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KIKOSKI CARPENTER NOVAK SHEPPARD/From the Hip: Back in 2006, George Klabin got tired of piano man David Kikoski being a cult hero and wanted to light a fire to raise his recognition. To further that need, he rounded up some top jazzbos and tossed them into the studio with no rehearsal to kick it out on some oldies that are not performed often enough to be beaten to death. Then, he let them improv away. Certainly one of those one of a kind performances where the band stand is rocking with cats that are there to play. A solid program of straight ahead stuff, it's in the pocket throughout and a gasser to hear. Check it out.

PAUL GABRIEL/What's the Chance: So here's a guitar slinger that's been at it for 40 years, has worked with everyone from Michael Bolton to Rory Block and is a local legend in the North East. There's no manqué about it if he sounds like Wes Montgomery jamming with Butterfield Blues Band. Produced by Duke Robillard, who rounded up the Roomful of Blues horns and ex-Butterfield, Mark Naftalin, this almost sounds like Robillard's take on, say, Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Screw what the kids think, this is a high octane party for mature listeners that still remember what it was to be part of the original boogie band generation. Hot stuff.

DUMPSTAFUNK/Dirty Word: Ten years after starting out as a band that was just supposed to be a lark, when you mix some Nevilles with some rock admirers and some local, hotshot Nawlins funkateers, you get a wildly heady brew. Loaded with classic Crescent City funk moves brought forward into the 21st Century, there's too much talent working off the clock here for any false steps to be made. This is the sound of Nawlins good times circa next year. Check it out.

BOB MOVER/My Heart Tells Me: The singing sax man brings in Bob Cranshaw, Kenny Barron, Steve Williams and others to give him a stellar backing for this two disc set split up with one set vocal and one set instrumental. The singing is mostly oldies, the instrumental mostly originals. Leading with a smoky, after hours voice that sets a proper jazzy mood, this is a swinging set that easily makes you feel like a grown up when you have it in motion. It's the kind of sophisticated stuff that will get grandpa telling you about the old days with cigarette girls taking your picture and b girls hustling drinks. Enjoy the music, keep it away from the old timer--it's time you did some growing up without affectation. This is a primo soundtrack for that experience. Solid stuff throughout.

SOUNDS FROM THE CIRCLE V/various: For the fifth year, the New Age Music Circle joins together to present a slew of the latest and greatest from the members to make it easier for genre fans to stay up on what's going on as more and more players are finding they have to do everything for themselves. Packed on a 3 hours mp3 disc, 40 new tracks are rounded up and rolled out to let you have a taste of what's out there. With a little something for everyone, this set is well stacked enough to be a unified stand alone set on it's own. You might want to hip your massage therapist a set like this available if their play list could use a little updating (hint).

EMRAH KOTAN/New Anatolian Experience: The Turkish native that's currently tearing it up in Decatur, GA rolls out the classic American fusion like he was hanging around the studios when it was first invented. Putting being entertaining first, the drummer/leader knows his stuff and knows how to make solid music that stays buoyant without ever becoming lighter than air. Propelled by a fearlessness that keeps his music bold, Kotan likes to change things up along the way but never with the jarring kind of impact that makes you reach for skip or eject buttons. It's temping to say he's playing at the top of his game but he still has many years ahead of him and you can expect chops to get honed tighter along the way. A winning date throughout.

JON DAVIS/One Up Front: He's got 30 years of tickling the ivories under his belt and he's still reaching for stars looking for the sounds that keeps moving him to the next level of the game. Working out here with a classic format acoustic jazz trio, the originals and well chosen covers come together nicely in this program that takes you to the clubs from back in the day. Tasty stuff that keeps your ears on their toes, straight ahead jazz is in good hands here. Just the kind of stuff want when you want to hear something full blooded with some meat on it's bones. Well done.

AL CONTI/Blue Rose: Like Oscar Hammerstein before him exploring the mystical, far east, Conti takes his magical, new age keyboard to the far east to explore a legend that finds him almost moving into lite classical territory as this journey begins. Very definitely girl friend music, it's light, airy and loaded with musical filigree and gossamer adding layers of mystery without being too dense. Music for serenity, this set does anything but angry up the blood so those seeking an oasis from life's termoils will be able to use this to focus on their locus.

Volume 37/Number 220
June 9, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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