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MATTHEW MONFORT/Sympathetic Serenade: Digital ep only release of killer guitar improv on a hybrid guitar. Ostensibly a recording that didn't fit the format of a full length release, anyone whose ever been taken with the inventions of Fahey, Basho etc when they wander off the beaten, song structured path will enjoy this instrumental, raga flavored diversion. Not a piece that's clever just for the sheer sake of it, the hard core will groove to this head trip rhapsody. A fine work that extends the guitar vocabulary

GARY GULMAN/No Can Defend: The late night and cable denizen finds the sweet spot by becoming an unabashedly Jewish Greg Girardo. Taking ruthless slashes at the mundane that is so mind numbing you stop noticing the collective, cumulative pain in the ass that it all is, Gulman gets you back in touch with the pain of it all and brings on the laughs. Libraries, Netflix cues, over bearing parents and the whole rest of the thing, he makes it funny. Why ignore it when you can get so many good laughs out of it? He's really hitting his stride and he's light years ahead of where he was on "Last Comic Standing". Check it out.

GERALD ALBRIGHT-NORMAN BROWN/24-7: When the flawless and faultless guitar man and sax man team up for their first collaboration, the result is an upbeat, bright sounding soul jazz date that simply hit's the right notes. Adding feeling to their vast base of chops, this set easily shows how they've won their awards and accolades--and will continue to do so. A tasty, summer sounding set, it's in the pocket and a winner throughout. Well done.

ERIN BOHEME/What a Life: I didn't realize she was just a kid when she made her debut 5 years ago. Hmm, more people should have paid attention. Or it might be a good thing they didn't. This time out, Boheme makes more than a pretty sounding record, she makes a record that sounds like she wants it. So achingly sensual, it almost makes a disconnect to see this is produced by Michael Buble and powered by his back up band. The anti Alanis/Fiona etc, this song cycle was written and chosen with songs to reflect Boheme's alleged romantic misadventures over the last 5 years showing that the young ‘uns still have angst but are outletting it in different directions this generation. This is right up there with the early Joni Mitchell albums for raw intensity and long lastingness. Killer stuff that finds Boheme breaking out in so many directions you'll be bowled over by the energy alone. And then there's the music....Hot stuff.

SAMITE/Trust: The African kalimba ace moves his sound and career in a new direction with this soundtrack for the pic "Addiction Incorporated". The trust part comes about as he's opened himself up to working and playing well with others and letting other players play parts he normally would have played himself. Sounding like something Paul Winter should have stumbled across by now, kalimba is front and center knocking you out right away with what a charming sound the little hand instrument makes---particularly when in the right hands. With a little too much pepper in the mix to be a trance session, Samite opens up a whole new world beat room of African music that really charms as it cooks. Fun stuff adult ears will get immediately when on the prowl for something really different. Check it out. While it might not be for everyone, it's a natch for those it's for.

DENNY ZEITLIN/Wherever You Are-Midnight Moods for Solo Piano: Zeitlin has always in been august musical company throughout his career whether as a leader or sideman. Now in his 70s, he turns the spotlight purely on himself. After all is said and done, he's a late night saloon piano player at heart and that's why he has that jazzbo hump---it's not from carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, it's from hitting the keys late into the night. He sneaks a few of his own in but mostly, this is a late night set before closing time with inventions on well known chestnuts. And now we see another, very personal side of the good doctor who has the best prescription for chasing away the blues. Just to be clear, it's late night piano, not whorehouse piano---which we'd certainly love to hear as his next solo release. Well done throughout.

Volume 35/Number 219
May 28, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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