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LEE RITENOUR/Rhythm Sessions: So who doesn't like Captain Fingers, and who doesn't know what he can do, and who can't imagine what he can do when he has so many first call contemporary jazzbos on board you can't even hear them all at once? A delightfully subtle set that falls slightly to the right of fusion, even if everyone here helped invent it, this shows how smooth jazz can be loaded with feeling and soul in the right hands. This is the kind of after work set that just might find you pushing the papers off your desk earlier and earlier. Solid work throughout.

CIRO HURTADO/Los Angeles Blues: The Peruvian guitarist that has proven and acquitted himself in a variety of settings and styles goes it alone on this solo set that puts him front and center and shows he can wear the spotlight quite well. Very much an after hours set, it's intimate, very present and very well presented by a cat that knows his axe inside out. Tasty solo guitarist work with a Latin derivation but with no limits on any front. Well done.

SIMON McBRIDE/Crossing the Line: Atavistic Irish blues rocker knows how to do the thundering power trio riffs and licks bringing the blister and bluster in by the truckload. A bombastic set that sounds birthed in the genre's dinosaur genes, McBride brings it full circle to the college aged kids of the parents that grooved to this in the early 70s. Ah, nothing like dad and lad firing up a doob and laughing at the generation gap.

ED CHERRY/It's All Good: This jazzbo guitar man is one of those cats that's been around forever and played with everyone but hasn't recorded as a leader very much. Leading a jazz trio that can cite Wes Montgomery as a first circle inspiration rather than a sound bite inspiration, Cherry might owe a debt to Montgomery but he knows how to play/lead as his own man. For people who like that easy swing that gets your head bobbing before you realize just why you're getting sea sick, this is top shelf after hours, feel good jazz. Simply dazzling work from a hard core pro.

JORDAN YOUNG/Cymbal Melodies: It might be a drummer led session but organist Brain Charette grabs hold of the opening track "By the Time I get to Phoenix" and gives it a going over like this is his session and he's either Jimmy Smith or Jered Gold. Once again, Young is behind one of the best organ jazz dates of the year of it's release and if you don't have this within easy reach any time you're stuck in traffic, the delay is going to seem a lot longer than it is. Smooth, wonderful stuff that kicks ass when and where you least expect. Check it out.
LOU PALLO/Thank You Les: Think about it, what does it take to be Les Paul's guitarist? Well, Pallo does right by his boss/pal/hero by rounding up everyone who ever love Paul and has them do a guest turn with a list that includes cats like Keith Richards, Steve Miller, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jose Feliciano, Nicki Parrott, Nokie Edwards and still more of this caliber and range. Simply one big, honking, smoking sonuvabitch of a guitar and instrumental record that's a must for anyone that enjoyed being a part of the century of Les Paul. Killer stuff throughout.

TARRUS RILEY/Mecoustic: A throwback to Bob Marley's sound before Chris Blackwell hooked Marley up with Rabbit Bundrick, Riley is a pure reggae man, all the way across the board. A skanking singer in touch with his Marcus Garvey side, Riley brings it back to camp fires on the beach outside Oraccabassa and brings it all back to the beginning--contemporary style. A rich, organic date, this is a must for the purist that things the sound has lost it's way. Riley is a real deal gasser.

LO JO/Cinema El Mundo: This sounds like a world beat update of a French chanson album of a generation or two ago. If you aren't afraid of lyrics in languages you don't understand that are bottomed by a spirited performance and solid musicianship, this is a voyage you can take without a second thought or a worry about where you will wind up. This outfit has been together 30 years and if they say they are going to make a record that feels like a movie, they aren't just whistling "Frere Jacques". The open eared need to give this a go.

Volume 35/Number 316
September 1, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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