of center jazzbos. Paired with a Ken McIntyre session that had Dolphy along for the ride with Walter Bishop and Art Taylor, McIntyre is all but forgotten today, but this killer session where he approaches Dolphy's sound from another direction, is well worth saving from oblivion. Left leaning jazzbos should sign up here for a real treat.

LES McCANN TRIO/The Shout: Back in the day, every label and every city had a jazz piano trio with a signature hit. Originally released on Pacific Jazz, the title track was the one that was bringing them in for McCann in the pre-civil rights era. Clearly able to hold his own with Ramsey Lewis and Gene Harris, the LA version of same knew how to hold the crowd the way the other two did as well. Fun stuff from the back pages that nicely gives you a second chance to have been there.

ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ/Sound s of Space: A top shelf, young Cuban jazz piano player who's debut is co-produced by Quincy Jones, for an indie label no less, makes music about as far away from what the title of this set would lead you to believe. A hard changing player that has a firm grip on the wheel as a leader, this is an auspicious and tasty debut that will have you ranking it along some of your fave piano jazz outings. Smart throughout, with one foot in the present and one foot in the past, it's making the best of both worlds and pointing to a brighter jazz tomorrow. Check it out.

CHET BAKER/Plays and Sings Ballads for Lovers: Certainly a seminal collection if you are one of the ones that think Baker had it going on with his vocals. Including "My Funny Valentine" and taking it up several notches farther, the songs, the personal, the vibe, it's all here adding up to a pretty flawless collection. Recorded at times and places stretched across the 50s, this is a concise but fat collection of prime Baker in his prime. Easily a portrait of an icon that never goes out of style.

CINEMA CINEMA/Shoot the Freak: Speed punk ep from Brooklyn. Nuff said--there's only three songs.

JOHN DICROSTA/Multiple Character Disorder: The voice of the Pillsbury Dough Boy could have benefited by a better sound set up on this club recording back on his home turf in Florida. Other than that, it's a laugh riot. The kind of guy you envied when he sat in the back row of the classroom and would schpritz about anything, whether under his breath or not, Dicrosta's riffs here hit the money and the ambient sound sounds like he's carrying on at his own frat party. One of the future bad boys of comedy you can check out now, and enjoy the ride.

KAYHAN KALHOR/I Will Not Stand Alone: Simply one of those OMG! recordings. While there is no denying this is an ethnic/world beat recording, it comes from such a place so deep in Kalhor's soul that you can't help but be touched no matter what you like to listen to and how far this set might be from that point. Summoning every ounce of instrumental mastery, the three time Grammy nominee summons forth a performance that will not be denied. Killer stuff that opened eared adults will probably cherish as it takes them to places they only seen in dreams.

A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS: Betcha Kal Penn isn't saying Ďand I left the white House for this". The new installment in this later day Cheech & Chong franchise is as solid as Disney is with their "Buddies" franchise. The two high pals reunite after growing apart and find themselves in the big apple looking for a new Christmas tree. Of course this being the 3D, extra dope blu ray edition, it all is expected to go up in a matter of smoke. Easy going high times for when you need a good laugh while cruising the Beavis zone.

Volume 35/Number 114
February 12, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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