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JOHN ADORNEY/Wonder Well: A new age/classical cat with pop leanings serves up another set of easy going girl friend music that you want in her car player at the end of a long day when she's PMSing to boot. Adorney knows how to make left leaning, mainstream girl friend music for stressed out/stressful times that floats along with a nice glide that could almost be used as aural Prozac. Nicely done.

HARD GARDEN/Blue Yonder: Old school blues brought into the modern era is on tap here. They bring the moves, reject the clichés and know how to reach the inner frat boy in kids of all ages. Having grown up in Seattle in the middle of grunge, this bunch is aware of their circumstances without being wary of what they have to do. Fun stuff that you almost don't believe it's as good as it is because it's so indie without agenda. Well done throughout.

JON LUNDBLOM & BIG FIVE CHORD/Liverevil: The Hot Cup gang is at it again. This is no dis to Miles no matter what the title makes you think. It's more like he's trying to make his girl friend shut up and let him hang out with his pals all night, night after night. That's why there's wican songs, sly hat tips to Neko Case and other stuff interspersed among the left leaning, progressive jazz that's long left the wannabes in the dust. With the guitar out front, angular jazz is on parade in fine form as it wends it's way down this jazzy, garden path. Wild stuff for left leaning ears that really know how to take it. Well done.

MATT CRISCUOLO/Blippity Blat: It takes a certain amount of balls to pick up your sax, make a solid jazzbo record AND admit you have a day job as owner of a chain of Connecticut pizzerias. Go Matt! On this set of all originals, he sounds like a solid jazzbo that's spent one to many nights in smoky clubs blowing some left leaning jazz for small, appreciative audiences that don't have to hurry home to relieve a sitter. The title is misleading as it implies this is a horde of unrepentant skronk and that's a misconception. Blow away pizza man because you are blowing us away. Check it out.

SLEEPERS WORK/No Turn Before the Shoreline: Spare electro music for playing when coming down after the rave. Recorded over 6 months when not hanging out with St. Vincent or Daft Punk, this is progressive, bleeding edge college music for when you want to feel sinister but really don't feel like getting up off the floor.

AVI ROTHBARD TRIO/City Colors: Whether kicking it out on his own originals or adding his special sauce to some well chosen covers, this guitar ace finds the sweet spot that any jazz guitar fan will gravitate to. A tasty set throughout, he's got the knack for making it look and sound too easy. A solid listening date that's sure to command your attention, it's on the money throughout and a good bet to spend some quality time with.

ADAM SMALE/Out of the Blue: Not many people cite Lenny Breau as an influence anymore, and the grossly under rated late guitar man certainly deserves a better fate than that. Enter this guitar man that keeps the flame alive as well as fans it. A jazzbo throughout, Smale plays with the kind of fire that's more important than technical precision. Hey, don't go thinking there's a bunch of clams here because there isn't. It's just hot stuff that isn't afraid to vary things on a moments notice and hit the right notes throughout. A solid guitar date sure to have sitting down jazz fans bouncing in their seats. Hot.

JON DI FIORE/Yellow Petals: A composer/drummer led jazz trio where the bass and piano aren't along just for the ride, this is a fine example of ensemble playing where everyone gets some. Often coming on like classy, cocktail jazz when the players are working hard to be their slyest and not let you see them sweat, this is up market jazz without being stuffy at it's best. Killer stuff that's sure to perk up your ears, this trio isn't afraid to take your ears places they've only heard in dreams. Check it out.

Volume 38/Number 59
December 29, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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