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CHAD LEFKOWITZ-BROWN/Imagery Manifesto: A Downbeat award winner at 11 and a recent member of Arturo O'Farrrill's crew, this sax man is still young, feeling his oats and pushing his boundaries on this debut as a leader. Bursting with ideas, almost to the point of having more ideas than places to put them, this is a cat tailor made for dyed in the wool jazzbo that know there's another Coltrane out there. Highly progressive, this is a wild ride that's custom made for the sitting down jazz listener that isn't just sitting down because he's faint of heart. Quite the auspicious debut that delivers the goods.

ALEX SIPIAGIN/From Reality and Back: The trumpeter with long stays with Michael Brecker and Dave Holland on his resume comes in with a new set that recalls the spirit of the jazz on Polydor around the time the original Return to Forever was hanging around the label and charting new courses. With Holland being the sidekick this time and and Pat Metheny coming in with a song just for this set, Sipiagin makes the most of all of it. If Joe Farrell samples from that era with these cats are powering hit records today, you are well advised to check out this new version of that sound. Jazz with a progressive and adventurous edge that knows well how to schneid. Check it out.

MIAMI SAXOPHONE QUARTET/Four of a Kind: Classic jazzbo sounding in vibe only, these four sax aces and their pals know their Four Brothers moves so well it's scary. Whether putting new finishes on corny, hoary tunes or delivering the goods on snazzy originals, this bunch foregoes aiming at the hipsters and delivers the goods to real music lovers that want to hear great playing. On the money throughout, this is one of those releases you'll want to tell your friends about. Killer stuff throughout

DAVID SHELBY/Rust Belt Cowboy: One of the ways you can tell if someone is real or fake is the way they sound when making the throwaway utterances like ‘here we go' when the band is jamming. This Detroit cowboy passes the test. Proof that there were people listening to Hank, Jr north of the Mason-Dixon, this isn't a sound you absorb just by checking out Monday Night Football. Not shedding his Detroit rock roots either, this is a dandy rocked up country set, with accent on the country, that's a pure fast ball right down the middle. The songs, the performance and the band are all right in the pocket making this the kind of stuff that can't miss once it connects. Well done.

OMAR DYKES/Runnin' With the Wolf: Anyone can say they are doing a tribute to Howlin' Wolf but Dykes seems to be the leader of the pack when it comes to sailing well past homage/tribute/rip-off/good intentions/etc and delivers like a member of the original pack. After the opening, title track, that serves as an overture/overview to the canon of the Wolf, Dykes digs in like an acolyte that's been properly anointed and plays with the passion Mr. Burnett put in the music without being a manqué at all. If you haven't experienced the smokestack lightening Wolf could personally deliver, this is the next stop on your musical journey as you'll need Dykes' vision to ease you into the raw power that was. Hot stuff that never cools off.

GHOSTS OF THE HOLY SPERMIC BROTHERHOOD: God Almighty, jazz now has it's own Metal Machine Music. Nuff said.

MORT WEISS/A Giant Step Out and Back: Once again, Weiss tells us this will be his last recording. We'll see. Inspired by the urging of a Brit writer, Weiss saddled up again, dusted off his clarinet and lit out for some free jazz ranges. You've certainly never heard "Waltz for Debbie" like this. A solo set that somehow manages to fill your ears with just Weiss being the only one playing, it's head music from a different planet that really cuts to the chase for the real aficionado. Wild stuff, right in line with his other, recent wild, solo releases.

COMBAT GIRLS: Can you imagine the pitch meeting for this pic? Ok, think "Two Broke Girls", but...the polar opposite girls are members of the neo-Nazi movement. Get this, the conflict comes in when the hard core member wants out and the rich girl slumming to make her boyfriend happy feels like she's been betrayed. Waddaya think? Well, in the right hands, like this pic, it's some kind of powerful coming of age story that comes at you from a direction you never expect. A multiple festival winner, Artsploitation once again does a grand job of delivering the shock value they want to be known for. One of the wildest youth in revolt pic you are going to see this year, that's for sure.

Volume 37/Number 249
July 8, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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