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LEWIS BLACK/In God We Rust: Older and madder than the last time we encountered him, Black even warns the audience that if they aren't familiar with him and were there for a lark, they are in for a long evening. Verging more on an aneurism than ever, somehow he keeps the laughs coming through the barrage of bitterness that knows no bounds. Of course, if you look around he has a lot to bitch about. And he makes you laugh. And you don't have to have a stroke watching the news. What better conductor could you have on the current train ride through hell we are all on right now?

KYLE CEASE/I Highly Recommend This: A rapid fire delighter in absurdity, Cease thinks everything is a joke and brings it on accordingly. Almost moving too fast to take it all in, Cease is one of those cats that keeps you laughing. Turning bitterness and goofiness all on it's collective heads, this is the laugh everyone needs. Included is a DVD with a recent special and extra shorts. Check this out for the across the board comedy good time you've been looking for.

MICHEL SAJRAWY/Arabop: So what do you get when you mix traditional Arab music styles with bebop? Well, this guitarist thinks you get this. (Where's that damn sound post when I need it?) A real change up of a sound for your nearby hookah lounge, this is high octane, modern Arabic music that isn't like any world jazz or world fusion you've heard up to now. It sails in uncharted waters except when it sounds like things Zappa was doing in the early 70s when there was no name for his experimentations. Wild stuff, that's for sure.

ANIMATION/Transparent Heart: Bob Belden presents a dark work reflecting his impression from when he first hit those New York streets through now. It sounds like it should be the soundtrack for the quieter times in movies like "Mad Max".

REGGIE QUINERLY/Music Inspired by Freedmantown: In which we find a jazz drummer making his debut recording inspired by the black neighborhood he grew up in that was a real hot spot for local black culture and life after the emancipation proclamation. While everyone is pretty conversant with the Harlem Renaissance, not everyone is so hip to the pockets where black culture flourished in the shadows of the mainstream across the country. Dipping into legends of memories both happy and sad, Quinerly takes us far a field from the honking saxes we normally associate with Texas jazz and delves deeper into something familiar but not. Composing mostly on his own for this program, not everyone will or needs to find this thought provoking but they certainly will enjoy the ear opening aspects. With no dust on it and no educational overtones making it good for you, this is some killer listening jazz that hits the mark. Well done.

ANDREW RANGELL/Art of Fugue: The top shelf pianist continues his traverse through the works of Bach giving the master's later works a masterful touch. This cat makes it look too easy when he's front and center, solo, giving you everything you need to go as deeply into this work as he does. It might be a piece of warhorse repertoire, but Rangell brings gallons of his own special sauce, spreads it sparingly as needed and makes it all work deliciously. Easily as ear opening as Wendy Carlos was 40 years ago---and without the electronics. Well done.

Volume 35/Number 319
September 4, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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