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GENE AMMONS SONNY STITT QUINTET/Boss Tenors + Dig Him: "Boss Tenors" is everyone's idea of the classic sax cutting date. Period. Bouncing off each other with a precision that was honed beginning with their tenure together for Billy Eckstine in the 40s, it's just a stone, cold classic. The funny thing about the companion album in this collection that both albums were recorded on successive Chicago afternoons with the same band for different labels---and now both are owned by Universal anyway. Once again, it's amazing what a well there is to dip into for this classic stuff. If you've never heard this, find out what all the hub bub is about, bub. This is what jam sessions are all about.

MARIO ADNET/Um Olhar Sobre Villa-Lobos: If you're a music consumer as opposed to a music product consumer, how can you not think your mind won't be blown by a set by one of the contemporary keepers for the Brazilian music mastery flame where it sounds like Van Dyke Parks and John Williams are collaborating on a Disney/Pixar soundtrack for a Brazilian movie? Adnet goes back to the root of all contemporary Brazilian music, brings along the family and the crème of Brazilian music royalty and fashions one of those boundryless collections that reaches beyond, classical, beyond, jazz, beyond etc. One of those utterly great sets that's much better to listen to than talk about, strap yourself in for a worldwide, magic carpet ride that you'll hate to have end. Killer stuff throughout.

BOSSA NOVA BRASILIA BOSSA NOVA USA/various: Show me exactly how you can argue with a twofer set running over 2.5 hours that mixes it up on killer, essential bossa nova tracks from both sides of the equator as the sound was ramping up to "Girl from Ipanema". You might not know all the Brazilian names, no matter how important they are, but if you don't know the American jazzbos that were catching the breeze from the south, inhale this collection and go back to school. It's all here, it's all in one place and it's all on grand display. Bug off late night commercials until you can come back with something this utterly cool. This is what it was like before we entered the realm of soon come.

MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING/Red Hot: These malcontents were never going to be accepted by the moldy figs, but something here has happened since their last outing. They seem to have stepped through the golden door that has elevated their sound to a space occupied by hell raisers and troublemakers like Spike Jones, Raymond Scott and Don Byron. As much as they sound like a depression era Nawlins jazz band on crack, they have taken their sonorities to a new level of the game, much like Carla Bley would have sounded in the 70s if she let more of her sense of humor filter into the music. Wild stuff that is not only this crew's best album yet, it takes them to a whole other level of the game.

VAN-ANH VANESSA VO/Three Mountain Pass: The hot, Asian chick violinists of the past have been supplanted by their younger, Vietnamese sisters in arms who are bringing their own indigenous instruments to the fore. Vo bangs away on her danTrahn, something like a zither that looks kind of kind a pedal steel guitar, and brings the sounds of her land to our ear. Showing just how much racket she can make on her own, you don't notice that she's doing it all herself center stage, until her new pals, Kronos Quartet, jump in to lend a hand. A killer, new set of sounds for open, adventurous world beat ears, Vo has got something here going on like you wouldn't believe. Check it out.

OLIVER JONES featuring Josee Aidans/Just for My Lady As much as Oscar Peterson was no lump of chicken schmaltz, jazz pianist Jones is rightfully heralded as Canada's national treasure. If it's not enough for you that he's the grooviest swinger out there with an AARP card (hell, he's 80), adding a classical violinist that felt like busting out gives this a Grappelli/Hot Club feel on the tracks where Aidens gets to step out. No matter which way you want to flavor this set, it's a dead solid, stone killer of a jazz piano trio of a date that blows the wax out of your neighbors ears. Straight up jazzbos will probably start a petition to get Jones one of those royal order things; they just gave him his own postage stamp but it‘s not enough. Smoking!

CHARLIE PARKER/Jazz at Massey Hall: Released in several different configurations over the years, largely to avoid contractual problems, this is what Lenny Bruce and Lord Buckley were yapping about when they were talking about the ultimate jazz session. Five bebop giants came together for one night only, playing to an audience of around 600 and left a legacy that all future jam and cutting sessions would be held to. And to make it all the more legendary, Parker died four nights later making this mythical. Even people who don't like Bud Powell let him slide here without reproach (he was hit in the head after all, so you can't blame him for all his impracticalities). Parker, Gillespie and Mingus up front with Powell and Max Roach bringing up the rear. Kiddies, this is jazz. Now go dig the miracle lick, ya dig? And tell the moldy figs to kiss off. Killer stuff all these years later.

DANNY WRIGHT/Reflections: Whether or not vet piano instrumentalist/new ager Danny Wright is your cup of tea or not is up to you, but if you can think of anything bad to say about him, there was something wrong with your upbringing. Occupying that rare space with other stalwarts like Jim Brickman or Kevin Kern, all of which can continually do so much with so little (meaning just fingers and keyboard, no aspersion on talents) this specially priced twofer kicks off a new mental space for Wright as he's really put down roots in Vegas, acquired his back catalog and is stopping to look forward while looking back after the dust settles. Glorious in it's use of simplicity that too may will think they can clone or copy, it's simply lovely and delightful instrumental music that's warm, engaging and hard to duplicate. Grown ups know what we're talking about. Hot stuff.

Volume 37/Number 275
August 3 , 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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