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MIKE LONGO/Step On It: This trio, with a million years of playing between them, are like the Tina Turner of post bop jazz on this outing. Sure, they could have taken this trip down memory lane nice and easy, but they chose to take it nice and rough. Kicking it off with a Coltrane cover before diving into Wayne Shorter's catalog and more, they play it like they mean it, not like they are kicking it out for tourists in a hotel bar. Simply put, this is classic sounding post bop piano trio jazz that has it all on the ball and raises the bar, even if that was is a look back at back in the day. Real jazz for real jazzbos, served hot and uncut.

PEDROSAXO: In which we find Jeff Coffin giving back by producing this progressive sax jazzbo from Spain in one take, with no overdubs or electronics. Inspired creativity on the fly, it's bare bones and not for everyone but the left leaning hipster will find it charming. Sometimes you just have to be creative for the hell of it and this date comes through with loads of that.

OVERLAKE/Sighs: This pair of Jersey kids might love alt.80s/90s rock, but they open their debut showcase with a clear cut Velvet Underground homage and skewing toward the scary folky side of alt.anything. For all the people that talk the talk, this pair does a great job of walking the walk. You can't go wrong appealing the young and malcontented.

FUN HOME/original cast recording: A generation ago, a lot of people here in fly over country thought "Rent" was just too gay to deal with. For those people, "Fun Home" is theater finally coming out and letting them being able to deal with it. Lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel boldly opens a vein putting aside her pen and ink for a word processor and issuing a memoir on what it was to grow up gay in a household with a closeted father who killed himself four months after being outed by his wife back in the days when gay was criminal in a lot of places. While we might be living in gay friendlier times, you can't legislate people's feelings and this presentation will further acceptance easier and faster than all the treatises and diatribes on the matter. The core of the success of this award winning play is that it shines a light on the guy next door and makes you realize you don't know what you think you know. It also makes you realize that simply, what's the difference? This work is going to resonate for a long time. Well done, and obviously from the heart.

EDDIE PEPITONE/A Great Stillness: The neat thing about the Internet is that you can be a niche act like Pepitone that is too dark for most people, but you can reach all the nooks and crannies of the niche and probably do a pay per view streaming concert for $5 a ticket and sell well over a million, at once, for one show. With Drew Friedman immortalizing Pepitone on the cover art and the fire burning bright in the belly of the Bitter Buddha, this is where it's at for anyone that thinks it's all a joke in the first place and wants a voice that really keeps it real, really. Perhaps the underground comedy event of the year!

SCOTT ADAMS/I Sense a Coldness to Your Mentoring: The current cold, corporate climate is different than the one in 1999 when Adams really went to town on corporate dysfunction, but dysfunctional it still is and Adams has Dilbert really banging his head against the wall hard showing that no one here has mellowed with age. With loads of guest appearances by saboteurs tossing spanners into the works, the laughs continue to come hard and fast with blows against the empire that sucks a third of your life out. With their ability not to run out of gas and keep the fire burning, Adams is part of the Mt. Rushmore of comedy with The Simpsons and South Park. This is why reading is fundamental.

Volume 38/Number 119
February 27, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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