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JOHN VANORE & Abstract Truth/Culture: The main reason big bands went away is that they became economically unfashionable. With the deconstruction of everything under our feet, the revival of big bands is underway because players are playing for themselves and as long as they are willing to rollup their sleeves and write the checks when needed, big band continues to thrive in a new renaissance. Here's another log on that fire. Woody Herman alum Vanore hefts his trumpet leading this brass heavy aggregation finding dandy glories along the way. Whether retro, nu or anything in between, Vanore and his pals simply tear it up and that's all you need to know. Killer sitting down jazz that does the trick with each turn of the cards, big band ears have a great new friend here. Tasty throughout with never a dull moment.

MARIO ADNET/Amazonia: In which we find one of the main spark plugs of contemporary Brazilian music moving out of what we perceive to be his comfort zone to get his Aaron Copland on in service to a suite about the Amazon. Not afraid to reach into the songbags of other writers to make his point, this suite is killer sitting down jazz that echoes the 50s jazz into classical outings that came up with a lot of interesting hybrids. An engaging piece throughout, Adnet scores another major win with the kind of set that will be drawing ears for years to come. Well done.

HOME BY HOVERCRAFT/Are We Chameleons?: Steam punk renaissance faire kids meld a bunch of vibes with a lot of rooting in 70s prog rock by way of Blackmore's Night for a heady pomo brew tailor made for the young and left of center that like acting out by shy away from owning Elvis Costello hats.

STAN BOCK & the New Tradition/Feelin' It: Maybe he should have called his crew the new traditionalists, just like the new kids in country called themselves in 1980 after crossover crashed and they all took to looking back. This date, even when working out on originals, feels like the classic late 50s/early 60 jazz coming out of Chicago. Sassy, soulful and always swinging, this is a delightfully jumping date that was tailor made for putting a silly grin on your face as you involuntarily bob your head to the bopping. Even if you're the type that would have to call this a musical dessert, you'd still have to be the first to admit it's a might tasty one. Check it out.

STEVE OWEN/Stand Up Eight: Who likes Bill Holman? Owen has an interesting concept here. The crack arranger also has a day job as an educator. He brought together his other jazzbo pals, who are also educators, to show that there's no dust on them even as they spend more time at the podium than the bandstand. A solidly fine work of sitting down jazz that manages to be musically advanced without losing you along the way. Putting his all into this effort, all that's missing is Holman's personal seal of approval on these sessions. Well done.

DICK REYNOLDS/Music & Friends: Long time Chicago jingle meister Reynolds always seemed to find the energy to step outside the domain he ruled and do other musical things. Whether trying to develop rock bands, being a high profile night club accompanist or keeping big band alive, Reynolds managed to find the time and money to do it. Here we find him going back into the recording studio after a 15 year lay off, rounding up a who's who of Chicago jazz from various modes and serving up a smoking, hard swinging, big band set that defines the current state of the art. Looking back at a life well lived, Reynolds is the exception that proves the rule---do what you love and the money will follow. This is one smoking date not to be missed.

BRAD GOODE/Chicago Red: One thing about electric/world Miles---you either had to be stoned or have high blood pressure to get the most out of Davis in that period. In that light, calling Goode's latest Miles lite is no insult or disrespect. With echoes of the Miles/Holland/deJohnette interplay, shadings of funk, world beat players all fueled by nascent steam punk energy, this could easily be a fine companion to the recent Miles authorized bootleg of said period. Finely done progressive fusion, Goode and his pals do a great job on his after hours gig delivering a set that's second to none. A mighty set for progressive ears that need some fresh sounds.

JACK MOUSE GROUP/Range of Motion: A Chicago drummer that's played with everyone, including an impressive roster of the classic cats, puts out a set of originals that rivals anything in the classic Bluenote or Verve canon. Smoking sitting down jazz, the light here is on a crew of Chicago cats that gets a fine chance to show the rest of the world they are all world class players as well. A session you'll be sure to go back to often, this is the fine sound of pros that know what they want and how to get it to you. Well done.

Volume 37/Number 102
February 11, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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