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DENNIS JONES/My Kinda Blues: This is my kind of blues, too. With loads of contemporary, in the moment flourishes, Jones acknowledges the many ways blues can be brought into the future to bring new fans and supporters into the tent. A hard core guitar slinger at the absolute core, Brown ain't about picking cotton and being on chain gangs. He's down on pimp preachers and other laughable contemporary hypocrisies that today's fed up American from any walk of life with relate to and rally around. Moldy figs, stay away---this is the sound of tomorrow and it's smoking. If you think you know the blues, Jones is going to get you to think twice. A winner throughout.
Just in case the cd isn't enough for you, Jones has also released a live DVD, Dennis Jones Band Live at the Temecula Theater, that covers songs from his last three cds and does a great job of showing you what all the hub bub is about. An hour long music video, it's the next best thing to being there.

EASY STAR ALL STARS/Thrillah: And here's the latest entry from Easy Star for the fun loving malcontent--their take on Michael Jackson's "Thriller", in a dub stylee, of course. Where something like "Dub Side of the Moon" was more adaptable to the down tempo treatment, this high octane party record is given a high octane party treatment. Professional but anti-slick by Quincy Jones standards, this set strips the original down to the street and let's people that loved the music have their shot at being part of it. Done with love and not sly winks off to the side, this isn't something to lump with gift shop knock off records, it's a cool artistic statement on it's own and a great party record for anyone that just can't moonwalk but wants to let loose. Well done.

TERRY QUIETT BAND/A Night at the Orpheum: Proof a live band needs to kick it out in a live setting. The rising blues power trio brings the energy and soul to the stage and the crowd responds enthusiastically in anything but a polite way. Hot and heavy, playing like they mean it, this is sure to make any geezer want to relive their college days the next time they turn off the car radio to avoid one more flavor of the month that's already melting. Hot stuff.

RONI BEN-HUR & SANTI DEBRIANO/Our Thing: While all the foreign born members of this trio are in New York now, they can't be doing what Tony Soprano had in mind when he spoke about out thing. Their thing is killer instrumental music that was borne out of their playing at an annual jazz festival in France. International jazz without over playing a world beat hand, this is totally solid playing for real music starved ears. Three dandy jazzbos playing without restraint or constraint, they make wonderful stuff that real music fans will adore, whether jazzbo or not as long a they have adult ears in wide open and receptive mode. Killer stuff loaded with low key fire that'll pull you in every time.

NEIL COWLEY TRIO/Face of Mount Molehill: A jazzbo like Jim Brinkman is a new ager, Cowley and his cohorts deliver another chapter of their post jazz manifesto where ECM meets soundtracks meets pop meets jazz meets whatever. If you've filled your hipster ears with all the old man jazz you can find and wonder what's next, this step into this future that follows tradition, but which tradition? One of those bands that has the special sauce to break out of the critic's darling ghetto and get real people on their side, this is music for the new kind of masses. Commercial and zestful, this is the operating table where monsters (the good kind) come together. Check it out.

NATALIE CRESSMAN & Secret Garden/Unfolding: (Cue Quentin Tarrantino) You mom is a hot shot Brazilian vocalist and your dad is in Santana. You're a hot looking, 20 year old trombone playing vocalist with a bunch of school pals that play as hot as you look. What would you do, hotshot, what would you do? Cressman went into the family business and delivered solid results well beyond her years, even with the built in launch pad in her genes. Simply a solidly and smashing debut that contemporary jazzbo ears have been looking for whether they knew it or not. Don't know where the record business is headed but the music business is in fine shape if it can turn out new, young players like this one. Hot stuff.

MEENA/Try Me: Go figure. A church sounding R&B/soul singer from the down home section of Austria winds up in Memphis with Jim Gaines on Tom Ruf's nickel---and she sounds like something that should be coming from Memphis! Kicking it off with taking James Brown to church before unleashing what she can write on her own, Meena is as much of a soul sister as Ann Peebles. A delightfully dandy bluesy ear opener that delivers the goods throughout. Well done.

SOUL FOOD & DJ FREE/Yogi Chill: And before you go slagging this as just another fashionable mash up, remember that this is a trend setting crew that hasn't let you down in the past. The intersection where yoga meets chill, this set is solid girl friend music that you can tolerate because it's just right for firing up a blunt and feeling in the moment. A contemporary instrumental session from next week, clearing our minds is probably out of the question at this point in time so this serves as the soundtrack to the next best thing. These guys record is still in tact.

Volume 35/Number 274
July 21, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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