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JESSICA MOLASKY & DAVE FRISHBERG/At the Algonquin: Do we really need another best of Frishberg? Yes! This one has Jessica Molesky bringing her flavor to the songs on co-vocals. There are two new songs from a new Frish show in the works. AND, New York brings an energy back to Frish that he just wasn't finding in Oregon. With Frish at the keys in the most loosy goosy performance he's ever put to record, the swing is infectious, the vibe killer. These two are having a great time in a penultimate live performance that any sophisticated ears will flip for. A career maker recording for a long time veteran? Even though this ground has been well trod by Frish in the past, this is a full on late career masterpiece. Hats off to both of them.

JACOB FISCHER/Guitarist: Vet Danish guitarist rounds up the Arbors All Stars for an old timey romp that hits it out of the park. An aficionado of Django, Fischer has the master's strum right down to the last fingernail swipe. Choosing songs from the era, even when sneaking in a co-write with co-hort Bucky Pizzarelli, everyone here is having a great time leaving their fingerprints on these classics passionately played in the classic style. Played with more gusto than an homage or a tribute, this is one of those from the heart recordings where the stars have aligned properly over it and are shining brightly in approval. A great find for any classic jazzbo ears.

EUGENE MIRMAN/An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory: Once again, the dry wit of Albert Brooks merges with the stand up wit of Henny Youngman in an alt.comedy playground serving up decidedly mainstream, punk rock comedy. Approaching the mainstream while still laughing from the fringe, Mirman has enough prime time chops to know how quickly you can loose an audience if you don't keep just the right amount ahead of them. A cd-dvd combo pack in which you get Mirman's new special and the audio roll off, he does just enough visual stuff that his smirk adds so much to the laughs as he let's everyone in the audience know we're all too hip for the room. And he doesn't need an Elvis Costello hat to pull it off. This is a mighty fine left of center laugh riot by a cat that doesn't let on just how much of pro he is.

JAMES MONTGOMERY BAND/From Detroit to the Delta: If you want to hear one of rock's great should have been moments, check out Montgomery's early 70's debut on Capricorn. And his brother was an influential promo man yet. From Detroit to Boston with over 40 years of blues under his belt, you know his sound more than you know him, but his pals that he blew harp with from Aerosmith, Johnny Winter and more show up to light a fire under this white boy blues extravaganza. Hard hitting mega party stuff, Montgomery is flashing way too much energy for a man his age and he's burning a high octane that borders on rocket fuel. Killer stuff throughout that'll blow the wax out of your ears for a generation.

FROM JAZZ CLUB TO JUKE BOX 1961/various: Take that Time Life infomercials! Culled from the early days of lp records and jazz hitting the pop charts, this twofer collection is well stocked with groovy tracks that might easily be overlooked, performed by names getting lost to history. Jazz from the pre-Weather Report era, when jazz was dance and party music more than cerebral music, this is a non-stop gasser for any real daddio and his kitty. If nothing else, this will open your ears to the connection between Austin Powers and Ray Charles. Utterly groovy throughout without a clunker in the bunch.

HIDDEN CHARMS/various: Those Brits are so good at being snotty hipsters. Hidden Charms is a club in Blighty that focuses on rare grooves from rockabilly and R&B where the sounds met up in the trailer park on the wrong side of town back in the day. As the Stones would say (kind of) -it's all rock and roll and I like it-. Proto punk rock by outsiders in the 50s with the music, fashion and passion riding out on the fringe, this is wild stuff that recalls what a wild time the post war years when Elvis, Russians and television drove crazy stuff to crazy heights. You might think it's a little dated if you don't have the right hipster stripes, but there is more to live than dreaming of moving to Brooklyn.

MIKE ELDRED TRIO/61 49: Reissued from an earlier release from another micro indie, Eldred and his pals aren't a hot enough combo on their own that they needed guest spots from Scotty Moore, Ike Turner, Kid Ramos, Jeff Turmes and others? So what's wrong with a hotter fire? An all original program of white boy blues amped up for maximum R&B-roots thrills and spills, this is the stuff we spent all night fist pumping to instead of cramming for the MCAT (come on, you know who you are). This is a first class sonic riot that's just the right keeper for rootsy party animals.

LISA CEE/My Turn: If Bonnie Raitt were launching her career on an indie instead of Warners and indies as we know them now were around back in the day, betcha this is what her debut would have sounded like. No short shrift to Cee, but when an original gets to mark their territory over 40 years before your debut, people will talk. A white blues mama with a punk rock esthetic, Cee is a non-stop buzz saw of blues rocking roots that just doesn't quit until there's nothing left but sawdust. Killer stuff throughout.

Volume 37/Number 94
February 3, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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