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HOLLAND BAROQUE SOCIETY MEETS RACHEL PODGER/Antonio Vivaldi La Cetra: So here we have pure royalty of baroque violin hooking up with a crew that can hold their own with her. Tackling 12 Vivaldi concertos across two discs, this is simply a breath taking recording of masterful playing that will leave you feeling like a grown up for having listened to it. Beating all clichés into the ground so that only poseurs will ever try to resurrect them again, is either an ultimate or penultimate version of these works, sure to leave their mark for a long time to come. Dazzling with it's precision and quiet fire, this is how you bring 400 year old works back to life.

DAVID REINHARDT TRIO/Columbe: How bloody cool is that? Here this cat is Django's grandson, he plays guitar and he doesn't want to go into the family business (i.e. gypsy jazz). He's got his own vision of acoustic fusion and smooth jazz that hit's the mark. Whether on originals or covers, genes will out as he makes his own mark on the playing and shows that guitar playing is in his blood and on his DNA. A winning set throughout that has what it takes to become an old fave over time.

KAREN DALTON/1966: Another lost tape that predates Dalton's recording career, these kitchen table tapes find her giving voice to early works by Tim Hardin, Fred Neil and others continuing the seeds of her Village hipster ways even if this was recorded hundreds of miles away. Cementing her place as a white Billie Holliday, the faithful will prize this non-recording showing Dalton gathering her nerve for what would untimely be her long delayed debut. And if you want angst, this folkie shows the tortured artist effect by the barrel. She might be getting smaller in the rear view mirror but a freak folk appreciation explosion seems eminent.

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY-MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS/Beethoven Lenore Overture #3, Symphony No. 7: Technically played to perfection by SFO under Thomas' direction, the Lenore that Beethoven was finally satisfied with and his famed Symphony 7 are given a masterful and majestic treatment loaded with the drama, underplaying and equal bombast hat these works need delivered in the right measures at the right times. A sure fire treat for the mainstream classical fan always open to leading new interpretations of familiar repertoire, it's hard to walk away from this SACD with any sense of disappointment anywhere. This is the sound of all stars and pros at the top of their game. Well done

AL SHEARER--The Other Black Guy Running for President: Christopher Guest now has a street level competitor making mockumentaries that aren't laugh riots but are so dead pan and realistic that you have to be in on the joke before you catch on as to how funny it is. Hell, how funny everything is--but that's another diatribe for another time. A familiar face from "Punkd" BET and other popular media, we find him here taking his campaign for President to the streets. As subversively cynical as any hipster, this is a fine example of comedy being about telling your audience what they want to hear. A fine effort for multi culti times, Shearer's street cat trying to play it straight is a winner, and he takes as many real blows against the empire as any committed hippie did two generations back. If you really hate politicians and miss Jib Jab, this is clearly the missing métier in your sandwich. Well done.

JOURNEY 2-THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND: And that's why they call it acting. You get a bunch of people that aren't exactly known for family roles (even if they are kids or have cruised through the kids market), yet they band together to make a fine, family friendly pic. The kid from the first one is joined by The Rock, Vanessa Hudgens and Luis Guzman to take on a wild world of adverse nature in a thrill ride that has them trying to rescue the island's lone inhabitant and grab the booty before a combination of "Jurassic Park", "Treasure Island" and the revenge of Atlantis all conspire to wipe it all, and maybe them, off the face of the earth. A lot of rocky stuff, but nothing that will probably cause nightmares the kiddies, it's entertainment and it works. If you aren't an overly cynical adult, this can be good fun for the whole family--and if might even give your kids a message about the importance of sticking together and doing the right thing---and that would be worth twice the price of admission. Available in combo packs that include blu-ray, DVD and ultraviolet with the high tech versions of the program being as eye popping as possible. Check it out.

SHERLOCK HOLMES A Game of Shadows: In the late 80s/early 90s, movies didn't look right in the theater because the HBO money was factor in getting pics made and pics had to be made to look good on the 27 inch screen at home. A similar sea change is at work in changing the habits and tastes of the masses. Spectacle is the word for getting the people into the theaters, immersion is the word for getting the discs in the houses. This second spin for the new version of the Holmes gang doesn't have to be true to the Holmes legend, it just has to be splashy, and leave room for technology to allow star Robert Downey to sit around the TV with you and be your host guiding you through this pic. The thin plot is Moriarty screwing with everyone to gain world domination. Betcha the film makers thank god for public domain. Cloaking today's terrorism issues with turn of the 20th century trappings, Holmes and Watson contend with the evilest of bad guys this side of The Joker to keep the world safe for humanity. If you like eye popping spectacle and a light touch, this pic might just get you thinking about what's up with the hounds of the Baskervilles. Available in combo pack blu ray, dvd and ultraviolet versions.

Volume 35/Number 234
June 12, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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