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TONINHO FERRAGUTTI/O Sorriso da Manu: Quite the accordion record that's going to change your preconceived notions of accordion, jazz, tango and anything else that gets in the way of this roller coaster. Conceived in the presence of dancers, this pretty much is accordion as you never heard it before. A wild set that lets the armchair traveler let his itinerary run wild, the squeeze box has fully arrived in the 21st century here. Check it out.

DAVID SERBY and the Latest Scam: Loading up his roots deck with some stuff from closer to the middle, Serby goes in for some skewed pop taking root among the roots on this double cd of songs he didn't really want to pare down from the 50 he originally came up with. First class anti pop for those who don't like the mainstream but aren't too comfortable straying too far from it, this might be what Lou Reed could have sounded like if he took shock therapy on a regular basis. Fun stuff for the decidedly left of center taste.

JUAKALI/Feathers Too Bright: The spiritual great grandson of Sparrow, this Trinidadian vocalist takes the EDM sounds of the streets, kicks it like a high octane MC delivering a contemporary version of what Sparrow would be up to if he was a youngblood fighting his way up from the streets today, of course sounding nothing like Sparrow sonically along the way. The rallying point that each generation likes to congregate around, this street doctor doesn't let anything go to waste or die in the process of making do with what he has. Hard hitting stuff the young, urban urchin will totally understand.

ANNE DUCROS/Either Way: A first class jazz/boite vocalist renders her own tribute to the spirits of Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald and how those spirits touched her. Well, that's one of those conceptual things that we don't really worry about when we look at the music. Bringing it home to a small club, the technically perfect and always interesting Ducros serves up the oldies via her vision, and since it's a clear vision, that's all that matters. No matter how you slice it, this is a fine journey through the past on a new route.

CRAIG YAREMKO/Organ Trio: The sax man leads an organ trio with plenty of yummy organ playing but leaving the sax front and center. Giving a bunch of chestnuts a new fire down below and letting some originals shine as well this is tasty stuff with a progressive tip. This is a good bet whether organ or sax fan.

JOHN STOWELL & DAVE LIEBMAN/Blue Rose: Because Liebman spends so much time over achieving and pushing envelopes, it's easy to forget what a wonderfully lyrical player he is when he just kicks back and lets the flow just flow. A shining guitar/sax stand off, this set follows up the one recorded by these two a decade back, the difference being that the last was recorded in Banff, this recorded in the Poconos. Other than that, not much difference other than the aging of chops a decade can bring on. A simple, elegant statement, but not without some swing, this deceptively seeming parlor jazz date is a first class sitting down/listening date throughout. They don't set out to kill it each time out, they gather to bring the classics to life. Well done.

BRIAN GEPHART/Standing on Two Feet: A Chicago jazz set all the way, this is what happens when a Chicago sax man shows his New York counterparts that we know how to honk it here as well. A set of originals played with the verve and bluster of a proud creator, we might not have a Brooklyn Bridge to practice under but we ain't no second city when it comes to some honking sax. Hot stuff.

GEORGE COLLIGAN/The Endless Mysteries: What do you do when you're Jack deJohnette's piano man and you feel like improvising but ECM tells you the roster is currently full? You call Larry Grenadier and tell him to bring over his bass, then call John Bishop at Origin and say ‘have I got a deal for you'. This set of originals feels more lived in than improv-ed and a smoking time is had by all. Hot stuff from a crew that doesn't need to be told what to do.

Volume 38/Number 16
November 16, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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