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CHRIS CORTEZ/Aunt Nasty: We think Cortez is a mighty fine guitarist but when we ripped the mail open, we had high hopes for the Aunt Nasty in the center of the cover in big letters, along with her image. What Latin jazz reimaging of jazz and Disney classics has to do with Aunt Nasty, we don't really know, but we enjoyed the cover and the music. Finding that keyhole where a chestnut can be rewarmed successfully with new flavor added, this is a delightful left leaning jazz guitar date that opens your ears to new possibilities. A sure bet for the adventurous.

CHRIS HOPKINS PRESENTS DAN BARRETT'S INTERNATIONAL SWING PARTY V. 1 (4508); V. 2 (4509)/Tour 2010 Live!: A bunch of international jazz cats that all seem to have gotten together through an association with Arbors Jazz get their passports stamped for a get together in various places in Germany to jam on old and old timey tunes taking a lot of jazz back to the root. The kind of players that really blossom in a live setting away from the show biz trappings of the record making process, nobody steps on anybody else's toes and the playing is one of those rare treats throughout. A delightfully swinging pair of discs, available separately, you can jump in any place and have a fine time. Wonderful stuff that's sure to give you that blissful smile of enjoyment as you just sink into the music and let it do it's thing. Killer stuff throughout.

BOMBAY ROYALE/You Me Bullets Love: A totally nuts record a bunch of pomo smart asses on a mission. Just like 70s porno music is getting revered here in the underground, these cats are out to revive 70s Bollywood soundtrack music when everything about the film making process there was over the top. Music for the film noir spaghetti western in your mind, these are actual soundtrack tunes that have been taken over the top, over the top of then replacing it with the now. Tell your non believing friends it's surfadelic stuff, that'll be what it takes to get them hooked on the nuttiness here. Wild music for anyone with a smirking sense of humor firmly rooted in the now.

DIANA ROSS/Icon: 11 well chosen cuts from Ross's solo career sum things up nicely at a bargain price for those who are late to the party and want to get in some key cuts that go back 40 years, many of which went toward affirming Ross's place as an icon of sorts. With a few exceptions from the 80s, this is defining 70s pop all the way.

MICHAEL JACKSON/Icon: With these solo sides under his belt, there was no doubt Jackson would be well on his way toward becoming an icon, the only question remaining was just how big. Defining kiddie pop for a generation well before he grow up and his voice didn't change, Jackson was owning the charts under his own name while still one of the Brothers (get it?). A well stacked trip down memory lane that will be enjoyable for a great segment of the aging population looking to call back their youth.

MOUNTAIN MUSIC PROJECT-A Musical Odyssey from Appalachia to Himalaya: We know pretty well the connection between hillbilly and Celtic music, but Tim O‘Brien and his pals take it a step farther here by connecting hillbillies to Timbuktu. And it works. Because he's Tim O'Brien---with a couple of real traditional pals at the helm. It certainly doesn't sound like anything from the British Isles and it's a pretty wild trip for world beaters out for new kicks from old pals they trust. Maybe all folk music really does come from the same place.

ORRIN EVANS/Flip the Script: With a new trio, Evans plays piano like it's a bebop instrument using it to anchor a straight ahead date with a lot of modern jazz overtones. Left leaning but not from the church basement, this is seasoned, high octane piano trio music that goes from racket to joyful noise to pulse pounding. Sitting down jazz for those not afraid to push the pedal to the metal, it's loaded with the stuff hipsters should really be appreciating instead of images of what they are appreciating. Hot stuff.

RALPH BOWEN/Total Eclipse: The kind of New York sax man that's a jazzbo's jazzbo, he's a real player that doesn't show up to mess around. His third for the label finds him continuing to consolidate his position at the head of the class. A straight up, straight ahead date that's in the tradition and in the pocket, there's some serious playing here that's going to grab you by the ear and not let go. Well done

Volume 35/Number 195
May 4, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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