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WILLIE McBLIND/Live Long Day: Now we're seeing a trend, as players with a few miles under their belts take their rocker and freek folk backgrounds, fuse it into a neo version of white blues, and come up with a wild sound aging hippies have somewhere in their bloodstreams. A very much left of center release, it's off beat, ragged charm is custom made for when the status quo will not work for you. Ten years ago, this would be music from a blues bar on Mars, in the suburbs, but now...Wild stuff that works nicely

HAROULA ROSE/So Easy: Lincolnwood, IL's own freek folk/sunshine popster comes in with a breather ep to hold the fans over until her second album is ready. As influenced by Francoise Hardy as much as Joan Baez, Rose recalls all the off beat lasses of the 70s that never made it but seemed to be in so many's hearts. A delightful bit of cotton candy that leaves a lot of room in our tummies for the next full lengther that'll probably leave us wanting more as well. Fun.

PEARL DJANGO/Eleven: Regional music continues to prevail as this Pacific Northwest gypsy jazz crew of long standing makes a great ‘how come nobody's heard of you' record that makes the rest of the country have to hustle to catch up. Having taken the trad approach to gypsy jazz as far as they can over the last two decades, this set finds them branching out with originals, a ringer and some tracks that have now lent themselves to gypsy jazz. First class adult listening throughout, this is the sound of masterful pros at work that love their work. Check it out.

BRAZILIAN TRIO/Constelacao: Winning a Latin jazz Grammy right out of the box with their 2009 debut, the three amigos are back trying to top themselves and succeeding. With vibes that borrow from old man jazz/classical into jazz/and of course, Brazilian jazz with improv overtones, we like to think this is nu backlash music, work made by those who are tired of product and want a return to meaty, blood coursing music that you can feel as well as hear. Whether gringo or not, you're in more than good hands here as these pros know exactly what to do and how to get it done. A winner throughout and sure to cop the top spot once again.

HUMAN SPIRIT/Dialogue: Three of the prime movers of the Origin label sound join forces with two pals for a couple of live dates in Seattle at a local jazz fest that finds them dishing up a nu version of west coast cool for traveling through the new millennium Playing to a polite, sold out crowd that is there for the show, the crew delights and holds the audience in the palm of their hands. Sounding very much like one of those ‘you should have been there ‘ nights, this record that wasn't meant to be a record is a first class use of digital space. Dandy late night jazz for the real jazzbo.

AMIT FRIEDMAN SEXTET/Sunrise: As the world continues to get smaller, we come to the talents of one of the hardest working jazzbo/sax men in Israel. Leading a talk show band, playing with everyone and working hard to make his sextet's debut make an impact, Friedman keeps making moves to sharpen his chops and make his present felt. With kind of an underlying Paul Winter vibe to his impressionistic compositions, Friedman is another of the new breed of players to put the music front and center and leave the frippery for those competing for the mainstream top of the charts. A well textured set that let's you lounge around in your relaxed fit, atavistic jazz genes, this is a reminder of the easy jazz you enjoyed when the world was young. Very much the kind of set that shows a bright future form a rising, new pro.

CHRIS SMITHER/Hundred Dollar Valentine: Smither's most real album since his lost third album, he doesn't shy away from his maturity and now sounds like a John Martyn with nothing to prove. Somewhere between his blues roots and contemporary adult pop, this is only his 12th album in 40 years but it shows a relaxed depth and surety that's been missing from many of his albums. Perhaps moving into penultimate territory, Smither has always been a formidable force, but he seems to have come to grips with himself here and makes everything seem like it's purely organic and natural. A winner that adult ears need to hear.

PROJECT X: Three schleps decide to throw the party that end all parties. Such hell was raised that they certainly brought things to some kind of end. Another of the new breed of mocumentary/reality pics, this over the top, antic laugh riot throws everything, including the kitchen sink, into the swimming pool in it's break neck, anything for a laugh presentation. But wait there's more, the combo packed dvd has extended cuts sprawled over it's blu ray, dvd or ultraviolet presentations. Produced by the cat behind "The Hangover", you know what you can expect, but you really don't know what to expect. Be glad they aren't your kids and neighbors and think twice about having brats of your own after seeing this. Yep, it's true, comedy is when someone else slips on an a banana peel. Strap yourself in and let the fun fly with this cavalcade of humor that aims low and hit's the target.

Volume 35/Number 249
June 27, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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