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BRUBECK BROTHERS QUARTET/Lifetimes: Well, it's about time. After 40 years of playing together in various configurations, with and without pop, the kids have finally decided to give pop a tribute set while he's still alive to enjoy it. Their own players all the way, they still know how to top this off with "Take Five" in a way that really let's the fur fly while keeping the original hipster cool close by. Even if the brothers fellow travelers get the right to sneak in a few of their own tunes along the way, this is a heartfelt tribute to the cat that gave rise to this musical dynasty. There's something here that'll work for all but the snootiest jazz policeman. Check it out.

MARK MASTERS ENSEMBLE/Ellington Saxophone Encounters: His name might only be in 2 point type, but I can tell a Pete Christlieb session from a mile away. Along with a bunch of other first call jazzbos, a sax front line and their first call pals micro manage a niche session that covers the waterfront of various Ellington sax sets from his different bands. Loaded with style and good vibes, this is a serious blowing date where everyone shows up to play. First class throughout, the serious jazzbo has a seriously in the pocket set to dig here. Well done.

THE RAREST ROCKABILLY ALBUM IN THE WORLD Volume 2/Various: Whether northern soul, rockabilly or whatever, the goal is to be too hip for the room when creating super cool compilations. Anybody can fashion themselves a hipster but coming through with the obscure gems that make you stop and go ‘god damn' is no easy task. This bunch has come through again with 50 more tracks even the more hard core rockabilly rebel probably never heard the bulk of. Direct from the tail end of the 50s, this 2 hours of romping, stomping fun is a killer good time. It's a real gasser, daddio.

CHARLES MINGUS/Tijuana Moods: The angriest man in jazz makes arguably the best record of his career (depending on which phase you like/relate to best), serving up a session that stands toe to toe with all the heavy weight champion records of the day. This is one of those towering classics that never goes out of style. Rounded out with tracks recorded a month after this session that have nothing really to do with it, it just goes to show just how multi faceted jazz can be. Easily jazz no hipster should be without.

RANDY KAPLAN/Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie: This cat wants to bring classic blues appreciation to kids and he does it with funny voices, familiar touchstones and making a lot of stuff sound like cartoon music from pre-50s cartoons. Hey, we'd rather have our kids listen to this than Raffi. With a good ear for the kind of hokum that gets kids attention, your pre-teens will be cake walking around the house so much they won't have time to get into trouble--at least until the novelty wears off. Quite frankly, it's fun for kids of all age. Check it out.

FRED HERSCH TRIO/Alive at the Vanguard: Nothing like coming out a two month coma and re-establishing your chops with a double album that's nothing short of a roaring fire. Symmetrically pacing itself with seven originals, seven classics and four from the classic songbag, this trio is smoking throughout with Hersch showing the vigor and presence that any of the piano masters displayed in their times. The kind of session that is an open door for old and new fans, 56 never used to be considered that old for jazz. Smoking stuff any piano jazz fan will devour.

TALL PAUL BAND/Sleeper: Hard working white boy blues guitar slinger keeps the groove simple by traveling light so that when you ask for power trio blues/rock, that's just what you get. A cats that's been flying under the radar and honing his chops on the road for quite a long time, he knows what to deliver on record after you ‘ve had a great time all night in the club. The kind of stuff that kept your parents listening to free from FM for hours, this might just be an important trip forward into the past that you need to take so you can find out what it means to kick out the jams.

LEO HULL/Bootleggin' the Blues: Here's an aging white rocker that isn't going gentle into that good night. A Texas rocker throughout, even though he's only been recording for a decade, he was preparing for it his whole life. This is as close to a great night in a roadhouse as you are going to get if you aren't in shooting distance from the real thing. Check it out.

Volume 35/Number 287
August 3, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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