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TWINSTAR/The Sound of Leaving: It's more like the post punk sound of returning to Art of Noise and New Order when they were doing their great genre blending dance punk things 30 years ago. Not derivative and easily something today's kids can call their own, this is well played and well plotted making it a sure bet for being the sound of rebellious college dorm hallways.

CHARLES FLORES/Impressions of Graffiti: So how sucky is it when you make a killer debut album and follow it up by dieing of cancer? That brings us to the back story of this Caribapple jazz fusion set that's so in the pocket that it's scary. Fueled by two pals that have played forever across the world, this is wonderful contemporary jazz that's just plain fun to listen to and no other statement is needed or made. Smoking stuff you owe it to yourself not to miss, especially since Flores won't be coming this way again. Caliente!

KILLER RAY APPLETON/Naptown Legacy: Indian-noplace has given us more than it's fair share of classic jazzbos and Appleton is here to celebrate the legacy as only one who was there can. A beboppers delight, this is a smoking cooker that takes you back in the day with a killer guided tour. Not an homage or a tribute, this is just some solid playing on some indelible works by some killer cats. A must. Check it out.

JOSEPH BYRD/NYC 1960-63: Long before he went psychedelic, Byrd was an arts council jazzbo that apprenticed under John Cage. This set shows it. A set of minimalist, white church basement jazz is on tap here. This is what suburban, white people afraid of junkie jazzbos 50 years ago would meet in libraries to listen to on Sunday afternoons and nod intellectually to. It's a great document of a time and movement but a little too off the wall for the casual listener, especially anyone expecting more hippie stuff.

NEIL ALEXANDER/Darn That Dream-Solo Piano V. 1: This piano man is so dexterous and has so many varied jazz piano interests that he can take you from a private recital at a rich guy's house down to the whorehouse with a stop at Birdland on the way back all within the space of a few bars. McKenna, Jones, Corea and of course Evans and Jarrett---they're all at his fingertips, sometimes all at once. For all it's depth, it's amazingly accessible. A wonderful ear opening experience, it's not something you should plan to listen to casually as it requires and demands your full attention. Solid stuff throughout.

KHAT THALETH/various: You know how stereotypical Arabs sound pissed off even when they aren't? Have you got that going on here on this set of Arabic political rap! Young people everywhere are pissed off. With no idea what they are talking about (even though lyrics are available on line), you can just hear the next wave of political rappers here sampling this stuff because THESE GUYS ARE PISSED OFF. And they've got beats. This stuff sounds like it must have been the soundtrack to Arab Spring.

VANDANA VISHWAS/Monologues: For my own taste, this is foreigner art chick stuff but I wouldn't be opposed to dropping this by one of the Persian or Indian restaurants we frequent because the passion, soul and authenticity in these bytes would probably be put to better sue enhancing a meal than playing in my gringo car. Even my gringo ears detect a load of genre splicing ad genre bending going on here, and at least for me, this would be wonderful background music in the proper setting. Hey, I can't be an expert about everything. The floor is open for discussion.

ROBERT ‘TOP' THOMAS/The Town Crier: Florida swamp blues sounds like a kissing cousin to freak folk. Thomas sounds like an unreconstructed alligator eater that came up from the Everglades to siphon some gas out of unsuspecting luxury cars in Weston/Sunrise shopping mall parking lots. If your hard drive is familiar with names like Hasil Adkins et al, this is your idea of a party record. This is recorded proof that genre fans need love too. Check it out all you you know who you ares.

Volume 37/Number 95
February 4, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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