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JANET RYAN/Mama Soul: Cut in Texas with a chitlin circuit show band sound, this white, blues mama can go toe to toe with any pissed off, middle aged, black woman airing her dirty laundry. With never a dull moment, Ryan wraps the up the sum total of her vast travels through the blues world and serves it all up like a pro. A new link in the chain that's sure to keep the tradition alive.

WORKS: A trio made up of Michael Gentile, Dan Kelly and Rob Garcia, these three leaders join forces to a semi-arts council set that let's the show what the good works of the organization are all about. Getting to strut their stuff in a low fi way in various settings, this straddles the egghead fence as it's sitting down jazz all the way but it never veers into being too precious. With a vibe that harkens back to the non commercial side of 50s cats that had very good commercial day jobs, it's not stuff for the hipster elite but for that that like to veer off the beaten path.

MICHAEL DEASE/Coming Home: Amazing what an amazing cat can do when he adds Christian McBride's posse to the proceedings. The trombone ace serves up a killer contemporary jazz date that specializes in hitting all the right notes throughout. Joining the linage of bone men that can do it all and do it with the greatest style and finesse, Dease is rewriting the book on his latest outing and it works throughout. Killer stuff from a rising star that's already here.

AMANDA JO WILLIAMS/You're the Father of My Songs: Here's an art chick that can take umbrage with everything you say with an alacrity that hasn't been seen since The Great Kat was in her heyday. She's an art chick, but she's the anti-Amanda Palmer so she provides poster girl fodder for malcontents everywhere left behind in the wake.

TREVOR ANDERIES/Shades of Truth: Nicely textured set from a jazz drummer that has an affinity for civil rights jazz but understands the need to round off the edges so the sound can travel beyond hipster circles where the solidness of the playing can be apperceived without the trappings. Smart, modern jazz by young cats that enjoy getting to get out and wail, creativity runs here unbounded as the new generation finds a way to bridge the now with the then.

BRADLEY JOSEPH/Paint the Sky: A few commercial cats know how to make the leap from punching a clock into muso territory. With a load of credits, most of which would horrify a hard core muso listener, Joseph fuses smooth jazz with new age and doesn't let his background with Yanni and American Greetings muck things up for listeners that don't buy their music in gift shops. Sounding more like he cut his teeth with Chip Davis, Joseph lands his tunes somewhere between the ears of the hard core and the tourist for a nice set that some will call a guilty pleasure and some will call super cool. Fun stuff no matter how you slice it that straddles the line between being well made and not taking itself too seriously. Check it out.

Volume 37/Number 178
April 28, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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