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DOUBLE TRIO DE CLARINETTES/Itineraire Bis: So, taking a break from your debate about Ginger vs. Maryann, your mind wanders over to what two bands made up of nothing but clarinets would sound where the players on deck were idiosyncratic and freewheeling. They would sound something like this aggregation that sounds like they got together with the intention of pushing Manfred Eicher as far as they could but pushed him too far. You can give this your full attention and get full appreciation if you listen to it with your art hat on as this is art jazz all the way. A collection of real artists, not manqué, they do play for the greater good in their own unique way. Accept it as the cd version of an art house movie and a left field, good time will be had by all.

THE BIG JAZZ THING/A Next Generation Celebration: Trumpet player Frederik Koster sounds like he's giving the ultimate vindication to Saskia Laroo as his playing here is so reminiscent of hers that it seem s like she might have given him lessons. This series, now on it's 50th release, was started to help the young lions get some traction and recognition. It's spawned a boatload of awards and award winners. This edition rounds up cats from the last ten years that have made a mark. Freewheeling stuff that pushes the envelop with a mischievous twinkle, this is top shelf, left leaning jazz for the jazzbo that eats moldy figs for lunch---when there's nothing else around. Hot stuff that charts the future nicely.

BLANK REALM/Grassed Inn: The Aussie underground makes it's mark with a blistering set of sunshine pop that's got a load of psych dusting over the top. For ravers with folk-rock leanings (you figure it out), this stuff is wildly on the mark. The Velvet Underground continues to influence generations yet to come and that are just showing up.

ORCHESTRA OF SPHERES/Vibration Animal Sex Brain Music: Sounding somewhat like late period King Crimson splinter bands, this electro head trip was made to mix with your fave chemical and leave the notion of finals and term papers drift away to where they really belong. Nuts stuff from the New Zealand underground, this is certainly a good argument for legalizing drugs. Geezers can be glad to see tax revenue and youngsters won't always be getting Drano in that dime bag.

BHAVANA REDDY/Tangled in Emotions: Leonard Cohen meets film noir meets Bollywood? Well, maybe if you throw in some Alanis Mitchell. As today's young ladies are more apt to fly off the beaten path, this is sure to be alt.pop that speaks loudly to them as this goes way beyond belly dance and chant to realms only known to Reddy herself.

SNOWFLAKE/We All Grow Toward the Sea: Contemporary producer take the wheel himself for an art rock song cycle showing he can be a pomo Todd Rundgren if he wants to be. Unabashedly head art throughout, the nu generation finds it's prog rock footing in an effort to bring the era back.

ZUILL BAILEY/Britten-Cello Symphony & Sonata: Yo Yo Ma may not be ready to be put out to pasture yet, but there's certainly a good reason why Bailey's new releases seem to have no problem debuting at #1 or damn close before soon over taking the number one spot. Recording here with the North Carolina Symphony, Bailey seems to hold front and center by himself almost making the symphony a secondary attraction. Playing with a deftness that can't merely be taught, this is powerful playing zooming along at the top of it's game, holding court in fine style. These Britten pieces can't be the easiest to play but Bailey makes short work of the challenge letting you just settle in with something that he makes sound a lot easier than it is. A first rate set throughout, even newbie classical tourists will be knocked out by the perfection loaded in these bytes. Well done throughout.

AL GROMER KHAN/White Mogul: Suppose Nick Hornby had other aspirations than being a Limey writing about music in hipster, American neighborhoods. Would he have it together to write this world wide novel of eye opening proportions that reads like a modern day "On the Road" with music as the driving force? Enough with the "Eat, Love, Pray" already, guys have to have a few eye opening journeys as well when given the time and tide to pursue such opportunities. As compelling as any of the eye opening novels by Cohen etc, Khan takes you on a journey that feels like Townes Van Zandt taking a side trip through the Indian music underground and perhaps coming out of it with his teeth in tact. A thick tome that could easily be a commuters pal for several weeks of urban scooting, this is a dandy read that's musically vibrant enough along the way to almost open your ears as well. Seekers, start your engines and check it out.

Volume 38/Number 38
December 8, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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