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DOUBLE NAUGHT SPY CAR/Western Violence: Ah, the kind of off the clock listening we love. Only their third record in 15 years, this crew of blistering instrumentalists just loves to throw everything in the Vitamix and turn the motor on high without bothering to step it up. Mixmastering everything they can think of into a gumbo that turns anything but gray, if you love shredding, if you love the wild sound of everything, if you love an instrumental good time with fervored abandon, you have a new cd to perch at the top of your top ten list. Killer stuff for people who's dvr doesn't pile up talent shows.

BEKA GOCHIASHVILI: As a talent scout, Lenny White is on a real roll lately. His newest find is a young, piano jazzbo that doesn't need any more lessons and can hold his own with the crème of the fusion era who are all here riding shotgun. He writes em as well as he plays em and this is one monster of a straight ahead session. Not needing any of the august names on board to use as a crutch, this is one dead serious auspicious debut. By all means, check it out.

BRANDI DISTERHEFT/Gratitude: This young lady, whose forte is heating up the frozen North, is so serious about her music that this time around we find her locked in an embrace where her acoustic bass is straddling her. Yeah, we mean into the music. And we mean serious in the same sense as Oscar Peterson in the shrink wrap sticker. This woman is a jazzbo through and through. Leading with a bunch of originals that are original but leave you feeling like you must have heard them before because they are so in the pocket, you can't help but feel you are in the presence of greatness. A real cooker of a date and a player (and a player you wouldn't mind having a date with), contemporary, straight ahead jazz just doesn't get any better than this. A winner throughout.

QUADRO NUEVO/Grand Voyage: Loaded with the kind of world jazz sensibility you can only get from foreigners who do foreign things to western ears, this smoking date is chock full of sounds these Germanic players picked up as they bummed their way through youth hostels in Europe and Asia. A wild sonic buffet, the pros at the helm are great tour guides that load this date with the kind of sprightliness often absent in world jazz romps. Always playing with a smirk and a wink, this is a grand musical tour that sets the standard for left of center adult pop. A real gasser that you need to behold

JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR/Almost Always Never: Another of Dave Stewart's young, female Euro protégés, Taylor has since moved her soulful moves to Texas where they might be more garden variety than back in her native Blighty, but she really gets to soak up the culture that fed the flower. A gritty, gutsy gravel voiced guitar slinger, Taylor knows how to shake em up and shake em loose in fine style. Guitar blues rock with the heat turned up to eleven on a scale of ten--that's what you find here. Well done.

DENISE DONATELLI/Soul Shadows: Top shelf jazz vocalist gives Geoff Keezer a chance to reheat his career by having him fill the producer's chair on her newest effort. They bounce ideas off each other nicely as she moves him closer to the middle and he moves her out of her comfort zone. Very much in tune with those 50s jazz thrush dates that made the transition from aging vinyl to second wave cd releases, this is right in the pocket for any real jazz vocal fans that want their ears treated right. Sure fire stuff that will go the distance for Donatelli once again.

HIJOS de AGUEYBANA/Agua del Sol: Ten or twenty years ago, this would easily have been church basement music. Bomba, a sound that developed when African slaves worked in Puerto Rican sugar cane fields, it lends itself to interpretive moves and all that jazz. This player and his crew move it in a more contemporary direction that lends itself to multi media presentations that can stand on their own without arts council money. Taking a leaf from Paul Winter's world incursions, the originating Afro-Caribe vibe is firmly in place but you don't have to be scared off thinking this is off beat girl friend music. Certainly not for everyone, but if you enjoy flashing your hipster stripes to the sounds of Mongo Santamaria pre-salsa, are this and a blunt waiting for you! A nice ear opener.

RICK BERLIN/Always on Insane: Boston underground legend and Amanda Palmer inspiration kicks things off on his latest with a sideways satiric slap at the group Berlin that probably no one will get even in this age of the great digital garage sale. For the uninitiated, he's several steps well ahead of Wildman Fischer, even if he tries to cultivate a more professional version of the same vibe. Why shouldn't I like this? Berlin included 15 cents in payola (full disclosure). Anyone who still cares enough to color outside the lines will dig the miracle lick this long time wild cat is laying down.

Volume 35/Number 315
August 31, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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