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LULU ROMAN/At Last: Here's a curious little item that the producers better have positioned for gift shop sales. How long has Hee Haw been off the air? Here's one of HH's plus size honeys showing off her pipes on a bunch of country and pop covers even lassoing Dolly Parton in to duet on I Will Always Love You. Roman has the name recognition and very credible pipes but this is the cozy quilt kind of thing that would fly out of candle shops and Cracker Barrel but sit unloved in the Amazon warehouse. With just a little tweaking to the marketing plan, this right church/wrong pew record could find it's audience and become an underground, heartland runaway hit.

ODEAN POPE/Odean's Three: He might have Billy Hart and Lee Smith at his side but this 73 year old sax man does some modern jazz honking that gives you what feels like must have been a front row seat to watch Sonny Rollins play by himself under a bridge. He might be from Philly, but this is honking, skronking big apple scrapple direct to you from the late 50s. Wild stuff if you know how to dig it.

MORELLO-JOST-SILVA/Afternoon in Rio: Unless you never miss a Scott Adams broadcast or follow all of www.dustygroove.com s recommendations, this trio is going to defy your expectations of what Brazilian jazz is. Lightly funky in a smooth jazz kind of way, naturally breezy and loaded with a musical accent you can't quite put your finger on, there's nothing here that's really a game changer, just something we'd think is out of the ordinary. Tasty, accessible pop jazz, this is a prime example of feel good music made for good times. Precisely made for a drop top ride along the water front, it's not to early to start thinking about what summer is going to sound like. February is always a good time for a dose of sun from Rio. Check it out.

RON CARTER/Golden Striker Trio at San Sebastian: Jazz hall of fame member, bass master Ron Carter celebrating his 70th birthday playing grown up jazz for grown ups with Mulgrew Miller and Russ Malone. I have nothing more to say. The five well known tracks recorded here give everyone room to do what they need to without wearing out their welcome. The utter ensemble synchronicity is mind blowing and if you can't go nuts over this set, we know you aren't old enough to have a driver's license or legally drink. Never has simplicity been so magical. There's sure to be other jazz albums of merit to come along in the next ten months but it's going to take a lot for any comers to knock this one off the top of the hill Absolutely great stuff. The deluxe package also includes a DVD of the concert. Jazzbos, go to www.amazon.com now before you forget.

EHUD ASHERIE/Lower East Side: Just in case you're worried about creeping senility, Asherie and Harry Allen did a New York duo album recently. This isn't déjà vu, that one was Upper West Side and it came out last year. A figurative companion piece, this piano/sax duo tackle some more New York songs from another perspective (one with a lot of whorehouse jazz), and you know what, they don't need any excuse at all to record. Once again, these two super chopped pros push each other to mutual game raising heights as they once again make a fatter, juicier session that two cats with no drums should make. Mind blowingly great stuff, these guys can play anything. Don't dare them to play the phone book, they might just take you up on it. Get with the program and check it out!

DAVE ADKINS/That's Just the Way I Roll: Now that Steve Martin has gotten our noses open for traditional bluegrass with an eye toward the future, Adkins is seizing the opening and running through the hole like an all pro running back. With rock energy, contemporary energy and lots of smarts, this is the new style take on down home music for a landscape reshaped by Walmart parking lots and outlet malls. Family and heartland values are still in tact but reality creeps in as well for a heady brew. Snazzy stuff for real people that still want some music they can feel and believe in. Well done.

TYLER BOEH/Carpool Companion: An everyday/everyman comic that doesn't make a big deal out of buying his clothes at outlet malls preferring just to wear his everyman status and build his story arcs from there, Boeh is that funny, sea level kind of guy trapped in a mime's box and making the most of it while he tries to find the way out. Tuned into everyday absurdity without being mean spirited, he's the kind of guy that would tell the emperor that the has no clothes on, but he has an irregular mole that should be looked at as well. The laughs come easily and quickly landing smartly between alt and schpritz. Check it out.
ps to the label---not all digi-paks are proof you're going green, sometimes it's just proof you're cutting corners to make cheap, shitty packaging and not giving the artist proper respect

MATT FALK/Apple Pie & Scraps: The manic cat from the back row of the class room has grown up and now shows us the difference between ADHA and sensory overload. The flotsam and jetsam of everyday malarkey has got this guy jumping out of his skin, not Lewis Black style but two steps away from an aneurism style. This cat is making his Canuck fans laugh in the audience here and the laughs translate across the border to Canada's south. This is a wild, wonderful break neck ride full of laughs puncturing everything that needs to be punctured along the way. This cat has the good times rolling.

Volume 37/Number 115
February 24, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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