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HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO/Live at Yoshi's San Francisco: Hands down, Bobby Darin sounded like a perv on "Milord". Among the many wonderful things HCSF do is bring the song back to it's roots and make it sound like something completely different. There are a lots of Hot Clubs out there, but the lead singer here is a real Frenchy which adds a little extra special sauce to the mix. What she and the musicians bring to the party make this a contemporary take on what the original Hot Club was about, shaking off any attendant dust and letting the cabaret good times roll. Smart and sophisticated adult listening, this is a good example of why the Django/Stephane vibe has lasted so long and so well. This is a flat out good time that never ends.

MELVIN TAYLOR/Beyond the Burning Guitar: For a guy that's so well traveled, no one I know has heard of this guy. What a loss for our ears. So confident in his abilities, Taylor has released a double cd of his guitar work---and it is mind blowing. Sounding like himself throughout but showing he's lapped up everything from Hendrix to Paco deLucia, he is certainly the kind of cat you have to call a guitarist's guitarist. Even though the tracks vary from track to track, it almost comes on like listening to a guitar player channel on satellite radio and never puts you off. Getting this set sure makes me glad I'm on the right mailing lists, he's a stone cold killer all guitar fans should get to know. Don't miss it.

FFEAR/Mirage: The angular kind of stuff Zappa fans would call jazz, this improv crew knows how to play, but what they play isn't for everyone. Experimental throughout, it's certainly for the left leaning jazzbo with egghead tendencies.

THE COOKERS/Believe: The super group of jazzbos continues to roll along with a full head of steam on their latest where they take chances they didn't before and dig deeper into their back pages, uncovering roots that fashion has left to go fallow for a while. A hard core smoker of a date that finds them letting their influences, heroes and feelings really come to the fore, this is a full blooded, honest recording that is a top shelf sitting down jazz session that let's creative players play to their muses. Wild stuff that shows what happens when you ride the nexus out of the church basement.

REBECCA SULLIVAN/This Way, This Time: Finding her jazz voice while studying literature in Russia and then moving to Chicago, she got her hooks into the Chicago jazz vocal tradition putting out this record before moving on again later this year. A very personal guitar/vocal album with a varied set card, this is a fun, arty set that carries along on a sprightly charm you don't hear much of anymore. Quite the dandy diversion.

ADRIAN BENAVIDES/Same Time Next Life: A friend to German prog rockers as well as Donald Glover, Benavides debuts with an album about a father dealing with the death of a daughter. It sounds like hell in more ways than one and the music reflects that. Prog death metal? This is for the real hard core.

ZWELTON/Form: If heavy metal had a new age/ambient side, this is the place it would all meet up. Dark stuff from the back alleys of Berlin, anyplace you hear this music emanating from might be the next Columbine. Either that or you located the Goth kids on "South Park".

MARKUS REUTER/Kopfmensch: A career retrospective of Reuter. This set features him in the company of many of his august peerages. A guitar inventor as well as a King Crimson running mate, this set will open the ears of the egghead prog rocker that will always be too hip for the room.

Volume 35/Number 228
June 6, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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