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PAUL TYNAN & AARON LINGTON/Bicoastal Collective Chapter Three: Here's a post bop set with it's own special sauce that's going to sneak up and catch you from behind. With a veneer that feels like a minimalist vibe, it's anything but. Turns out this is a sly, contemporary blowing date. Surrounding themselves with improvisers that don't normally play together but find the common ground to click here, this set of originals has what it takes to make you pay attention to something new and different without thinking twice. Snazzy, jazzy and right in the pocket, it's adventurous without being too left leaning, but hip enough to keep the hipsters satisfied. Slice it anyway you want, this is a solid set of tasty, contemporary jazz with accent on blowing front and center. Well done.

MICHAEL WEBSTER/Momentus: The post ECM cool school vibe is alive and well in Brooklyn in the hands of Webster, Ingrid Jensen, Ike Sturm and the rest of the kids that are coming up and marking their paths. Call him Paul Winter's wayward progeny that veered off into ethnomusicology on Mars if you will but Webster is creating a new standard that others will turn into cliché. Tempting as it might be for moldy figs to play spot the influence, of course you can find Miles' space explorations here, but just like Apollo was a long way from Friendship....you catch my drift. Check it out.

NATHAN EKLUND/Crafty Christmas: The title is an inside joke among the Eklund clan, the music isn't. Another in a recent wave of tasty, original Christmas albums, this jazz holiday is the kind of gathering I'd like to be invited to. With Eklund's trumpet leading the way on a familiar set of musical, holiday comfort food, the schmaltz has been trimmed off the meat and here's the proof you don't need fat to make it tasty. There might not be anything new under the sun here, but it's just like that 80 degree Wednesday afternoon in August when you slip out of work early to hit the beach. Well done throughout.

ANTHONY BRANKER & ASCENT/Together: This is quite the achievement. This sounds like Branker's friendliest record yet. He pulls off the dandy feat of merging art and commerce making creative jazz that could leap to mass appeal. Straight ahead without an ounce of any kind of pandering, Branker leads his charges through a galloping date that really packs a wallop. With a pair of saxes leading the charge, this is everything you could want in a swinging, mainstream date that makes every night feel like Friday night, after work. Tasty stuff throughout that simply hits it out of the park. Well done.

JEFF JOHNSON/Suitcase: Who let these white guys loose in the church basement? Johnson and his long time improv pal, Hans Teuber, opens the lens to let some other youngbloods join the fun. Not quite arts council music, this is hipster improv done right, but even a Friday night show for this would be a sausage fest, y'know what I mean? It sounds like they know how to give the art jazz fan just what they are looking for.

PF & E
PAULETTE DOZIER/In Walked You: This one's a bit of an anomaly, but a fun one. Billing herself as a torch singer, Dozier comes across with a Josephine Baker look and covers songs like "Proud Mary" and "Summer Breeze", not exactly torchy even if she does intersperse some torchy fare along the way. With a smart crew in tow that brings along some marquee value, this is a swinging jazz vocal date with a Nancy Wilson/Carmen MacRae vibe swinging along through it. A nice, down the middle set that doesn't pride itself on breaking any new ground, just taking a tour through some familiar ground in a nice, new way. Dozier is a tasty singer that believes in spreading good times and does a fine job of it here. Check it out.

CLAUDIO SCOLARI/Synthesis: Ok, art jazz fans. Here we find a new kind of fusion. Free jazz meets Euro chamber jazz. It didn't come from the church basement, it didn't come from the hash bar in Amsterdam. Where did it come from? The fertile minds of the Scolari clan that populate this record. In the search to do something different, they let it season, they let it simmer and this is anything but precious for the sake of precious. This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those who savor a sip of this, it has the right blend of herbs to tease and tantalize.

ROBERT A. WOLF/Krakatoa: You like records that come to you fully formed? Wolf has a few cuts here that have been used as beds for Weather Channel's "Local on the 8s" and have appeared in a few pics. With a vibe that's kind of like a sinister Loreena McKennitt, Wolf is on the progressive new age tip using electronics in a mostly different way than the usual course of things. We bet this is the kind of direction Jim Asher would have been heading into if we'd heard from him lately. Fans of Enigma type new age will dig this big time.

Volume 36/Number 17
November 17, 2012
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2012 Midwest Record

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