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FAREED HAQUE/Out of Nowhere: Well, Freddy, it's been a long road out of the basement of the an upscale Evanston restaurant playing for diners that didn't know their John McLaughlin from their Paco deLucia but now we find you spiritually going back to the same old pop stand, adding chops deepened by 30 year of critical experience and backing by some old pros that still have a thing or two up their sleeves. With some tracks in the set list that you wouldn't expect from a cat who toured with Sting, Haque gets back to his jazz guitar roots, adding the cats that would have made it a trio if Leslee's gave him the budget, and making the record he's probably wanted to make for years, if life didn't lead him down some other interesting routes along the time and tide line. Cool cat spoiler: this is the kind of stuff that turned us on to all those great Bluenote/Verve cats that weren't household names that made us wonder why not. Killer stuff.

MARC PERRENOUD TRIO/Vestry Lamento: This jazz piano trio is loaded with moves that take you back in the day but get you looking at the old stuff in a different light. There was plenty of genre splicing back then but there was something about it that kept us from noticing as we kept our eye on the jazz ball. This trio keeps it old school but there's some simmering effect that brings out the flavors that were once bubbling under the surface. A totally cool jazz trio that swings and grooves but keeps it mainstream, this was made for the non-hipster that appreciates good jazz without the artifice or need of approval from the jazz police. Hot stuff.

AXEL SCHLOSSER/Tales From the South: All born in various parts of Europe in the 70s or later, the members of this quartet all play like they were around when labels like Prestige, Clef and others were around and ‘thriving'. A bunch of jazzbos that know the tradition as it came up from Nawlins as well as other jazz ports of call from the 50s onward, this is wonderfully smoking stuff that you can listen to for hours on end. Without using pyrotechnics for the sake of it, they know how to razzle dazzle and make some of the grooviest sitting down jazz you've ever heard. This set comes from so deep in the pocket you'll wonder how they ever got it out. Killer stuff.

THE SOJOURNERS/Sing and Never Get Tired: Just because you're a snotty hipster doesn't mean you can't appreciate a good gospel record with a positive message that lays it on the line without hitting you over the head. Hell, Jeff Tweedy pulled Mavis Staples back into the fray. These cats spread the word but they use a lot of soul and funk to add flavor. Riffing on the age old problem of man's inhumanity to man but addressing it in terms of our speed of light society, this vocal trio uses God to entertain---or is it they use entertainment to God? Doesn't matter. They sound great, sing up a storm, understand what we love about old school Southern soul and know how to spin those modern studio dials to make it all sound good. Killer stuff that's good for the soul whether it needs cleansing or not. (PS, I don't know if it means something or not, but they do kick it off with a Pops Staples classic).

GORDON GRDINA-MARK ELIAS/No Difference: And it's back to the opium den for some avant world jazz that could do just as well in a hipster den of inequity if the belly dancers are strung out and the air is thick with some kind of haze. These cats have been at this a long time so this isn't something tossed off with good intentions and little else, it's a well thought out excursion into some back alleys that you probably wouldn't explore on your own. Highlighting those spots in the souks Fodor's tells you to keep away from, this is a sonic journey were the armchair traveler as the edge over the adventurer. Wild, ear opening stuff that's deceptively low key but burns up a storm. Check it out.

THE NEW THREE STOOGES/Complete Cartoon Collection 45th Anniversary Collection: After the Stooges mega box that came out last year, the one with all 8 of the individual Columbia shorts volumes and the added discs with just about everything any Stooge was in, the hard core knew that more bodies were buried. Even after the movies have come out, the hard core knew there was more. Here it is, the 60s cartoon collection that had the sixth Stooge on board for wrap arounds introducing the cartoons. Rather than pass judgment, all 156 episodes are here, along with two albums cut with Curly Joe. Some people think it's sad to see them so old and arthritic, some people love having them around in any form. While this stuff was really made for kids, it isn't really kid stuff. The worst you can say about it is that it's silly. Hipsters even get to pipe up as Paul Horn did the music for this. The bottom line is that the only people who won't like this are girl friends and people too cool to have fun. Uber fans better elbow something off the shelf to make room for this right next to all the rest, right where it belongs.

Volume 37/Number 342
October 9, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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