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MATT KANE TRIO/Suit Up: A drummer who is the latest in a long line of players to make the pilgrimage to Kansas City and then to New York, this drummer is in the pocket and in the tradition coming in with an organ trio date that alternates feeling like a Wes Montgomery session and a Jimmy Smith session with the leader knowing how to bring up the rear. High hopping and hard bopping, there's no lack of swing on this date as listeners that just want it straight ahead with the accent on solid playing over frills and fills won't be able to leave it alone. Killer stuff throughout.

THE BECHET LEGACY/Birch Hall Concerts Live: Just because it was Holy Modal Rounders who said 'good taste is timeless', the saying isn't any less applicable here. Recorded a touch over 30 years ago, this Bob Wilber led band paying tribute to Sidney Bechet, one of the first great recorded horn soloists, is fine listening anytime, especially now that it's making it's belated recording debut. With accent on swing being the thing, this twofer serves up classics from Armstrong and Ellington as well as Bechet and this gang delivers the goods. The recording quality could be a little clearer but the vibes come throughout loud and clear. Fun stuff for anyone who loves to swing.

AL MADRIGAL/Why is the Rabbit Crying: Here's one of those cats that makes you ask what's so bad about being mainstream. Honing his act and doing a lot of late night, Madrigal has his eye on contemporary times and knows how to find the humor lying within. Being an urbanite, he crafts a new kind of ethnic humor that relies heavily on life in LA but is even more good natured than George Lopez or Carlos Mencia about the differences between the peoples. A roll off project from his current special, this package also includes a copy of the one hour special as well as other video fun on the included DVD. This cat brings the laughs and all you have to do is show up and enjoy. Check it out.

DEBORAH LATZ/Fig Tree: I'll give you this. Latz comes across as an art chick but if you make the mistake of letting the trail end there, you are missing out. Just because you haven't heard of her doesn't mean that she hasn't been picking up international acclaim of some pretty hefty orders. On her third outing, Latz takes it over the top giving hipsters a few lessons on what is really hip as well as reframing what it means to give a performance. Showing the kind of jazz soul that can't be the product of an act, Latz hits it out of the park with such Úlan that the repeat button is your friend. Hot stuff that delivers throughout.

MADISON McKENZIE/Apart of Me: In which we find a sector of country music becoming a rite of passage sound. For the younger sisters that don't see what their older sisters saw in Taylor Swift, along comes a new youngster with a new sound for the new youngsters. Crisply recorded, this set of teen/tween diary songs will easily resonate with younger tastes just starting to stretch their wings to see if they will fly. Loaded with down home values, this is enjoyable stuff that let's kids have something to call their own but stay kids a little longer as well.

RONDI CHARLESTON/Signs of Life: Oh yeah! Charleston is an utterly, too cool jazz vocal hipster that you just won't know what to do with. Leading with a husky voice that doesn't have the torn silk/whiskey soaked quality of other thrushes, Charleston uses sonic telescopes and prisms to craft a mind blower of unself conscious hip that goes it's own way like a mighty river. Old timers that want to feel young and youngsters not phased by any sort of mash up anymore will have a meeting ground over this killer talent that has it all on the ball. A mature album for mature ears, of any age, Charleston took a roundabout way to get where she is but chalk it up to one of those Zen things about the journey, or something. You haven't heard anything like this in quite some time. Check it out.

BRUSHY ONE-STRING/Destiny: Let's face it, all music appreciation is subjective. That's what makes outsider music so much fun and so maddening at the same time. If you like my general point of view, Brushy is some killer outsider music. A hard luck Jamaican, Brushy is a blues shouter playing a one string guitar who was discovered by accident and now has millions of viewers on You Tube. And he'll probably be remembered longer than PSY. Purely one big, raw nerve that's coming directly from the heart, if you thought Ted Hawkins was some wild raw stuff, this is the bomb. Enter at your own risk, enjoy the ride if you know what you're getting into.

THE STORY OF BLUE BEAT-The Best in Ska 1962 Pt. 2/various: Here we find the Blue Beat story getting more into the skanking riddims it would be known for than the soul oriented stuff on previous sets. With Prince Buster and Eric Morris starting to come into their own more and more, the roots of reggae are now really getting planted. As with other sets, this twofer has one disc of all the A sides and one disc of the matching B sides of the original singles. These 50 year old sounds of the streets hold up well and it's a nice reminder that there was stuff going on in the streets beside Marley. Another dandy tour of Jamaica's back streets.

AUSTIN YOUNG & NO DIFFERENCE/Blue as Can Be: Get ready to hate this kid. A 17 year old white boy from Colorado that already plays power blues rock like a master shredder, he just swept some Colorado blues awards and is already teaching blues. This would have been a punch line to a joke 40 years ago, now it just punches you in the face. Talk about cats that are old souls! Alright, don't hate him, just be jealous. I'd call him a monster in the making but the monster is already here. Hot stuff throughout.

KRISTIN SCHAAL/Live at the Fillmore: Equal parts the amiable goofball you never thought had anything profound to say and the math chick you never thought had a sexual side, Schaal makes it clear she grew up on Gilda Radner and came up with Maria Bamford as she brings alt.comedy to the mainstream. Delightfully skewed, she has the power to make the most of her first hour long special and shows it by keeping the audience in the palm of her hand. Opening up like a off beat Taylor Swift, she atones for that quickly by turning into a thrill ride that keeps you guessing as to what's going to come out of her mouth next. With added specials and snippets, this is a great introduction to the world of Schaal if you haven't been following her forays deep into cable land. If her mind ever snaps, I feel sorry for all the guys that didn't date her in high school thinking she was an amiable goof ball. Check it out, she's a laugh riot these days.

Volume 37/Number 170
April 20, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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