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DANIEL McBREARTY/Clarinet Swing: Isn't it always like this? A Welshman living in Belgium visits Nawlins, falls in love with old jazz all over again, goes home, calls a couple of pals and they knock out a set of mellow whorehouse jazz that would be right at home in a Woody Allen pic from the first time around he was funny? A sweet set that puts the music first and foremost, McBrearty and pals deliver a set of oldies and originals that fit right in that's one of the sweetest, pure listening, non-classical dates you are going to hear this year. This is a beautifully, charming set that'll knock you right off your pins. Check it out.

DAVE FIELDS/Detonation: Young blues rocker that knows the right moves to keep his generation checking out the blues. High octane, high energy, this guitar slinger is right on the money, slashing and burning his way through a set that shows he learned the family business well even if he's gone into a different branch of it. Super solid contemporary blues whether or not delivered by a white boy.

MAHLIS-PANOS PROJECT/Protoleia: Two world beat jazzbo with a shared Greek heritage have a long history together and a long history apart playing with everyone that means something and more. This is a delightfully out of the ordinary world jazz set that takes you well into all the back alleys of the middle east and it's general environs. Accessible ethnicity with echoes of sound places you just can't quite put your finger on power this set from start to finish. Clearly not just for malcontents, this is a musical project that hits all the right notes and takes world beat to the next level of the game. A winner throughout.

BOBBY SANABRIA BIG BAND/Multiverse: After establishing himself as a brand name you can trust for top notch Latin jazz, Sanabria takes it back to the root s of his formative era with a nu retro set of Latin jazz that encompasses the whole of the Afro Cuban experience, and adds some new spice and special sauce. A rollicking urban jazz set that takes you far from home without leaving your block, Sanabria harkens back to when music was music first and if the vibe was right, everyone got on board without having to be sold. Smoking hot.

LAURA McMILLAN/Linger Longer: A warm set of solo piano miniatures whose message is that you shouldn't sweat the small stuff because the game is over before you know it. And it tells you that without words. A very personal set to McMillan's psyche, she shares a universal message that you can plug into without knowing any of the back stories. Wonderful refuge music for when the waters are way too roiled.

MEKLIT & QUINN: Pan cultural duo that met in San Francisco and proceeded to let the sparks fly until it brewed up to the point where their could do their version of a contemporary multi-culti soul record. Covering a lot of alt.songwriters from various times and stripes, with a full studio band in tow, they craft a contemporary covers set for those that fall through the cracks. With a lot of 60s SF vibe in tact, left leaning girl friends will know and dig what's taking place here.

JOHNNY HODGES/Yeah...About That: Old school funky jazz for the new financial paradigm, it doesn't stop Hodges in his tracks that this is a set fueled by three-piece and a lot of electronics. Proof that the funk can't be stopped, it's a party on a platter that harkens back to the 70s hitters that knew how to find the corner where funk and groove got together to settle their differences. Fun stuff from a cat that knows how to find his way into the pocket but takes his time finding a way out.

CHRIS O'LEARY BAND/Waiting for the Phone to Ring: You got a problem with a bunch of middle aged honkies living near Woodstock playing the blues? Just let me say this. Paul Butterfield. Levon Helm's singing harmonica man leads his crew through a sophomore set that is anything but sophomoric. With a jungle blues vibe and powered by non-stop energy, this crew has got the blues right in the pocket delivering a fun, high octane set that makes the only color in blues blue. If you aren't interested in hearing about picking cotton and fighting boll weevils, this is the stuff for you. Hot stuff.
2 (Fidelis)

Volume 35/Number 281
July 28, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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