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JAZZ FROM LONDON 1957/various: The crafty jazz fan running Acrobat's jazz line unearths some more previously unreleased goodies as he finds a Bix Curtis session, modeled on Norman Granz's JATP featuring the great Tubby Hayes working out with a crew of crack post war English jazzbos deserving of recognition and remembrance. Hayes, a running mate of Ronnie Scott back in the day, died way too young and would probably be all but forgotten if it wasn't for things going public domain in England after 50 years. On this Gillespie heavy jam, all the cats you probably never heard of are gladly rescued from time's bargain bin and given a chance to shine proving that it's new if it's new to you. Right up the average hipster's alley, these cats weren't shy about wailing and this is some high water mark old man jazz that doesn't sound a bit dusty. Check it out.

LALO SCHIFRIN/My Life In Music: It pretty much sucks that the record business is in such a state that the only way a cat like Schifrin gets a proper career retrospective is to put it out himself, but really, who in today's business knows the 80 year old's 50 year career better than the maestro himself. A four cd set that covers so much film, tv, jazz and symphonic work that it's amazing and it's amazing it all came from one cat. As it's been said in other contexts along the way, if I was responsible for writing "Theme from Mission Impossible", I would have called it a day then, but he went on to write "Mannix", a bunch of stuff for Clint Eastwood pics, a special commission for Dizzy Gillespie and so much more, all of it so seminal that my head spins thinking about it. And when you listen to these four discs, you find yourself trying to gobble the five hour parade all in one sitting. A great body of work, a great life and a great way to thumb your nose at Rhino for missing the boat on this one since so much of Schifrin's catalog is hiding in the soundtrack corners at WB and Atlantic, well within easy reach of Rhino. You don't have to be a film music freak to love it. You don't have to be a jazzbo to love it. You don't have to be a hipster to love it. You just have to be a cat that loves great music and would rather indulge in it than product. It's a limited edition, act accordingly.

KINKY FRIEDMAN/Bi-Polar Tour--Live from Woodstock: Back behind a mic after taking time off for an enviable midlife crisis, da Kinkstah is writing mysteries and singing his greatest hits across this fair land of ours once again. With a set that's mostly a journey through the past, one more time, he's trodding the same type of ground Townes Van Zandt did in his later years--documenting his high spots with the color of time and tide making the versions of classics new and different and must hearing for the real fan. With a few new things in the mix, Kinky can compete with his 40 years ago self quite well. With or without the Jewboys in tow (but of course, Little Jewford is on board), an original is an original. Even if some of the stuff is dated, it's still the same gas it was in 1973. Fun stuff from an oldie but goodie that could teach today's malcontent know it all a thing or two.

JOAO GILBERTO/The Roots of Bossa Nova: Everybody knows to mention Tom Jobim when they talk about bossa nova. Despite the notoriety of his ex-wife and his daughter, particularly in bossa nova, Joao Gilberto seems more of a background figure even if he was as seminal to the new wave as Jobim. This generously stocked single disc collects his first three albums and some non-lp sides into a set that serves as a veritable greatest hits of Gilberto. In the early days of cd, his early sides were quickly reissued and they sounded like crap which would make the nuevo bossa novan wonder what all the hoopla was about. Here, the guitarist is given the proper contemporary digital spiffing and his quiet fire burns mightily. Not that he needed any vindication, but if you can hear the nascent but fully formed versions of "Meditation", "How Insensitive", "One Note Samba", "Bim Bom", "Destifino", and more, more, more and not be moved to breathlessly exhale you really need a refresher course in real music appreciation. Killer stuff that more than stands the test of time.

T.J. MILLER/Mash Up Audio File: Part of the next wave of alt.underground comics that seems to have the uncanny ability to travel in underground and over ground worlds and media, Miller bounded back from a congenital brain anomaly to be one of the funniest cats out there. With skewed observations on contemporary life, Miller throws the ball time after time and you can't imagine how it manages to be a strike right down the middle as it comes over the plate. Funny stuff for ostensible left of center tastes that really anyone can hurt their sides listening to. Check it out

SUPER HI-FI/Dub to the Bone: So, mix some trombones with some dub reggae and afrobeat, of course throw in the kitchen sink and a bunch of echoplex and what have you? A sinister sounding hipster record that takes the left of center madness brought on when the 90s lounge revival rolled off the rails mixed with white punks on dope white reggae pushing the party forward to when the late hours become the early ones. Crazy, insidious stuff that you can listen to and enjoy with or without a doob, this kitchen sink mash up is a grand head trip that won't leave you fuzz brained or dry mouthed. Check it out.

SCOTT ADAMS/I Can't Remember if We're Smart of Cheap: Holy moley, if you read the comments on Amazon, it would seem that the people that bought this treasury collection can't read, or basically don't know the difference between an original collection of "Dilbert" strips or a greatest hits anthology. Hey kids, the treasuries are the tourists editions, for those that want the flavor of "Dilbert" without savoring every strip---even if that is the best way to go. This collection basically looks back at the last (lost?) decade where everything went so kafluee that it could only be really appreciated through the eyes of Dogbert and the rest of his animalbert pals. Funny is funny, and whether you read this in the daily paper, on the net, in past collections or whatever, if you can enjoy "Big Bang Theory" DVDs repeatedly, you can dig this memory jogger that's loaded with panels that are more concerned with cutting to the chase than digging into the story arc. If 200 pages of laughing your ass off isn't good enough for you as you traipse through this journey through the past, then you are either an uber fan or a grump. It's a buffet you can savor and over indulge on without worrying about reflux or nasty burps.

PATRICK McDONNELL/A Shtinky Little Christmas: A classic "Mutts" story arc gets repurposed as a sweet little book for sweet little people. Earl and Mooch first meet "Shtinky Puddin" here when the found him in a garbage can before Christmas. Shtinky is a lost kitty. Mooch takes care of him, but Shtinky runs away rather than continuing to put Mooch out. Of course, he leaves in a blizzard. Earl and Mooch set out to find him and the trio hooks up but gets lost together in the blizzard. Luckily, it's Christmas eve and they get rescued by Santa who reunites Shtinky with his rich owner. And that's why this strip is so well loved.

Volume 36/Number 9
November 9, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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