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NEGRONI'S TRIO/On the Way: Father and son Latin jazz trio deliver the goods on their 7th album in 10 years where they leave you nothing to do but sit back and enjoy. A nice fusion of jazz/Latin/world with the piano out front leading the way, this is a first class listening date powered by first call playing that never fails to hit all the right notes. Recorded live, all the snap, crackle and pop you could want (except sonically) are on board. A winner throughout.

JOHN DAVERSA/Artful Joy: Scaling it back from his big band for this outing, Daversa is toying with the time/space continuum trying to bring something new to jazz in a new way. Not too troubled by trying to keep things linear, Daversa seems to be inspired by recent space travel as this shapes up to be contemporary jazz for Mars. There are so many spices simmering in this stew, it takes more than a few listening to being to pick them all out. Young tastes will lead the way here. Check it out.

ISRA-ALIEN/Somewhere is Here: Strunz & Farah. Willie & Lobo. You and the kid down the street. An acoustic guitar duo---nothing here to see? Wrong. While this time around McLaughlin and deLucia have moved into the desert to hang with camels, this Israeli acoustic guitar duo brings their cultures and aspirations to the fore (one of them did move to New York to study under John Abercrombie) and let the fur fly. If you've dug any of the other duos mentioned above, this is right up your alley. Totally sweet with enough special sauce to make it hit your ears from a new direction, this is acoustic guitar nirvana. Check it out.

ERIK JEKABSON/Anti-Mass: Arts council music from a jazzbo that's been firmly planting himself in the Bay Area jazz scene for a while. It a nu jazz with equal inspiration pulled from Miles (of course), Joshua Bell, AACM and classical sources. First class sitting down art jazz, Jekabson is on to something new here that never wanders into being cute just for the sake of it. Left leaning ears will welcome this new addition to the canon.

ELIZABETH SHEPHERD/Rewind: Now if you can picture Rickie Lee Jones doing an oldies album for a hipster bar on Mars (is that really so much of a stretch?), you have an idea what's going on here as this soulful, white, Canuck puts her hipster spin on the classic American songbook. Forget all the airs you've been putting on to deal with the last generation of jazz diva and the uptown moves she brings, this is a first class approximation of a hangover at a dive bar, with all the grit and spaciness in tact. Jumping into the deep end to pull off something different, Shepherd shows her versatility in moving away from her established comfort zone with this set that veers around like a well played pin ball. Subversive as all hell, this is a gasser if you've got the right sense of humor and temperament.

JACQUES SCHWARTZ-BART/Art of Dreaming: While sounding like something that would have been cooked up by disciples of Monk, the inspiration for this work was actually culled from spiritual works that talk about how you can dream while awake. We need a guide book for that? Hmmm. Anyway, it's a lot fun. The French sax man finds the spot where Coltrane would have met hip hop under the direction of Creed Taylor being pressured to come up with a hit. The sound of smooth jazz on a slightly bumpy road, this is the something different jaded ears are always on the look out for. Check it out.

ERIC DIVITO/Breaking the Ice: A guitar jazzbo comes out of nowhere and wants you to pay attention to him. What's he got that others don't? Well, he's got the attention of producers Ezra Weiss and Todd Barkan who are far too busy to go chasing rainbows. Bringing his classical guitar background to the fore, he fuses his native New York attitude with the flights of fancy classical guitar can take for world beat and beyond. Bringing it all home in a straight ahead package, this is a lightly swinging set whose music takes you to that happy place. Everyone here is on the same page and a wonderful taste treat is cooked up by all. A wonderful new find.

EDDIE LOCKJAW DAVIS-JOHNNY GRIFFIN QUINTET/Tough Tenors Again and Again: Back at the turn of the 1970s, MPS in Germany was providing a great home to the discarded jazzbo of the 50s and 60s that could still wail and kick it out. The unlikely pairing of Davis and Griffin lit the requisite sparks with pedigreed players bringing up the rear. Giving the tenor sax man the chance to wail and cut with all the freedom and abandon that could be captured in an afternoon long recording session, they pulled a lot of tricks out of the trick bag to keep the 1970 listeners attention and they showed they could still light fires are easily as throwing sparks. The sound is as if rich hippies took over Bluenote but their father's were keeping an eye on the trust fund balances to make sure they didn't dip too low. And today's hipster can dig it all a new as this sound from another time zone will blow them away. When a cat can wail, that's all she wrote.

Volume 35/Number 339
September 24, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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