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BEAT FUNKTION/Moon Town: Swedish funk that came about in an almost off handed way, it has grown and prospered since getting off the launch pad in 2007. Feeling very much like the off the clock solo records various members of the JB Horns would make at various times, this crew excels at 70s flavored funk that is fit for more than porno soundtracks. Fun stuff greased up with just the right amount of pan drippings, dip your hunk of bread in this gravy and see how it tastes. Not as heavy duty as AWB but pretty damned funky for a bunch a white boys from the land of the midnight sun.

IRA WIGGINS/When Freedom Sings: An educator from a musical family, Wiggins is one of those cats that needs to unleash the groove once in a while when the ivy on the walls of academe get too clingy. He's also probably one of those cat that goes around saying ‘it's all good' because his music is bright and sunny while swinging. He also had the stones to make his long over due debut as a leader a double cd that doesn't wear out it's welcome. No matter where the motivation for the tracks came from , this is a load of summer jazz at the top of the genre's game. Solid stuff throughout by a cat that finds his comfort zone deep in the pocket.

GEOFFREY KEEZER/Heart of the Piano: Keezer goes off the clock for his first solo set in 13 years where he just plays whatever he feels like with a real after hours feeling. Taking Rush, Alanis Morrissette and other not typical choices to a place that sounds like the after hours piano bar Tom Waits hung out at 40 years ago, Keezer's personal statement may seem odd on paper but it's not odd in the bytes. A righteous ear opener for solo piano fans from a cat that can hit them to all fields.

THE HARRIS GROUP/Errands: A dandy guitarist that finds his sweet spot somewhere between 60s Bluenote and fusion, with a soupcon of Wes thrown in for good measure, Harris and crew deliver a solid listening date that hovers above the background music din. Tasty, well played stuff that works well throughout, Harris may well have intended this to be impressionistic, visual jazz, but our imagination and his imagination aren't on the same page---at least with what the enclosed hype sheet would have us think. Give it a spin and see where your scenarios take you. Check it out.

MIKE SCOTT/Home Sweet Home: Scott, a familiar banjo playing face on ruralcentric cable channels, has made a great album. An instrumental tribute to Civil War songs, Scott rounded up the crème of the newgrass pickers to lend a hand and the results will blow you away, particularly if you think something like this isn't your cup of tea. Authentic in an odd way since this sounds very Great British, you'll be surprised at the sound and vibe, you'll be surprised at the titles of songs you thought never had titles that you knew all along and you'll be surprised at how you might have over looked an instrumental gem of a record if I didn't hip you to it. A palette cleansing bookend to Steve Martin's bluegrass, this set is highly recommended for everyone looking for some picking that will inspire some really broad grinning. Top shelf throughout.

THE ORB featuring LEE ‘SCRATCH' PERRY/More Tales from the Observatory: One of the things that you have to give EDM credit for is making kids realize that not all grown ups are as uncool as their parents. Here we find some aging electro heads teaming up with the even older Jah Lion for just the kind of stuff you need to hear when the rave needs to slow down because the sun is coming up. Hypnotic silliness that has this delicate internal consistency that keeps it from being a joke, these former trend setters might not be the hippest thing going today, but this set shows they know how to hold their own. It's a mash up that shouldn't work but does.

JOHN O'GALLAGHER/Anton Webern Project: A bunch of downtown improv aces reinvent the music of the father of serialism and serve up something that sounds like it came from the church basement. When pomo meets free jazz, the uninitiated will probably run for cover. Sitting down, art jazz types are sure to get it and nod appreciatively. Wild roller coaster jazz for those that would be buying more coffee than drinks anyway.

JEFF WILLIAMS/The Listener: Ah, a nice record to show the difference between church basement jazz and basement club jazz. Obviously more underground than loft jazz, this four piece, acoustic crew kicks it out live in London for a gang that likes their progressive tip. Playing the center line between mainstream and progressive, Williams and crew capture the perfect vibe for the night you want to have some edge to it.

Volume 37/Number 204
May 24, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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