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MANICAL 4/Carry On: The trombone quartet that proved You Tube is the new mass media brings a Maynard Ferguson inspired take to cheesy, 70s arena rock tunes. The crew is too serious about what they do for this to be a pomo smirk of a session, it sounds like Chase magically got back together and thought they could strike gold by doing big band takes on the tunes of the time and ditch originals. With added effects driven porno funk stirring up the cheese at just the right pace, this is tailor made for the jazzbo who arrived here via rock to have a great time. Check it out.

MATT WHITE/Super Villain Jazz Band: A key component of the Nashville jazz scene, even if he's easily becoming one of those cats who has played everything with everybody, White and his trumpet stir up his pals into a high octane, post bop date that does more for the locals than give them an outlet for pent up creativity when there aren't any country sessions booked in the neighborhood. Restless, envelop pushing and dizzyingly smart, this trumpet man has arrived as a leader, making his mark here with class, vibes and swing to spare. Hot stuff.

IRON BRIDGE BAND/Road Not Taken: Following their debut ep with a full lenghter, this crew delivers classic 70s AOR/arena rock complete with crunchy guitars, high energy and all the vibe from working class Jersey you can handle. Borrowing rocking moves from everyone from the Allmans to Bad Company, IBB is a fast ball down the middle for kids that are more into letting loose than being witness to spectacle. Hard hitting stuff from a bunch that keep it real by loving what they do. Well done.

MAURY YESTON'S TOM SAWYER A Ballet in Three Acts: You might not realize it now, but this is a landmark recording. Yeston, who has ably proved himself over and over, reaches for the stars here and grabs them. A proven brand when it comes to Broadway music, Yeston creates a ballet out of whole cloth and turns in a grand orchestral work of such diverse and engaging music that your mind can't help but be blown here. Performed and realized here by the renown San Francisco Ballet Orchestra conducted by Martin West, serious music fans could be easily deluded into thinking the golden age of American music is on the way back on a regular basis. With a vibe that feels like PBS' 4th of July specials, this sprawling, grand work is a snapshot of the kind of contemporary classical music that will survive for future generations. Great work throughout.

NUNO MINDELIS/Angles & Clowns: Long time Brazilian blues man Mindelis makes his American debut under the aegis of Duke Robillard who provides his band, sidekicks and producer's vision. The two of them are a good match up as Mindelis comes in like a white, blues guitar shredder delivering strip mall blues club action that can give you a good night out and still have the baby sitter home early on a school night. Nice, solid, well played and produced contemporary blues that doesn't need to kick ass to deliver the goods.

TRIAD TRUST/Marula's Shade-The ImprovED Album: Remember those Red Hot & Whosits records that were fundraisers for fighting AIDS? Remember how everyone thought Paul Simon's "Graceland" was so out there? What if "Graceland" was a Red Hot & Whosits record to fight AIDS? AIDS is still alive and well and killing people in Africa and this record is to bring AIDS awareness back into focus with a mix of electronics and indigenous African sounds, as well as vocalists that stir it up with a real passion. Too serious a set to be found at the check out of a Whole Foods, any world beater that wants to (re)join the fight and have something really cool to listen to in return for their concern can certainly do well by doing good as this set rolls out.

THE CLAUDETTES/Infernal Piano Plot...Hatched!: Piano, drums and a lot of attitude---and that attitude carries the day for this duo. Actually, veteran contemporary bluesmen, they became the house band at a bar that soon became defunct but the bar owner stuck with them as a booker and the merry trio has a good time where ever they go. With an affinity for whorehouse blues guiding them on their way, this duo is a throwback, yet modern, and they make a helluva racket for such off beat instrumentation. Certainly a wonderful, flat out good time, this is what a killer bar band is all about. Check it out.

Volume 37/Number 310
September 7 , 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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