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EMILIO TEUBAL/Musica Para Un Dragon Dormido: The Argentinean piano man makes a smart, nu progressive jazz date that seems to have a crime jazz core and an accessibility that you can sense through it's mist. Angular, sitting down jazz, this is a solid thinking man's jazz kind of session that you want to hear when you want to veg out to something that will take your ears down back alleys and other spots off the beaten path. With an insidiously woven world sensibility sneaking throughout it, Teubal and his crew know their way around something unique yet familiar that comes with a built in bungee cord to snap you back to reality just when you think this is going to ride off the rails. A nice meld of creativity and chops.

MATT HOLMAN'S DIVERSION ENSEMBLE/When Flooded: One of those contemporary Brooklyn cats that's busy playing around town with everybody, the young trumpeter is quickly rising and deservedly so. Still in his hipster mode, he's blowing some quiet, thoughtful stuff here and showing plenty of the flash that he'll be growing into as time rolls on. A cat that won't be taking second chair to anyone, this debut is a great gateway drug to introduce you to one of the real stars of tomorrow. A sizzling debut.

SCOTT HAMILTON/Remembering Billie: Here's a concept that it'll probably take a minute to two to digest--an instrumental tribute to a vocalist. Let's look behind the curtain, shall we? The Billie Holiday tunes here are mostly pre-WWII tracks, when she was working with a combo, almost as one of the instruments. The tunes hadn't taken on the heaviness of her later work and it was all a fine example of pre-bop bopping. Pre-eminent sax great Hamilton needs no introduction to the world of tributes having laid down a great body of work along those lines with Rosemary Clooney on her late career master works. He swings, he's always in the pocket and he doesn't need/have to prove anything. If you want to listen to some sweet jazz that's played for the sheer joy of it, you and this set are going to get along just fine. Killer stuff that gives mainstream jazz a good name no matter how much dirt hipsters try to kick at it.

EKSI EKSO/Archfiend: Ah, the kids today aren't content with doing death metal albums about John Gacy and Jeff Dahmer anymore, now they have to do industrial dance albums about old time serial killers with handle bar mustaches. Anyone here a trust fund kid doing a half assed job of working on their professional degree on the way to working for dad's hedge fund? Sheesh. And I don't mean kabob.

SKATALITES/Walk With Me: Yep, it's those Skatalites, 48 years later, still at it and probably about to influence the next generation of alt.rockers since it's 20 years since their seeds took root on the last crop. Still smoking after all these years, this crew were the primogenitors of reggae and backed all the bands on the island when they were in their nascent states not even afford their own sound systems. Hell, they still have a few tricks up their sleeves they could teach Gwen Stefani. Music to get flat with, in fine stylee, this is as eire as it gets, with plenty of heat for the feet to boot. If you don't tell this bunch they're a bunch of geezers, they probably won't know. It's the nutty sound of fun in full force. Check it out. I can't help myself---it's ska-riffic!, it's ska-licious!

HUNGRY COWBOY/Dance: Hmm, minimalist jazz based on a sonic/visual interpretation of Cormac McCarthy's novels about he southwest. Well, they only pressed 100 copies, but digital is forever all you malcontents out there.

TWINS OF EL DORADO/Portend the End: You thought Gabrielle Roth was an out there art chick? Kristin Slipp makes Roth look like Britney Spears. You thought Annette Peacock was an out there art chick? We have some new boundaries here for you to check out.

JOSHUA KWASSMAN/Songs of the Brother Spirit: How sensitive to you have to be to build an album about loss out of an abortion of a bike trip with a childhood friend that turned out to be a jerk. Good thing this kid is a sax man and not a lyricist. The kid knows how to compose and does a fine job with some jazz tinged, contemporary instrumental work about the bad bike trip, his parents not being her one day, a fave teacher dying from leukemia...AND MORE! Better this than becoming a junkie to get in touch with one's creativity. It's a different kind of instrumental set that people who's heads are in the same space as Kwassman when he wrote this will probably understand.

Volume 37/Number 116
February 25, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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