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CECILY KATE/Standards: A well traveled vocalist that has paid her dues is currently focusing on the 40s and she brings the right cabaret punch to the ring. Knowing and showing a thing or two that talent show contestants could learn from so they can tell the difference between emoting and screeching, Kate has her well honed chops front and center making a fitting treat for jazz vocal fans that want to take another tiptoe through some well worn tulips that have just been refreshed. Nice set.

HARRY ALLEN & SCOTT HAMILTON/'Round Midnight: One of the reasons why records like this are great is because the reviews write themselves. You just have to throw around 'great', 'killer' and stuff like that a few times and you're done. Hanging out with some pals from the Arbors stable, Allen & Hamilton evoke all the great tenor blowing dates you found in grandpa's basement that you thought you outgrew when you discovered grunge but were really more a part of your musical dna than you ever thought. A fresh look back at some chestnuts and evergreens, this is nothing less than a modern take on a classic 50s vibe that was ever so great. It seems low key but it's really a gasser with all burners on high. Well done.

AUGI/Citizens of the World: Augi is a bass player but he plays a whole bunch of the instruments and makes a diverse, left leaning date that often makes you forget you are listening to a record and makes you think you have a hip satellite or internet station on. The kind of hipster record real jazzbo fall for every time, this is a zesty taste treat that often shows it just doesn't believe in boundaries. Check it out.

CARRIE WICKS/Barely There: A jazz vocalist that writes ‘em too checks in with her second set that shows the promises made on her auspicious debut were no mere empty promises. Swinging nicely with her co-horts, Wicks can be obliquely sexy or meet classic vocal material head on. Easy to like stuff hat simply works well.

PHAREZ WHITTED/For the People: A Chicago blower came back from a hiatus a few years back with a set that just crackled and let you know he was back. This set follows in those footsteps quite well. Showing he knows his Bluenote moves down cold, Whitted isn't afraid to expand the post bop vocabulary bringing to mind trumpet greats of the past while charting his own course. High octane blowing that's a natch to blow you away. Hip stuff that doesn't need the high sign from hipsters to make it. Check it out.

JAIMAN CRUNK/Encounters: Reminiscent of the kind of grand sitting down jazz date you'd get when someone would write someone like Michel LeGrand or Michel Columbier a check big enough to realize a grand vision, this new kid on the block has everyone in jazz turn out to lend a hand. Maybe not everyone but if you look at the credit list, it does go on forever and it's all made up of pros from the different sub phyla of jazz---all coming together and making it work. A cinematic kind of recording, this is the kind of set you have to clear the decks and make time for because it demands your undivided attention. A winner throughout.

CHAD McCULLOUGH & BRAM WEIJTERS QUARTET/Urban Nightingale: The Seattle/Antwerp connection shows us the corner where cerebral meets moving easy for a Friday, after hours session where having a drink and chilling out beats fighting traffic. More than background music and not nearly as artsy as it might seem when you aren't listening too closely, this crew brings some different sensibilities to the stew that simmer nicely together. Fun stuff to kick back with.

HARDCORETET/Do It Live: Owing as much to Headhunters as they do their Seattle upbringing, this bunch of young jazzbos recorded live and on the fly so what you hear on their second date was what was got. Trying valiantly to expand the lexicon of the future of jazz, they can hold their own with anybody and offer a glimpse of some really cool things to come. A work in progress with fully formed elements, this is a bunch to keep and eye and ear on.

Volume 35/Number 357
October 12, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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