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HAMILTON de HOLANDA QUINTETO/Brasiliano 3: If you've been watching deHolanda's career blossom over the last few years, you won't be surprised with how good and ground breaking this new set is. Accompanied by some young lions he is mentoring, tradition is blown off the rails as deHolanda takes his place as one of the few that is actually adding new musical vocabulary to the sound. Utterly engrossing throughout, this Brazilian/world jazz set is must hearing for the discerning, adult listener that will be over joyed to encounter real music with a strong pulse that takes him somewhere new. Hot stuff.

ALBERT CASTIGLIA/Living the Dream: How can you not love a white boy, guitar shredder with the blues that was the band leader for Junior Wells when he should have been chasing cheerleaders? Talk about Up in Heah! Castiglia shreds like the pro that he is, easily peeling off riffs that just don't quit. He must have been born in the back seat of a car behind road house to have such high octane blues blasting threaded into his DNA. Killer stuff that genre fans will eat up barehanded. Check it out, he's the real deal.

AZIZ ANSARI/Dangerously Delicious: I must have been late to the party. Two years ago when Ansari came out with his first record, he seemed like this funny guy that came out of nowhere. Since then, he's been everywhere. With the audio portion of his new stand up special, Ansari has gotten more professional, as opposed to slicker, and will keep you laughing so hard and so long that your sides never hurt this bad after running too much. A non stop laugh riot, Ansari keeps it coming, keeps it fresh and will have you wondering how he comes up with all the stuff---especially since it sounds like real life gone just a little bit wrong. He doesn't repeat himself but Harris is back and so are some new observations on R. Kelly. Certainly one of the funniest cats around.

NICKODEMUS/Moon People: Amos ‘n; Andy fans will be glad to know that Lightnin has kept active all these years the show has been off the air, currently surfacing as a killer dj and one of the original hosts of the Turntables on the Hudson parties that kept a funky side of New York front and center. Bringing world beat to electro funk, Nickodemus serves up multi-culti party music for young people that have an easier time crossing boundaries than their parents. A wide ranging, accessible set, don't be surprised if you hear this blaring out of the fashion section of department stores, he has done commercials for Apple. Commercial without being lifeless, this is a wonderful ear opener that gets the blood flowing nicely. Check it out.

TOULOUSE ENGELHARDT/Toulousology: Who would have thought this mid 70s acolyte of John Fahey's who favored a dead Felix the Cat logo would be around to celebrate a 35th anniversary of ‘definitive guitar soli'--particularly since he's one of the last of that crew to still be standing or active. If you love that Kottke/Fahey thing and you haven't been surfing through the outputs of the micro labels over the years, now is the time to grab hold of this vibe. A cult fave of the real acoustic guitar insiders, sit and marvel at how he can turn Bach into the "Blind Watchmaker" and his other inventions that could only have been launched from a certain time and place. Wonderful stuff for the real acoustic guitar fan.

THE GERSWIN'S PORGY AND BESS/New Broadway Cast Recording: Dear Ms. McDonald, Broadway fans everywhere salute you for having the nads we don't and walking away from two years of network paychecks to be involved in such a high water mark artistic statement. Since "Private Practice" will be off the air in 13 weeks anyway, and it almost didn't make it through this season, some of these economics are academic, but you still have to be admired for stepping up. From the first time you open your mouth on "Summertime", it's more than clear you made all the right decisions, and that we are all the richer for it. It's not that this performance is an updating or a modernization, it's just the original brought forward with current techniques that bring out every nuance. One of those very much a last word recording on the matter, this is the definitive recording of the work. And by the way Audra, you is my Bess now. A masterful presentation that deserves all the awards and accolades that come it's way. As much a piece of Americana as anything you could get from Buddy Miller or T-Bone Burnett, anyone with a somewhat sophisticated palette should make hearing this a priority. Special thanks to producer Tommy Krasker for reminding us they just don't make them like this anymore.

CURUMIN/Arrocha: When you have a Spanish/Japanese lineage and are living in Brazil, digging the music and culture, you are sure to wind up putting your own spin to samba and tropicalista. Curumin doesn't disappoint in that department. Part of a new wave of artists that break from the past while honoring it, this is a fine set of now music for now people that brings hip hop to the party where it dances in the electro funk room next to samba with ease. A nice bridge of old and new, this is a smoking set throughout that the college age world beater will be bringing home and trying to turn his parents on to. It won't be hard for the arthritics to get in the groove, for a while at least. Check it out.

MARIA NECKAM/Unison: Is an art chick really an art chick if she's actually a foreigner and just doing what comes naturally? Perhaps that's just another riddle wrapped in just another enigma shrouded in another mystery. In her travels from Austria to Amsterdam to New York, the restless spirit has really dug in the crates finding 600 year old poetry to set to music. With all the quirky moves in words and music that make art chicks so desirable to impressionable young men, Nackam enlists some carefully chosen young jazzbos with names and sympathetic ears to bring her visions to fruition. A pick hit for the left leaning college kid with outside the box sensibilities.

Volume 35/Number 211
May 20, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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