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LURRIE BELL/The Devil Ain't Got No Music: Tom Dorsey and Tom Waits have compositions side by side on this traditional blues session so you know you should expect the unexpected. Well, not really. Long time Chicago blues man Bell melds the blues and the church into a sacredly profane set that rocks the house showing how much fire power can come from a small army. Funded by an arts grant giving Bell the freedom to put his own vision out there with no compromise, this set is a must for anyone that misses the old timers that are slipping away. In the tradition and in the pocket. PS: the art work on the label is a gas.

CATHY SEGAL-GARCIA & YOONSEUNG CHO/Bohemian: Veteran art chick meets up with a sympathetic piano man for a jazzy outing that flies under the radar in left field. Even though it's jazz, it expands on the divorcée rock Dory Previn was pioneering in the 70s. Absolutely fun music for that time in your life when you finally realize that nobody cares what you do.

FUNK ARK/High Noon: Nothing like following up an auspicious debut with a new set that defies sophomore slump. Mixing up a rocket fuel of Afrobeat and funk, this is a killer, uncut dose of pure bomb. The party gets started and it never finishes as this gang that wants to be musicians as opposed to stars finds their way through the galaxy with the route to real stardom. Smoking full tilt stuff that's on the money throughout that's so funky you'll be amazed there's no James Brown or George Clinton anywhere near it. Killer stuff throughout.

BAD WEATHER CALIIFORNIA/Sunkissed: Next wave punk rockers that have been through the multi culti meat grinder have ears like flies have eyes as they mixmaster all the fun stuff they've been exposed to along the way whether Afropop, the Minutemen or whatever. Powered by the sun dappled sunstroke that comes from playing and attending raves in the desert, punk parents just ain't going to know what to make of this when their teens listen to this as the sound of their rebellion. They'll think the kids are listening to Beach Boys acid out takes (at first) and wonder where they went wrong as parents. Kids, let the fun begin!

NILS WEINHOLD/Shapes: German guitar jazzbo that knows how to wrangle music scholarships issues a new date with loads of downtown sensibility mixed with some mainstream and commercial moves tucked into the expected angularity that comes with this kind of background. Well versed at making sitting down jazz that would be at home as the soundtrack to indie and experimental films, this is right down the middle for college juniors with goatees looking to appear a touch wise beyond their years thinking it will finally get them the cheerleader. Lots of luck guys, but at least here's some sounds you can enjoy while envying the old timers that got to smoke Galousies in the back of the coffeehouse before the whole world became a no smoking zone.

ROMAIN COLLIN/The Calling: A formidable piano man in his own right, Jon Weber is impressed with Collin and that lends some credence to moving this debut to the top of the pile. With a deep flair for the dramatic and a sense of the world around him (musically) Collin, a new French piano man that is grabbing the jazz world by the ear ought to get a hold of your ears too, if you are a sitting down jazz fan. With unabashed classical overtones, this cinemascopic songsmith manages to tickle all the senses with just ten fingers and two co-horts. A dazzling debut sure to be welcomed by the contemporary, open eared jazzbo.

KATE McGARRY/Girl Talk: The jazzy folk singer takes a little different tack this time around paying tribute to the woman singers that have inspired her, and as can be expected, she veers well off the beaten path to pay tribute to those who labored in the vineyard but didn't always get a real turn in the sun. It's new if it's new to you and you can be certain this record was made with love. A sweet voyage of discovery to places that are known but not all that well.

DJ JUAN/Bondi Blaster-Lo‘ Juimo!: In Argentine culture they call sampling garbage picking and this cat's sampling cuts and pastes some crazy stuff into what would have been collage audio back in the 70s. Mixing samples and found sounds, this is south of the border wackiness that shows pushing the envelope to be a global phenomenon. Younger tastes with a Latin/Hispanic bent will appreciate this sound of the city of tomorrow.

Volume 35/Number 127
February 25, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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